An Open Letter To All The Boys I Used To Date

Here’s a secret for you: I’m not great with relationships.

Scratch that. I’m terrible with relationships.

I never know when we should approach the whole “are we exclusive?” conversation, talking about feelings is tough because I tend to just crack stupid jokes 100% of the time I decide to open my mouth with the intentions to talk about something serious, and I’m not a fan of people touching me. And for some reason, guys get offended when you don’t want to like hug them or hold their hand. Weird right?

I didn’t start dating until I got to college so I haven’t been playing the game for very long (thank goodness).

In this short time I’ve been developing my dating skills and making a list, one that’s maybe a little longer than it should be, about what I want in a serious relationship.

I don’t have “a type” mainly because I think it’s a good idea to always date someone that’s different than the last so you can know what makes you swoon and what makes you want to put on your best Nikes and haul away as fast as your little legs can carry you. To me, having a type doesn’t equate to having standards and not having a type doesn’t mean you can’t have preferences.

I’ve never been close to being in love (I only even claim two actual relationships) and knowing me it will probably be a few long years before I settle down and decide that the thought of going steady isn’t icky.

While I’ve spent the past three years primarily focused on school and building a solid foundation for my career, I couldn’t help but experience more than a few things that give me hope for a great relationship later on in life.

No writer ever really hopes for an opportunity to write the dreaded “open letter to…” but sometimes the timing and experiences just feel right and you have to go for it. So here’s mine, an open letter to every guy I’ve ever dated.

The little things matter.

My favorite first date story involves a guy buying Sour Patch Kids candy at a movie and leaving what I thought was the empty box on the top of my car only for me to realize that he had secretly sorted out all of the red ones and left them for me because I off-handedly said they were my favorite.

It was literally the simplest surprise ever but I still adore the thought of it. Knowing that someone listened to all of my blabbering talk was great and made me feel like I was worth listening to.

It’s always a good time to dance.

Dancing is one of my favorite activities but most of the time my dancing is solo and I love when someone asks me to spend a song spinning in circles with them.

My sweetest dance on a date was spent two-stepping around a Kroger parking lot to old George Straight songs. It fulfilled every ounce of my southern girl dream.

Again, it was a simple moment but it still makes me smile thinking of how I felt in that moment.

You shouldn’t feel so fickle.

You know how there’s that saying that goes, “Don’t mess with someone else’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own”? Well, that’s something I feel like I should have screamed at more than one of my not-quite-boyfriends.

When it comes to feelings, I usually know what I want. I’ve discovered that you can’t always place faith in other people to be the same way, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try anyway.

I’m not your ex — or your rebound.

To me, there’s nothing worse than being told, “I’m just not ready to commit because last time I was in a relationship I really got hurt.”

The feelings by themselves are fine. I’m all about taking the time you need to get over someone, and I know that sometimes means dating someone new in a last ditch attempt to forget how you felt with your ex.

That’s 100% okay. But I’m not your rebound girl. I feel like I deserve to be more than that, especially if I have any kind of feelings for you at all.

I’m not set out on a mission to hurt you. Give me the benefit of the doubt.

Laughter is your biggest bartering tool.

I know I said I don’t have a type, but maybe that’s not completely true.

My type is funny.

And I don’t mean earning a few chuckles here and there. I mean sides splitting, tears running down my face from laughing so hard funny.

I always feel like laughing helps people connect. And it’s also really impossible to ever be angry with someone that keeps a constant smile on your face from their wit.

Charm is great if it’s sincere.

My friends all say I’m an expert at laying on the charm.

I’m also an expert on receiving it, if it’s sincere.

Charming boys are great and make you feel super wanted and adored, but that’s not always enough. We were all proof of that.

I’m not sorry for the things I wrote about you.

Let’s be honest, you asked for it.

No…you literally said, “Heather, will you please write something for me?”

So here it is, and no this isn’t the first time I’ve penned — er, typed — something with you in mind.

I’m a writer, thanks for the inspiration. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Leanne Surfleet / Flickr

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