I’m a rule follower and proud of it.  When someone gives me rules, I’m Kantian in that I willfollow then. Makes me great student, and also slightly  neurotic when it comes to dating. Turns out even for the best rule followers, rules can be exhausting. I’m so tired of following rules, especially the self-imposed ones. I do it all the time. Sometimes I make rules for the day before I even get out of bed (apparently yes, I am that happy-go-lucky). The rules of dating I find to be the most ridiculous. I’ve read soooooo many books, I figure there must be something I am missing. Why else would there be so many books if there weren’t a ton of information needed in order to date successfully. Like any ambitious woman who likes to take control of her life, I have to prepare.

However, all thedating rules, and expectations really just support us not being okay with being in theuncertainty in the beginning of relationships. Myself included. I believe if Ican read enough books, get enough advice, then magically it will work out. Asif there’s a set formula for success. The books help us somehow cope with theuncertainty –  believing if we have moreknowledge we can then “figure out” how to make it work. That’s the funny thing,I know I could be happy with a lot of people… especially maybe if I doeverything by the book: be a lady, don’t ask about where things are going,don’t talk about sex, don’t talk about politics, don’t stalk him if he hasn’tcalled. I get it – have my own life and don’t make it revolve around him. Wherein these rules do I get to stand up for myself and demand what I want withoutbreaking the rules? What do I want, you might be thinking? Wouldn’t you like toknow…;) (she says with  a coy smilesuggested in the book “Why Men Like Bitches”)

Here are the ones I hear in the back of my mind constantly:
1. Don’t talk about sex, politics, or past relationships on a first date.
2. Don’t be available for last minute dates, expect him to plan ahead and he will.
3. Don’t ask if he thinks you’re fat…ever.
4. Don’t constantly call or text him, pick up the phone…or make him pick it up.
5. Let him be touch, and if he calls don’t pick up right away.
6. The list goes on, but I’m already tired of them.

Turns out what I’m actually missing is not to listen to the rules!? I don’t want to approach something as fun as meeting someone as a task, although it certainly feels that way sometimes. I like some of the rules, they serve their purpose; however, others make me feel slightly uncomfortable. I have to be available, and yet  not available. Mysterious and yet kind. Times have changed for the better, and I also want to remember all of it is up for negotiation. From here on out I’m playing by my own rules which will mostly just consist of remembering what I deserve and not sharing too much too soon (gulp, difficult for an overcommunicator).

And these books and might help at some point. But believing a book can provide the answers for coping with the uncertainty of dating leaves a lot to be desired. Such as even not having rules.So, maybe he isn’t that into me…or maybe I’m not bitchy enough…or too Venusian. Rules have a time and a place, and in my head when I’m trying to get to know someone authentically isn’t one of them. Instead of spending time reading books, it seems more important to reflect on myself and the ways I get in my own way…rules being one of them. So, here are the dating rules taylored just for me:
1.Be receptive, allow someone to give to you…maybe even buy  you dinner!?
2. Don’t have to prove to anyone, or yourself how good you are at being alone.
3. Be open to whatever lessons come your way from this person, your job is to hear them.

Today I’m grateful for Kabuki Spa, rose petals, and free wifi.


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