12 Most Important Things to Remember about Dating and Relationships

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”

For some, dating and relationships can be like searching for buried treasure on the ocean floor surrounded by blood-thirsty sea creatures. While you’re eager to claim the waiting riches, you don’t want to be eaten alive.
Dating can be scary. The scene can be pretty rough, especially if you’ve been out of the game for a while. Coupled with a boat full of self-esteem issues, soul-crushingly bad dating or relationship experiences and the ever-present fear of rejection and you can find yourself adrift, swimming alone in the dating scene’s predator-infested waters.
The rewards can outweigh the risks by a lot, and the ultimate reward – meeting that person with whom you’re meant to spend the rest of your life – is, to many, worth the risk. Fear not, however. There’s help for the unlucky in love. Here you’ll find a list of things that may help you navigate those choppy relationship waters.

    If you’re older than 35 and believe you’re too old to reenter the dating scene, I’ll ask you to take a moment. Look in the mirror. Raise your right hand. Now, slap the right side of your face. REALLY HARD. Do it again. That’s a good shot. Your age is an advantage, not an impediment. If you’re healthy, have a healthy self-image and aren’t the pimple-faced teen or self-involved jerk you may have been in your 20s then you’re in excellent shape. Your age shouldn’t be a factor. Don’t spend your time moping around your house because you’ve been single for a while and are convinced there isn’t anyone for you. Dating is for EVERYONE, regardless of age, including you!
    Confidence (not to be confused with arrogance) is important. If you’re arrogant, potential partners will see you as either a jerk or snob, or both, or something else entirely. When it comes to dating many men and women respond to confident, self-assured and assertive partners. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Be proud of yourself and let the dating world know you’re a force to be reckoned with.
    Beauty, or attractiveness, is more than mere appearance, more than a pretty or handsome face and a well-toned body. Pretty faces and ugly personalities equal a losing proposition for a potential partner. If you’re a beautiful person on the inside, assert your beauty. It will show on the outside in the way you carry yourself and the way you treat others. Don’t be sad if you aren’t magazine beautiful or male model handsome. You’re beautiful the way you’re designed.
    Television and magazines sell a specific, management-approved, largely Photoshopped image of so-called perfection. If you lack self-confidence and believe there is a single, socially approved brand of perfection, you may come to believe everything about the partner of your dreams has to be perfect. Don’t fall for that. Perfect is in your perception of it. Flaws can be cute and irresistible, too.
    Dating can be fun. While it’s important to treat it as business, it’s still possible to have fun doing it. Like many games, if you can’t see the fun in it, if you treat it completely seriously all the time, it can become tedious and uninteresting. Enjoy yourself.
    Though dating and, later, relationships can be fun, they need work. Entering a relationship thinking it will sustain itself is a mistake. Relationships require trust, communication and compromise. Flexibility is key. Routine maintenance keeps the relationship running.
    The same song and dance can get old quickly. Dating requires creativity. Don’t be afraid of spontaneity. Shake things up a bit. Be adventurous. It doesn’t always have to be dinner and a movie. There are lots of activities for you to try with a partner. Learning something new together can be fun.
    Dating and sex don’t necessarily equal a relationship. When dating, clearly state your priorities. Ask questions. Do some research. Sex can make or break any relationship, serious or otherwise. Sex is a high priority for some. For others, not so much. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
    You may discover your partner is “the one.” It’s relationship time! Whether it’s during an afternoon stroll or while sharing a good, side splitting, laugh, it can come at any time, that feeling in your gut that you’ve found your partner. Now the work begins. Remember rules 4,6 and 7.
    You may also discover your partner ISN’T “the one”.  Maybe he keeps leaving the seat up. Perhaps she saws logs when she sleeps. Whatever the case, you know things aren’t going well and this one isn’t a keeper. Dating isn’t a contract. You aren’t required to stay when things aren’t working. It’s good to know when to cut your losses.
    Break-ups are never easy. They are, however, occasionally necessary. Perhaps you’ll remain friends. Keep your options open. Explore yourself. Travel. Assess your strengths, weaknesses and figure out what you can do differently on your next date.
    Someone said, “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people.” The same goes for dating. Good dates and, eventually, healthy relationships require good models. It’s a good idea to keep company with couples in healthy relationships. Negative people usually create negative outcomes, especially in relationships. Steer clear of people who enjoy undermining you, your partner or your relationship.

Dating isn’t as scary as you may think. Positive thinking, self-esteem, humility and a sense of adventure can help you on your path to finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Now grab your diving gear and jump in!



So, Who’s Paying?

The answer to the above question should be obvious. He’s paying of course, right? What, no? Seriously? You think they should go dutch? That’s a bit unorthodox isn’t it? I mean, they’re on a date. The guy should be paying for everything! That’s not how things work anymore? Since when? Where was I for that? I could have been saving so much money! Well, do guys still buy women drinks at a bar? They do? Phew, that was close. Wait, what? Women are now buying men drinks, too? GREAT SCOTT!!

I’m an old-fashioned guy, so I still believe that men should always pay when on a date. However, these days it seems like that mentality has all but gone out the window (I blame rap music and feminism lol). In today’s society, women have become more assertive in their independence and have no objections to covering the bill; and, as a result, men have become cheap (okay, that may be a bit harsh). Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This is just what I believe. Here’s sort of a guideline that I follow.

If a guy meets a woman at a club or bar, we all know that typically men are buying the drinks. However, if a woman does offer to buy you a drink, fellas, don’t be rude and refuse. Instead, insist on picking up the next round…or 3. Guys, if a woman you’re interested in calls you up and wants to go out, even though she initiated the date, be under the mindset that you should still be footing the bill. If she states beforehand that the outing is on her, accept, but make plans for a next date and offer to pick up the tab next time. If she calls you up and asks you out and you’re low on funds, let her know, don’t just make up some silly excuse and blow her off in an attempt to save your pride. In this economy she should understand. If she doesn’t, is that someone you really want to be going out with, anyway? If this is your first date, presumably, after meeting at the bar or club, I think that the guy should always pay. But, this is a new age. It’s now common practice for the person initiating the date to pick up the tab, agreeing to split the check ahead of time, or alternating between paying for different aspects of the date (i.e. she pays for the meal but he pays the tip or he pays for bowling and she pays for the snacks and refreshments..).

Now you guys have been on a few dates or have been seeing each other for a while. By this point you guys should be able to come to a compromise as to who pays and should be comfortable with whoever picks up the check. If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, it shouldn’t matter who pays for what. In the end, it should all balance out. Still, you shouldn’t just assume. Having a quick conversation before heading out should be routine.

Again, these are just my thoughts and opinions, but I’m looking forward to hearing yours. Please feel free to leave a comment, or if you have any questions on the topic, I’d be more than happy to provide you with more of my thoughts.



Why do people put so much stock into Facebook or any other social media site? If you’re page says that you’re in a relationship and his/hers doesn’t, does that mean that you’re not together anymore? You’re both Facebook/Twitter/Myspace friends and you can see each other posts and I’m sure everyone on his/her page clearly knows that the two of you are dating. What are you so worried about? It’s just a social site. If they deleted their page right now would that mean that your relationship is over as well? I highly doubt it. You suspect that they may be hiding their relationship status from everyone? Maybe you’re reading too much into it. Maybe they’re a private person and would prefer not to have everyone is their business. I’m pretty sure they don’t any attention to your page because they don’t care what you’re page says cause they know what’s important has nothing to do with what your page says. If you’re stalking their page or timeline to keep an eye out for any signs of cheating, then you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. Chances are IF they are stepping outside of your relationship, it’s probably with someone who they aren’t friends with on a social site that you most likely don’t know. I mean seriously, the majority of what people put on their info page is false anyway, so lighten up. These sites are here to help you to connect with friends and family or network, not to stake your claim or to digitally stalk anyone.


Do What You Can

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can. ~Sydney Smith

I’m very apprehensive about helping homeless people. It’s not because I don’t think they need the help. Most times, it’s because it’s hard to tell the difference between those that truly need it and the frauds taking people like me for a ride. I’ve heard stories and watched news reports on individuals who make quite a living from begging on the street; and, they often live nicer than the people giving them money. Then, there’s the other set that ask for money, masking it as a need for food but actually using the money to buy drugs and/or alcohol. As the expression goes, “a few bad apples spoil the bunch”; so, quite often we overlook the people who genuinely need help.

I made a quick run to the nearby grocery store to get a small jug of milk for some fresh baked cookies (Honestly, what are cookies without milk?). While walking into the store, I saw a young woman sitting just outside of the entrance asking for loose change. I’d seen her once before and walked right past her like I did the last time, trying to avoid eye contact. After purchasing the few things I needed, I walked out of the store wondering if she would still be out there, and she was. This time, however, she made eye contact with me, asking if I had any change to spare because she was “really hungry and would like to get something to eat.” I tell her, “I don’t have any change,” which is the truth. I don’t often carry cash. As I’m walking to the car, I can’t seem to get her out of my mind. What’s so different about this time? I usually don’t have a problem ignoring people asking for money so why can’t I get her out of my head? There’s something different about this one. After fighting with my thoughts for a few minutes I made a decision.

Since I didn’t have any money to give her, the least I could do was get her something to eat. I drove over to the nearby Burger King and bought her a meal. It wasn’t much but it was the least I could do. I drove back to where she was sitting and gestured to her to come to the car. She’s slow getting up, probably weak from not having anything to eat or exhaustion. There was no way to be sure. As she walks the short distance to the car, I take the time to get a good look at her. She’s a fairly young woman, not more than 18 or 19. She looks like she’s been through a lot and could use a nice, warm bath. She doesn’t look like she’s on drugs, but I’m no expert. I handed her the food. She says, “Thank you” and walks away. She doesn’t smile. I don’t watch to see if she eats the food, mostly because I want to assume that she really did need that meal, enjoyed it, and my money didn’t go to waste.

In my heart I’m glad I did something, even if it was a small gesture. I wish there was more that I could do for her. She seemed like someone who really needed help getting on her feet. I hope she’s going to be okay. For some reason, I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’m going to see her. In the future, if I’m blessed and wealthy enough, I think I’m going to start a non-profit business that provides people like her a place to stay and starts them off with employment of some sort. I’m still working out the details.


A Production Called Life

Years ago we became part of a large play,
We became part of an intricate script that brought our lives together in a very strange way,
There are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers,
Most of the cast members even know each other,

Characters vary from the old to the young,
From the small to the tall, man we have fun,
This script makes you laugh and often cry,
People we love, those that we hate, and even those that die,

But with a cast this large, there are bound to be rewrites,
Changes in scenery, cities and bright lights,
That’s the bitter/sweet of a script that writes itself,
each day is different, never like the next,

Characters eventually grow old and/or leave,
But new ones are always added, best believe,
And after many “stages” and character changes, there’s you and there’s me,
Where our scene takes us next we’ll just have to see,

There are even sometimes where we’ll stumble over our lines,
But in the end I’ll still be yours and you’ll be mine,
Who knows, maybe you will end up being my wife,
But you can never tell in this play called life.