"Where do I go to learn to fish? Do I text back? Do I text first? Do I call? How long do I wait to reply? How many days should go by until I should expect to hear from him? What should I say? How should I act?"
We've all been there. Well, at least most of us have. Knowing the rules is especially hard when you jump back into dating after a divorce, or the end of any long-term relationship. It's just so different from the dating we do when we're young, with nothing to lose. It feels so much more confusing, and less fun, and like so much more is at stake.
But I have good news for Vodka Mom. She's already figured out all she really needs to know.
"I will not date anyone just because he might like me...I don’t want to be someone I’m not. I don’t want to worry that being who I am is going to scare someone away.... I want to laugh, smile or call when I’m thinking of that person. I want to text that person when I want to share..."
The truth is - dating does not have rules. Games have rules. If you're playing games to to land a rich husband, or find a hookup for Friday night, or just get some attention - then there are rules.
But if you're really dating, and looking for something real, then the only rule is to be the real you. I don't mean to make that sound easy - it's not. It takes effort and patience to learn who you really are and what you really want. It takes time to build the confidence you need to call when you want, say what's on your mind, and share how you feel.
If you do figure all that out, and stay true to who you are and what you want, then things will fall into place when the right guy (or lady) comes along. You may have to put up with meeting a few wrong people, but the good news there is that as long as you stay true to yourself, they'll be easy to spot.
Be you. It's the only rule you need.