I really don't have many single girl friends. I wish I did, so I would have more playmates to go out with. But the reality is that most of my best friends are taken, and so I've been left to navigate through solo-land alone. Sure I love bouncing advice and thoughts off people, but the choice is always up to me at the end. I have built up plenty of knowledge and my own theories throughout the years, but as we grow and evolve, so does the way we handle ourselves in relationships. Oh man, disclaimer again: I am drinking boxed wine in my bedroom full of Ikea furniture on a Sunday night. Take everything I write with a grain of salt, and a shot to chase it down if needed.
Here's what I think the world (of women) need to know:
1. Know your worth. You are worth AT LOT. We are beautifully made, smart and (I quote Mao Zedong) we hold up half the sky. So, don't let men treat you badly. Badly is being disrespectful, degrading, dismissive, controlling, and intentionally hurtful. Know the difference between that and a guy just being a guy (ie. busy rock climbing so he doesn't text you back immediately.) I'm still learning the difference, and sometimes I have to take two steps back before I can cool off and see that miscommunication happens. I tend to think that every guy out there is secretly plotting to woo me and destroy me. But seriously, if you meet a guy and he really isn't making an effort to engage you, he's probably not going to be investing in any type of relationship. Suck it up, and move on. Don't waste your precious time, girl.
I was/am such a daddy's girl (Hi dad!). When I was in my teens, he used to take me out on dates. My dad always picked me up ON TIME (more on this for the guys in next post), paid for our dinners, listened to me talk for hours, and would always call me back. It's set a certain standard for me. It's not hard for men to do, and I think every woman deserves to feel treasured and safe if she is with someone. That's why when a guy's idea of a first date is to invite me over for a movie at his place after 10pm, I basically tell him to quit being a bro and write him off. Don't put up with anything less than what you deserve, whether it's your first date or a three year relationship.
2. Give the nice guys a chance. They will usually treat you much better than the hot, shirtless guy who has girls hanging all over him on his Instagram. But really, don't scratch them off until you get to know them a bit. Chances are, they will be the ones who look at you like you're magic, and they will be the ones with crazy hobbies and will invite you to share their world. They will be the ones who are proud to introduce you to their friends and family. They are ambitious, secure, and ready to have someone to love. They are the ones who aren't afraid to plan out a future with you, and they are the type I will probably marry. Nice guys are usually average looking, nerdy, and have really great smiles. I dated a nice guy once, and I was so glad I did. As I got to know him more, his personality made him more attractive to me and the way he respected me built up my gratitude and love for him. You will find this type of guy on your sports team, at the bookstore, sushi restaurants, career summits, start up mixers or REI. And traveling, of course.
Don't date them if all you want is to feel worshiped, that's really unfair. If anything, that is the one thing that holds me back from dating nice guys…if they seem too engrossed with you as a trophy. You'll know if that's the case and if so, just gently…ignore them. LOL sorry I know I should say something else but I don't know how to handle this either. And this is unfortunately common for single girls sometimes. Sigh, friend zone announcement it is.
3. Go ask him out, dammit. Guys LOVE it when you make the first move. Why? Imagine being the one always having to throw yourself out there and risk a 50/50 chance of rejection. It's breaking an obnoxious norm, and makes you instantly wildly cool. I know, that means YOU have to risk rejection. But guess what, the chances of that are WAY lower than we think, and especially since if we ask first, they will be so shocked they will probably say yes. They won't say no unless they are already in a relationship, or, in my case, gay. That's right, I get kindly rejected by gay men often. At least they think it's flattering and adorable and I just feel stupid, not rejected.
Anyways, the worst that can happen is that they say no. You'll live. But success rates are extremely high and you'll start off with them already impressed. I know, because I am not afraid to ask guys out if I see what I like, which doesn't happen here though...
4. Enjoy being single. Let's be real. If you're single, it's not gonna last long. Think about when you've been in a fight w your significant other and it's going nowhere and you feel so emotionally attached yet drained and you kinda want to just die…and then you see your girlfriends frolicking along getting ice cream with cute guys. IF YOU'RE SINGLE, BE GRATEFUL. I have to tell myself this sometimes, but it's so true. Being single is a gift, it's a precious window of time for us to figure out our careers and try to balance life out and deepen our friendships. It's our time to become more of who we want to be in the future and to define what we want for our lives. This is our break so that we can catch our breath and enjoy each day at our own pace. I love being able to join my friends for happy hour whenever I feel like it. I love setting my own schedule for the gym, and changing my mind if I feel like it. I don't need permission for how to spend my money, I don't even have to shower if I don't feel like it! Also, single people that are content being single don't have to tell people they are happy being single all the time, because they are so busy being happily single. I somehow have the energy to do both, lucky you!
C'mon, give the nice guys a shot! We had a cocktail workshop at work on Thursday...
Would I have gone off backpacking with friends if I wasn't single? …well actually yeah. This is the Upper Twin Lake in Oregon, was here yesterday.