Men Are Not Dogs

Well this is a strange headline, huh?

What I mean by “men are not dogs” is that men, unlike dogs, do not need to be trained. Yes, they should be raised to be respectful and kind, but when you are looking for a grown man to date you should absolutely not go into it with a mindset that you need to teach him how to treat you.

“I can train him to buy me flowers,” or open doors, or hold my hand, or [insert task you want your dream boyfriend to do]. It isn’t your job to mother a man, and one really surefire reality of life is that you can rarely change another person. Sure you can tell someone what you like and watch their actions closely after a conversation, but you should never go into a relationship expecting someone to change a laundry list of things for you.

I’m going to share a personal anecdote to show how I learned this lesson the hard way.

I used to date someone I really liked, but our relationship just didn’t feel  very romantic. I am someone who absolutely loves the little things in life. I adore little gestures that say “I love you” like leaving each other notes, cooking for one another, and yes — I love chivalry.

Boy #1

This first person that I dated wasn’t into showing me he loved me in any of the ways my heart wanted. I remember even telling him at one point that I thought it was nice when he opened the car door for me and I really appreciated when guys did that; this struck a pretty strong nerve for him. #1 told me he didn’t know why in the world I wanted him to do something like that and that it wasn’t worth fighting about.  I didn’t realize something like this was fight-worthy, I thought to myself. I wasn’t trying to argue, I just thought it would be nice for him to know that I appreciated the gesture so there might be a repeat. Later I realized “the door” wasn’t really even about the door at all. It was about the pile of things I felt I wasn’t getting out of this relationship. That was the most one-sided relationship I have ever been in, and although I gave up so many of my dreams for this gentleman (huge mistake; I will write about this another day!), bought him presents and little gift baskets to show that I cared, and even abided to his wishes of talking to him less,* I never felt fulfilled in our relationship, even when he did.

This wasn’t because he was doing anything wrong, though. He just didn’t show love in the ways I need to feel loved. Back then I thought I was being kind by giving him “tips” on simple ways to love me in ways I understood better, but now I realize we just weren’t the right fit.

I want someone who will remember our anniversaries and enjoy celebrating them together, someone who gives me his time, and someone who is as kind and caring to me as I am to him.

*In hindsight it is hilarious that I once “showed someone I loved them” by agreeing to cut off most of our communication.

Gentleman #2

This second person is the complete opposite of #1. He is someone I’ve often wondered how I had the pleasure of meeting, as he is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met.

On our first date he was chivalrous, but this behavior continued seamlessly into our 30th date. He opened my car door any time we went out, always wanted to be the one to pick me up and take me out, and goes above and beyond to show me that he cares. He has written me letters, cooked complicated five course Italian dinners, and often called me during his lunch breaks just to say “hello.” This is someone I think is so incredibly special that I don’t know how I got lucky enough to meet him and see that many of the sweet little joys in life aren’t just “Krista things” that are unrealistic traits to want in a boyfriend. There are men out there who are a million times better than the ones you see in the movies. They’re real, raw, and far from perfect, but they love you so fiercely there isn’t any room for you to question where you stand in their life.

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Today’s lesson: Dogs are smart, loyal, and loving companions. You really can’t expect any human to measure up to this amazing animal, but wait for the person who does make you feel loved in the same way your dog loves you. This is a kind and selfless love with so much joy that your heart feels like it might explode.

Guys: What NOT To Put In Your Dating Profile

There are certain things that are red flags to girls, and I figured I would help y’all make your dating profiles just a little bit better. Here are a few things I have seen time and time again and hope you don’t have in your online profile:

“I’m one of the good guys. Everyone else on here is a tool and will use you.”

I don’t like this because the fact of the matter is that it’s just not true. I have been out with so many really nice guys who just haven’t worked out because of a lack of chemistry or things in common — this just makes it seem like you have trouble getting along with others. I’d like my future boyfriend to have his own group of friends, as that’s a sign he’s likeable and can maintain a relationship.

“Don’t message me if you’re just looking for validation.”

Okay, I get it. There are people who are on dating sites just there to swipe and never meet up. That doesn’t mean everyone is the same, though; you’ll be able to figure out pretty quickly why someone has a dating profile. If your plans keep falling through with the same person just move on to the next one!

“Not looking for a high maintenance girl.”

Let’s be real. Relationships do take some sort of maintenance and this makes me feel like you might really not be willing to put work into ours down the road. I’d say for a girl I am require a medium amount of maintenance, but I also enjoy putting work into a romance to make things special for my guy too. I understand you don’t want a girl who is going to take advantage of you, but that’s what going on a few dates is for — getting to know the person you might eventually become exclusive with!

“Only swipe right if you actually look like your pictures.”

Okay, I agree that you should try to accurately represent yourself in an online profile, but this just rubs me the wrong way. Most guys I’ve been out with have said they’ve had a similar experience with this in that a girl doesn’t look like her photos — I can relate; I’ve been there before too. It isn’t your job, though, to police these girls with your profile. If anyone is trying to be deceitful hopefully they will quickly realize they are only hurting themselves.

And if you go out with a girl like this? Be nice, and sit through a drink with her before excusing yourself. If you’re open to getting to know someone’s heart you might just make a great new friend.

“My friend made me make this account.”

Or any variation of “I only did this because someone else told me to,” or, “I know this is lame, but I’m not a typical ‘online guy.'”

This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest time-wasters on a dating profile. Why? Because I’m on here too, so I clearly don’t think you are lame for having an account. You don’t need to explain yourself; just tell me a little about what makes you you! If anything this statement makes me feel like you aren’t that into going out with people you meet online since you think it’s so silly.

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What do y’all think? Do any of you have this information in your profile and disagree with me? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

 

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

I decided to create a brutally honest dating profile to see what would happen. Some questions I had going into this were:

  1. Would strangers accept me the way I am — flaws and all?
  2. How would this profile compare to the previous ones I have set up?
  3. How might people react to the fact that I have a chronic illness?
  4. What would strangers focus on as “important” in getting to know me?

A way I could have made this experiment even better would have been to use photos of myself with absolutely no makeup (contrary to popular belief, men, I do wear some!) and gone into even more detail about myself. I suppose I could have written that I have a dating blog, but I wanted the responses to be genuine without people wondering whether they would be written about.

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Within 24 hours I got just over 100 messages, 576 visitors, and 796 profile “likes.” Thanks for that, OK Cupid.

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When I broke it down there were some people who clearly did not read my profile at all (I even compared some of these gentlemen with a friend who has the app and they sent her the exact same messages!), but for the most part people had sent messages crafted to directly address something I had mentioned in my profile.

I was surprised to find that nobody really got my reference from The Office (littledoglover), but I was shocked at how many people opened with a line about Pokémon, as they noticed the Ash Ketchum hat in my profile.

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No, that’s not the point though!
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Sigh.
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YES, you get it!

Some people asked me about my chronic illness, but it didn’t really seem to be a turnoff anyone who messaged me (Obviously there is no way for me to know how many people didn’t send me a message me because of it), even when I told them what it was called and how it affects my every day life. For the most part people skipped right over that and asked me questions about other things I had listed. Some enjoyed the pictures of my dog and I that were posted, others commented on the board games I liked or some of the goofy nerdier things I love.

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Hahaha, I like it.
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OK, this kid has me pegged.
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Good question. Step 1, be the banker. Step 2, give yourself enough money to buy a bunch of hotels. Step 3, win.
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This was my absolute favorite.

Honestly I think what guys liked most about this profile was how genuine it was. I don’t think I’d say I’m great at a big list of things, but I would say that I am always myself no matter what situation life puts me in. My dating profiles always have a strong reflection of my character, but it’s interesting that not many things change even when you throw in a little too much information.

Today’s lesson: If you decide to create a dating profile don’t try to be fancy, different, or stand out — just be your beautiful self and you will surely attract the right people.

It’s Just A Date.

I talk to a lot of people who really want a boyfriend but don’t think going on a bunch of dates sounds very appealing. This is a tough predicament, as I think the most surefire way to get a bomb bae is going out with a handful of people and then making an educated decision on who you should commit to.

Dating is essentially a numbers game. The more people you go out with the more crappy dates you go on, but the more likely you are to meet someone who is a really great fit for you. Think about it this way. If you go out with 4 people and try to pick one, you could find that person, but the chance becomes better when you up the number of people you go out with.

I’ve asked friends why they don’t want to spread out and date more people, and here are some of the most common answers I’ve gotten (And my reasons why I think they can ignore them):

“I don’t want to lead anyone on.”
Okay, I agree with this 100%; leading people on isn’t nice and doesn’t feel good when you’re on the receiving end… But honestly the first few dates you go on with someone is just a very surface-level “getting to know you” stage, so you can’t possibly lead someone on by agreeing to a first date with them, as there aren’t huge expectations from a first date. There aren’t many people who go on a first date and are immediately like, oh my gosh, she’s the one for me! If he does do that there’s likely something a little bit “off” and he should probably re-evaluate the way he’s approaching dating. A first date is really just very similar to going into a job interview — you ask and answer questions to see if you would even be a good fit for one another.

“First dates are so awkward.”
This can also be very true. The more dates I go on, though, the more I get comfortable with sitting through the awkwardness. “Practice makes perfect” rings very true for dating. If nothing else you are just collecting data about people and learning what you do and don’t want in a future relationship. There are so many different people in the world that you should know what’s out there before committing to something for the long-term and wondering then.

“It’s not fair to date a bunch of guys at once. I like to focus on one person.”
Umm, I don’t think a lot of guys look at dating this way. Dating around is a completely normal and healthy thing. This gets skeezy when you are exclusive with someone and seeing other people, but before you are in a committed relationship you are able to test the waters with a few people at the same time. Keeping communication open and honest with all parties is important, but odds are if you are going out with multiple guys at once they are doing the exact same thing with other girls. That’s not because they’re a “bad person,” but they, like you, are trying to find the best fit for them. This is great for both of you, as you want someone who will fully understand and appreciate the incredible person you are — sometimes it takes going out with the wrong people to appreciate the right one.

“The right person will come into my life when the time is right. I’m just waiting on God (or fate) to bring him my way!”
So. Much. No. I agree that God has a great plan for me, which totally includes a wonderful significant other, but just like my dream job a guy is not going to plop right into my lap out of nowhere. I have to put in work to get results and just because I am working towards a goal does not mean I am not trusting God to put the right people in my path to get there. I understand some people meet their significant other as a complete fluke and I think that’s totally amazing, but the vast majority of people have to put in some sort of effort to meet someone. Not only is it rare for a guy to ask me out organically, but it all goes back to the numbers game of dating more people to get to meet the right one. I do believe God has a plan for my life, but some of His plans for me have been things I have received as a result of an action I took to get there. He is so much more powerful than I am, and if I’m going in the wrong direction I trust Him enough to steer me back on the right track in a different way.

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All of this being said, the best way for me to date may not be right for you. What do y’all think? Do you agree or disagree with me? Sound off in the comments!