Dating is a way to learn things about another person, but more importantly…to learn things about yourself! I learned valuable lessons about myself from every relationship…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are a few excerpts from my experiences.

Paul and I met in the summer…when romance was in the air! We had similar interests in pets and movies. We took our dogs to the park to romp and play. We’d go to a theater on a whim without knowing what movie was playing! It was fun eating popcorn, sitting in the front row, and just hanging out. That’s where the fun stopped. As we got to know each other, I learned that Paul couldn’t keep a job and always pursued get-rich-quick-schemes. I learned that I preferred men with steady jobs. When he couldn’t get a job he decided to go back to school. I learned that I definitively did not want a guy who was still trying to find his niche in his forties! Those things were deal-breakers as far as a long-term relationship was concerned. 

Then there was Joe. What a guy! We met in college and didn’t connect then, but ran into each other many years later at a homecoming football game. We were both single. We spent time sight-seeing, listening to music and yes, watching movies. We lived in different states, but when we talked by phone, we solved all the problems of the world! When I visited him, he took me to parks and movies in his town. He had a dog too. When he came to visit me, he befriended my dog and repaired everything in my house in need of servicing…without me asking! He said that he wanted me to be comfortable! I learned that I love a man who looks out for my comfort! 

James was extremely romantic! He called every day and we spent every weekend together. We married within six months of meeting. Here is the valuable lesson I learned from that union…see someone in every light before marrying that person. It’s like buying a pair of shoes in a brightly lit store. The dark shoes look navy. When you get the shoes home…in your room’s lighting, you see that your navy shoes are actually black. Did the shoes change colors? No. The lighting was different. I saw the romantic side only. That was just one light. Had I paid attention to other lighting like how he treated others and how he handled anger, I would have seen other colors/moods.

Here is a summary of what dating taught me about myself:

  • I like men who are deep thinkers.
  • Selfishness is not attractive to me.
  • A guy who knows my likes and dislikes is sexy.
  • No one has to be as romantic as I am, but he needs to show some expression of love.
  • All that glitters is not gold.
  • I am attracted to average looking men…who get better looking to me as I get to know them.
  • I am fine being alone if I am not with a well-matched guy.
  • Most relationships will not be long-term…enjoy them anyway.

The greatest lesson I learned from dating is to love me! That way no one can make me feel bad if things don’t work out. It just wasn’t a good match. It doesn’t mean that I am a loser or that he is. We are better suited for other people.