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Simply Solo Spotlight: Top Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Dating

July 24, 2012

Today’s guest post is written by Tiffany Addai, who writes Addai’s Little Black Book. Her blog is a fearless and funny dissection of this thing called dating. Tiffany is a single, 27-year-old living and dating in Atlanta who aims to have fun and learn from the mistakes along the way.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

Top Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Dating

Dating serves its purpose. Although there is no right way to “date” and anyone that says there is a big fat liar, I genuinely think knowing the purpose behind why you want to spend time with a man or a woman and being honest with them about it is the best thing for everyone. I’ve been dating since I was 18 and let me tell you, nothing has changed in almost 10 years. I still love to flirt, I still like the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of control is phe-freaking-nomenal. Control, you ask? What control?

Let’s be honest, women do hold a lot of power when it comes to dating, whether we know it or not. We dictate when and how and if we sleep with a man; we dictate in some sense how fast the relationship progresses; and we dictate when and if we break up. We dictate without even saying a word. But even with all this power in our hands, we still have a lot to learn ourselves. So here are the top five lessons I’ve learned in dating.

5. Men are not as complicated or intricate as Cosmo Magazine or our girlfriends will lead us to believe: If I spent as much time ASKING a man what he thinks of a topic or about me, instead of trying to read between the lines or asking my friend, sister, mama and therapist, I might have actually skipped out on all the agony of dating and have gotten to the good stuff. But I’m a woman, so I’ve got to make things as hard as possible. 🙂

4. Love is a choice, not just an emotion: Simply stated, there is no such thing as a knight in shining armor. Prince Charming has left the building and left behind a bunch of frogs, toads and other species. I’ve wasted a lot of time chasing the feeling and the chemistry instead of focusing on the person in front of me. If I went on a great date with someone who made me laugh til I cried, at the end of the night, I was more focused on how big his forehead was, or how he chewed with his mouth open, or this or that. If a man treated me like gold, I immediately put him in the friend category because nice guys MUST be bad in bed, right? After all this time, I realize that it’s me, not them.

3. No matter what I tell myself or anyone else, I DO think about whether or not he is the ONE on the first date, and you know what, I won’t apologize for it! Of course, if I told a guy this, I wouldn’t be angry if he ran the hell out on me! I am far from a creepy, clingy person, but this mindset allows me to quietly stick to seeing if this person has the qualities or values that I ultimately want in a husband, future baby daddy, etc. Being open does not – I reiterate DOES NOT – mean being accepting to any and everything.

2. Learning to follow my gut and the voice above has never led me wrong: A man will sometimes tell you what you want to hear, and sometimes we ladies just want to believe the best in everyone. But when I get that nudging feeling in my heart or that bothersome whisper in my ears that something ain’t right, I crouch down like a lioness and I wait to be proven right. I won’t snoop through phones or go through emails because whatever happens in the dark MUST come out in the light (and it always does).

1. And the number one thing that I’ve learned from the ups and downs and amusing anecdotes of dating: A MAN IS ONLY A REFLECTION OF ME AND WHERE I AM IN MY JOURNEY. Simply stated, when I was young, dumb, impressionable and looking for someone to fill this empty hole in my heart, I dated liars, cheaters and crazy folks. Although I knew I deserved better, my reflection that I saw in the mirror was so murky and unattractive emotionally and spiritually that I didn’t have the voice to demand better. I’m not saying that I will never encounter another unappealing prospect, however I’ve noticed as I’ve grown and became wiser, that even the qualities that I desire and receive in a have has changed. They’ve evolved and are now a better reflection of me.

Ok, your turn!! Tell me the top three things you’ve learned from the crazy adventure called dating!

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2012 8:54 am

    I couldn’t agree with number one more. I swear Cosmo makes most women over think everything.

    • July 24, 2012 3:23 pm

      I totally agree! I once had a guy I was dating interrupt me in the middle of one of my rambling episodes and say ” Sweety, what are you trying to tell me? You’re an articulate person. Spit it out.” Ouch but oh so true! I’ve always felt I should handle men like I do my girlfriends… tactfully, going around in circles trying to find the nicest way to say something, etc.

  2. July 24, 2012 10:12 am

    Hi, Tiffany…great post and great observations.
    My top things I have learned:

    Like attracts like and unhealthy has a special attraction.
    Online (for me) is NOT the way to go.
    Stop ignoring the red flags…no one is changing anyone.
    The waiting (for a decent guy) is the hardest part.
    Stay in the moment…stop wondering about the end game and just PLAY the game.

    • July 24, 2012 3:26 pm

      I heard a great advice once: “When dating, ignore all the positives, and figure out if you can deal with the negatives.” That’s been once great advice. I always got stuck on how niiiiice and sweet he was and how he called me when he said he would and how he made me laugh, don’t get me wrong, these are good qualities, but if you’re sweet to me and rude to everyone else, or if you are always on time, but you cheat on me all the time….uhhh… no bueno.

  3. July 24, 2012 11:16 am

    Number 4 is an absolute biggie for me. I’d like to add that love is a living breathing thing. It can grow and yes, it can die. It needs attention, it needs to be nurtured, tended to and protected so that it flourishes and if it is not given proper care and consideration, it can and will wither away, little by little. That is why it is a very much a choice and it is in the act of expressing those feelings that love is realized. The ‘feeling’ that comes with it…is happiness.

    • July 24, 2012 10:25 pm

      Good point. Love, as cliche as it sounds truly is like a flower. Often times we forget that!

  4. July 24, 2012 12:09 pm

    Loved the list and has given me more perspective, things that I’ve learned in dating is have fun. Fun in the sense of not overthinking or dissecting the finer details, its similar to what’s pointed out there. Loosing myself in the minute details meant that I can’t see the bigger picture.

    • July 24, 2012 10:30 pm

      Tell me about it! I am a big overanalyzer. Works well at work, but not so much in relationships. LOL. Over time, I’ve learned to just sit back and enjoy the ride and men love that!

      • July 25, 2012 10:33 am

        Definitely! I used to remember telling my friends about dating coming in a manual. Then I wouldn’t have to be confused with the technicalities and whatnots but I know now or in the process of learning is that it’s part of the experience.

        Enjoy the ride I shall.

  5. July 24, 2012 2:50 pm

    My three: First, you’re right that a man is a reflection of you and where you’re at in your journey. I would also say I’ve learned that men can tell you anything you want to hear, but their actions will tell you what you need to know. Finally, the things that are a problem when you’re dating will just get amplified when you get married. Don’t dismiss the red flags.

  6. July 24, 2012 4:03 pm

    Honestly, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately and yours actually made me laugh and think! I never realized the man is the reflection of where you are in your journey and that is so true with the man I’m dating now. A lot of people have tried to get through to be on this subject but only now do I truly see it for what it is. Thank you!!!

  7. July 24, 2012 8:39 pm

    My top 3 things (short and sweet):
    1.) Trust your gut
    2.) Move at a pace you feel most comfortable with
    3.) Don’t be a dating chameleon; meaning don’t pretend you do/are in to something she is just to have that “common interest”. Be accepting of who YOU are and what you like.\

    Also, thank you for stating #5. I’ve had female friends, and even girlfriends, who just didn’t grasp this. They were always looking for some hidden meaning, or agenda, in the things I (or other men) said or did. Drives me crazy. For most of us guys there isn’t any space between the lines to try and imply something.

    • July 24, 2012 10:35 pm

      Matt, you wouldn’t believe how often we women become chameleons for the men we meet! And the sad thing is, we don’t even realize it. We call it “being easygoing” and “just going along with the flow.” We’ve been trained to think that the men lead and we follow behind and if we insert our thoughts or whatever we feel into it, we’re over bearing, etc. Thank goodness for self-realization and maturity!

  8. July 24, 2012 11:45 pm

    I may not have learned all these things from dating, but they are great lessons for dating. and work when implented
    1) figure out their love language, to know what they like (read the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman)
    2) listen. instead of telling your date all about yourself, and how awesome you think you are, ask questions instead. answer your dates questions, but concentrate on him/her – they will love the attention
    3) complement him/her on anything and everything. make sure it’s specific or it will seem hollow, and make sure it’s true – if you say something that is not true or outrageous, you come will be found out and trust will be lost.

  9. July 25, 2012 3:40 am

    Number one is a real eye opener. It is so true, we tend to gravitate towards those who we think we “deserve”. So I would most likely date someone who would treat me badly because I have low self esteem and don’t think I deserve better.

    The one thing I have learnt is that we need to be happy and content with ourselves and the characters we are, and only then think about letting someone else in. If you are a mental mess, then inviting someone into your life is a recipe for disaster.

  10. July 25, 2012 7:25 pm

    Agree that love is a choice. But a choice that engages a person’s intelligence and heart. And sometimes that “intelligence” are a set of reasons we develop for why choose to love a person and welcome them into our life.

    We choose to fall in love and allow love to grow for a person. Or we choose to shut the door to someone for a variety of reasons.

  11. domesticdreamer permalink
    August 13, 2012 10:07 am

    One little truth I have learned through my ups and (mostly) downs: believe someone when they show you who they really are, the first time.
    Love the list, and agree on all points.


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