I’d never give advice on where to go fishing, how to perform open-heart surgery or what ingredients should be used when baking a cake. Why? Because I know absolutely nothing about any of these things.
I think the same theory should apply when doling out dating advice.
I love all my friends, and I know everyone of them just wants me to be happy. But some of them are just better equipped to give me dating advice than others.
I’m a divorced, thirty-something woman with no kids. I own a house, a car, have some debt but basically live OK. I’m successful, college educated and like to have fun, but don’t really “party.” I love my friends, I love my family and I’m basically a happy person – if a bit sarcastic.
I want very much to find love – but I don’t want it enough to settle for any old imitation. I have very particular ideas in mind of what I’m looking for, and I won’t take anything less. If that means I remain single – then I remain single. I’m honestly okay with that; I like being single.
I can count on one hand (with fingers left-over) the number of people I know who are, or ever have been, in my situation.
My married friends’ ideas about relationships were formed in their twenties and early thirties, when the two people in question were finding love for the first time. They can’t relate to what it’s like to be going at this for the second time around.
These friends also think that marriage, a house, kids and a future are the only goal. That’s not true. In fact – nothing from that list is a goal for me. My only goal is love – pure, honest, respectful, passionate love.
I’m smart enough to know that love comes in many forms, and that I already have so much of it in my life. If I never find true, romantic love again – I’m okay. Which means “locking a guy in” isn’t what I’m hoping to accomplish. Marriage isn’t my goal; being in charge isn’t what I want; setting boundaries and expectations and rules sounds more like a strategy session at work than falling in love.
So a married friend’s advice, while very smart, practical, logical and sensible, often doesn’t align with my situation. Their advice is usually how to establish and maintain a relationship, and turn it into marriage. My situation is about finding honest, true love – without giving up who I am.
How do I do that? It’s really the only advice I’m looking for.
Where do you go when you need dating advice? More importantly – who do you want listening to you, as you share your dating horror stories?