1. Thou shalt not trust anyone without a social-media footprint.
It’s 2015! EVERYONE has something! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. SOMETHING. Don’t trust the line “I’m just too busy with work,” “I just wasted so much time on there,” or any variety of the above. Just don’t do it. Social media or see ya later.
2. Thou shalt trust your instinct.
If you think something weird is going on, SAY SOMETHING. 99.9% of the time you are probably right; address the issue before it gets out of hand and you end up crying in a parking lot with them for two hours.
3. Thou shalt not send more than 3 texts in a row.
Seriously, this one only leads to trouble and reeks of desperate which is an odor that’s almost impossible to get rid of. I will be the first to admit that I am one to send novels and get extremely upset if I don’t get a text back within a reasonable timeframe. Save yourself the heartache and potential embarrassment and just don’t do it.
4. Thou shalt pick up the phone and actually TALK with the other person.
I can’t tell you how many times things have been lost in translation through texting. I used to HATE talking on the phone but the past few guys I’ve dated have really been into it. A meaningful conversation at the end of the day is so much better than random pointless texts through the day. A friend of mine once told me that real men pick up the phone and call you, while boys text. That’s always stuck with me.
5. Thou shalt have non-negotiables.
I’ve been blessed/cursed with this gift to look over people’s faults and believe that somewhere they are good and at the end of the day I can help them. I’d like to sit here and tell you my non-negotiables are: no jail time, no addicts, and no people who don’t control their baggage. Unfortunately I’ve dated multiple of the above. I’m working on developing a list of things I won’t compromise on; I urge you to do the same and let there be no exceptions.
6. Thou shalt not stand for excessive baggage.
I had a good conversation with one of my best friends this week when she came to pick me up from the airport. She told me that everyone should take note from the TSA and control their baggage. I’m old enough to where the people I date are going to have some sort of baggage. We’ve all had things happen to us by now and realize that relationships aren’t all Disney-fied. That being said, realize that most people with excessive baggage have something else going on within themselves that only they can fix. Trust me, I’ve spent MONTHS trying to fix people who: a) won’t admit they have a problem; or b) have to do it on their own. Save yourself heartache and expensive bar tabs and don’t convince yourself you can “fix” someone.
7. If an ex is still in the picture, thou shalt SPRINT in the opposite direction.
You can still be friendly with your exes but by no means should the person your dating put an ex before you, still be an emotional crutch for them, or still be talking to them on a daily basis. This will never go well…seriously never, ever.
The only exceptions to this rule would be if they have a child together or were with someone for 5+ years or more; that’s a long time to not have some sort of bond with someone.
8. Thou shalt date people that you could potentially see yourself bringing home to your parents or at least to introduce to your friends.
I’m pretty sure my friends have almost never met a guy I’ve dated and my parents have only met one or two in high school; none past that. Most of this has stemmed from me knowing that the guy at the time has qualities or characteristics they would hate. I have my best friends/family in the world, but if they felt like someone was wrong for me they would have no problem voicing their opinions. You should (almost) always be proud of the person you’re dating and never embarrassed to bring them around. Otherwise, why are you with them?!
9. Thou shalt have trust, open communication, and no ultimatums.
I get this is kind of a three-in-one, but bear with me here they kind of all go hand-in-hand. I used to be hesitant in relationships to be completely honest with my feelings, scared of rejection and the other person’s reaction. I have been more open in recent relationships and it’s definitely paid off in the long run. When I’m feeling something I’m open about it, instead of just hoping that they feel the same way. Open communication also comes from trusting your partner enough to be able to be open with those feelings. Also, no ultimatums, once those start happening it’s all downhill from there. If you don’t trust your partner on something that results in an ultimatum it’s time to sit down and talk about what’s really going on.
10. Thou must love and know thyself first.
This is probably the hardest of all 10 dating commandments for me. As stated earlier I have a really good/bad quality of being able to look over faults in others but unfortunately not myself. It’s been said that we tend to be our own worst critics, which most of the time is extremely accurate. If you don’t love and know yourself first, it’s hard to maintain a sense of identity in a relationship and not lose yourself. My mom was always an extremely independent woman and though she loves my dad very much, if anything ever happened to him I know that she would be fine on her own and that’s because she knows and loves herself. I know that for me personally that’s what’s ended lots of good relationships for me; I lost my own identity and relied too much on the other person—oftentimes too soon.
And those are my 10 dating commandments! Keep in mind that I myself haven’t exactly (not at all) followed them the past few years, but going forward I think it’s a good base to start with.