Saturday, February 8, 2014

Deal Breakers I wish I had when I was Single

After I wrote about my deal breakers that I had when I was single, I got to thinking about the deal breakers that I would make if I could go back and have a good long talk with myself.

Deal Breaker 1: Dating for the Sake of Dating
When I heard this phrase "dating to marry," I thought the idea was crazy.  Why in the world would I want to date someone with the sole intention of marrying them? That sounds like a whole pot of crazy that I would be sloshing around. Hello, I'm Kim and this date will determine if you're a good husband select.  However, there is some method to this madness.  I read this completely ratchet article on women that had the saltiest delivery of information that I had ever read but also offered nuggets of wisdom. It did provide one golden egg and that was that if you're dating for the sake of dating, you're going to be with people for only 3-4 months and that's it.  You're literally there for the physical aspects and that's it.  

While I was going through the Air Force ROTC program, I realized through my own observations and the constant message from guest speakers that your spouse would be a key contributor to your career.  I saw many folks in healthy, long-term relationships and I had a hard time keeping long term relationships myself.  It caused me to think that I wasn't going to find a boyfriend in college that was going to keep a relationship, especially with an Air Force career and distance. So I started dating because I didn't want to be lonely and there were tons of really cute guys.  Why not?  Well it became a problem because we would date for a couple months, realize it wasn't really working or it was just existing and then drop it.  But it didn't stop there. A couple months later we'd start talking again and pick it back up.  However, nothing changed for either party in the relationship and it would drop again.  The reality is that God has a plan for you and you can date other people but then you're investing your heart, time, and energy into something that you know isn't going to work.

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I would consistently run into the same problems. I liked him more than he really liked me or he liked me way more than I liked him.  I also found myself with a guy for the sole reason that I thought he was hot.  There were so few things in common with each other that we might as well have been strangers.  During all of that time, I could have invested myself into other programs, my goals or developing a better relationship with the Lord (I accomplished a ton already in college, but imagine what else I could have accomplished in that time).  God has a life plan for you and it may or may not include a life partner, but you don't have to get caught up in the idea that I need someone to be happy.  It wasn't until my other momma, Ruth, told me to focus on being happy because great people are attracted to happy people did I realize that message.  I needed to work on myself first, not get so caught up on what was going on around me, and things will fall into place.

Deal Breaker 2: Is he really that interesting when he's not in a frat house basement?
The really great thing about universities is that you have a bunch of young people (or older folks) who are throwing themselves out there to obtain their goals and ambitions. There are a lot of smart, attractive, and successful people e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  I feel like the term plenty of fish in the sea was developed for people in college because it's very applicable.  Despite all of these successes, when you mix alcohol, youth, and tight clothes- every perspective becomes skewed. Now I'm not hear to lecture anyone on participating in any of the above behaviors because honestly, I'm rather proud that I could fit into all of these itty bitty clothes and look good.  However, it's fun to meet people at these places and fun parties, but it's better to meet them outside of an environment that isn't tailored to perfection. I see a fraternity basement party as like an episode of The Bachelor, which is a laughable notion, I know. But you've got guys, usually significantly outnumbered by beautiful young women, and these ladies are vying for their attention in gorgeous party clothes.  These ladies aren't rocking a messy top knot and sweats, they spent time on their hair, makeup, etc.  The guys made some semblance of an effort, usually planning a party.  It's not very realistic when it comes to the day-to-day.  Once you put that guy at a library at 2 am studying or a girl working as a waitress to get through school, that's just us as normal people. There's always that awkward moment when you're in a class with someone and you recognize them from a party but don't really know them.  For me, some of those very people would later become good friends of mine, but I can tell you right now that I didn't marry any of them.  I wish college Kim would have gotten to know a person through coffee dates instead of dance moves and shots.  It would have also helped me learn a lot more about some guys who would really put me into unhealthy relationships.

Deal Breaker 3: If he doesn't treat you well now, he most certainly won't later.
From my perspective, I think this is the hardest thing for young women to grasp.  I'm not sure if it's the idea that we can change someone that makes it so difficult or if we are innately too trusting of others. Whatever it is, I think it's important to get out there that if a guy doesn't respect women and treat them well, he isn't going to magically treat you well later.  A ring, a wedding, a kid- none of that changes for sure.  If you're even thinking of exploring a relationship with someone, you deserve to start with a fairly balanced slate.  If it's tipped in his favor, you're going to get screwed over in the end and heartbroken.  If he's a player or legitimately a bad boyfriend, it's not your job to change him. It's his job to get his shit together.  Don't be with someone who has those kind of problems because he won't treat you well, you'll wonder why, and he simply will not give a damn.  It is literally so incredibly frustrating.

Pinterest Sourced Picture
Deal Breaker 4: Does he understand how to court a lady?
I don't think the young men of my generation understand how to court a lady. I went on so few dates in college in comparison to how many guys made passes at me, that it's embarrassing.  To me that says I don't want to invest the time nor energy in getting to know you, so the alternative is to see if you'll make out with me or  do anything else physical.  I find this to be such a shame.  There is such an art to courting and it doesn't have to be a Nicholas Sparks novel but boys don't have to try nearly as hard as they used to, to get a lady's attention.  I'm not saying that I helped this by any means.  I wish I established those expectations and kept them throughout college because I think that young women deserve to be taken out on actual dates and treated with dignity and respect.  Even being married, there are certain things that go completely above Ryan's head because he and his peers were never put into a position where they had to make a strong, concerted effort to be gentlemen.

Deal Breaker 5: Could I see myself having a baby with this guy?
This deal breaker is actually really personal for me and I know this is stirring the pot of crazy but this was a moment that happened to me in college.  In order to get any type of birth control prescription, you are asked a series of questions like when you last had sex or when you had your period.  Well I hadn't had my period yet and I had sex so I had to take a pregnancy test before I could have a certain birth control prescribed to me.  Although I knew I wasn't pregnant, the thought floated in the back of my mind and a very blatant question came up in my life. Would I want to have a baby with this guy?  The answer was no.  I liked him and he was successful, very smart, talented, the whole kit and kaboodle. On paper he was a really awesome guy but I knew I didn't want to have a family with him. So then that raises other questions like if I was pregnant, could I count on him? It also made me question my intentions with him.  If I had no desire of a future with him, then why was I with him?  The relationship quickly ended after that for additional reasons, but this deal breaker was something that faltered throughout my college experience.  I think the worst is when you've committed yourself to someone thinking that they're great and you're asking yourself those important questions and then they let you down.  Sometimes it's not even them, you just have physical desires that seem completely out of place once you get down to those values and start asking yourself those questions. 

Deal Breaker 6: What are his ambitions and life goals looking like?
Don't get caught up in how pretty the picture looks.  A lot of the guys I dated in college looked amazing on paper (and in person) and are very successful today.  However, our life goals, ambitions, and values often were very different.  I briefly dated a football player who would go on to play football professionally.  We definitely were not headed in the same direction but shared the same values.  I also dated another guy who I was madly in love with but wasn't going anywhere with his life.  Now that was a sad story.  If he isn't getting his on life on track, you can't stay with him because you're constantly going to be leading someone who is old enough to lead himself.

Well there you have it.  Six deal breakers that I wish I had or used more frequently throughout college. What are some deal breakers that you wish you had?

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