It’s amazing to me how the topics of first-date conversations have changed from goals and dreams to all the things that have annoyed you about previous dates and relationships. Instead of starting the date off in a positive fashion, with the hopes that maybe this person could be “The One,” you start it off with an explanation of why you don’t want to get married, or at least for another ten years. You talk about how every man or woman is “this way” or “that way,” and question why people get married when the divorce rate is so high. Just today, someone wrote to me saying they are shocked that so many women on JDate are looking for a husband. Really? That’s shocking? Why? Do you think we are on there solely to find a new friend with benefits? I don’t think so. Plenty of options there! Why are some anti-marriage and afraid to take even two steps in that direction with someone special?
We’ve all heard people talk about how they’ve been burned. One friend recently complained he spent over $100 on a nice dinner for a date, and then never heard back from the woman – not even a “thank you, but I’m just not interested.” Shame on you ladies – have some class. Women complain among themselves as well, about how difficult it is to find a good guy. Just when they thought they had a great date and there may have been potential, he runs away. Why? There’s a good chance he’s jaded and afraid, and every woman who comes his way is going to suffer because he can’t check his baggage at the door from the previous relationship. This is not just men though; both men and women build more and more walls as they go through each heartbreaking or frustrating dating experience.
When I was younger, I used to hear that the older one gets, the more jaded they become, and I couldn’t understand 100% why. Now I understand 150% why. It is so easy to let every situation that doesn’t turn out the way you’d like to affect your behavior in the next situation. Frankly, it should affect it. One should absolutely learn from every interaction. However, what it shouldn’t do is prevent you from putting yourself right back out there, even though a thousand negative thoughts are running through your mind. I recently saw the new Idina Menzel musical, If/Then. It’s about a woman nearing 40 in NYC who has everything she could want career-wise, but not so much in her personal life. It shows how her life would have turned out had she made certain decisions verses others. I find myself listening to the soundtrack often, to such sounds as “WTF,” which talks about the stupid mistakes she finds herself making with a best friend in bed, but then basically says, why not give it a chance? Then there are the songs which talk about loving while you can, with titles like “ No More Wasted Time,” “Here I Go,” “Best Worst Mistake,” and “Always Starting Over.” Whether or not you like musicals, it’s a powerful show that teaches us to take chances, start again, even when your heart has been broken over and over and over again. Try not to let one person’s actions or a situation scar you from moving forward into a better one. As Steve Harvey likes to say, “you can’t see where you’re going if you’re always looking back in your rear view mirror.”
You can’t fix the past or make it go a different way, but you can keep a positive outlook. As much as you get disappointed, knocked down, beat up and walked all over, you must brush yourself off and be ready for the next opportunity to walk into your life. Be open to it, take chances. I know it’s cliché, but we live once. Make it count. Don’t have any regrets. Leave no stone unturned. Put your heart on the line because it’s the only way you’ll ever see if someone will take it.
Based in New York City, Michelle Jerson is a radio talk show host, reporter, and founder of the travel site www.passportromance.com. She recruits for a matchmaking service, and is currently seeking a few good men to join for free! She is also available for profile and dating consultations. Contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.