At a certain age, the single life stops being fun for some, and it seems more like a chore.
It can feel like holding up a mental score card after each dating experience. Maybe. Yes. No. Next. Hell No.
But there's a bright side to all this: In finding what we don't want, it's much easier to spot what we do want.
Over the span of three years, post-divorce, I started to figure this out.
Feeling like the modern-day Goldie Locks in search of something that's just right, I've encountered a few types of men and situations that were so wrong, but still so beneficial to me:
The Total Mismatch
The mismatch guy is someone who is the polar opposite of you. He could be a totally harmless nice guy.
But when you can't tolerate another hike in your high heels, don't care about dogs or nature and can't listen to Fleetwood Mac for another split second because you're more of a Nicki Minaj than a Stevie Nicks, it's time to call it quits.
You know it. He knows it. Stop being lazy in the dating game, and find someone who it just makes sense to be with.
The Narcissistic Womanizer
This guy blows hot right out the gate. Texting, calling, planning elaborate dates, swooning over you and flashing a nice house, car or a boat, he's very intense, so it's easy to get sucked in.
He keeps around a ton of girls — who he most likely met online — and you're the latest victim. You feed their ego for a short time, and then, they're onto the next and back to you again once they get bored.
Even though he sucks at life, dating him can be very valuable. He's the one who will teach you how to spot the guy who's only after one thing. Do not give it to him.
The Lit Frat Boy
He's good-looking, definitely likes you and has good intentions. Actually, he likes you a little too much, which you notice by the second date when he brings you an enormous bouquet of three dozen roses. You also notice he drinks a little too much.
Take this guy for a test drive, particularly on a night out with your friends, to see if he can hang.
I knew my totally lit guy was history when he charged $300 at the bar with my friends, asked to be in their wedding, attempted to get on stage and sing a song to me with the band and ended the night by getting escorted off my property at 3 am by my friends, while screaming my name outside my window.
Basically, don't date a guy who can't handle his liquor.
The Dork and The Horny 33-Year-Old Teenager
You know by the first date you're not into these two. But you're polite, so you suffer through the date with the dork, pretending to give a shit about atmospheric pressure and what kind of cheese is on the charcuterie board.
Tell him straight out you're not feeling it — it's only fair.
The horny teenager, on the other hand, is the guy who tries to go to second base with you out of nowhere, clearly missing the signs that you're not into him and that you also haven't liked anyone going up your shirt since eighth grade in your friend's basement.
Ghost him, please.
The Old Flame Who Continues To Burn You
We all have one. He's the "what if" guy you always felt could be the one, but you blame timing (over a span of, like, 100 years), which, quite honestly, is some serious denial.
If you can handle the pain, go for it. However, there are only three things that'll happen.
One, you will have comfortable, familiar and hot sex — lots of it.
Two, after multiple failed attempts at something real and after being hurt by him for the final time, you will have had enough and finally realize he is not the one for you. This will give you a very clear picture of exactly how you do NOT want to be treated.
And three, once you are done with him, you will never wonder, "What if?"again. He will be out of your system, thus opening you up for something real.
The Guy With A Double Life
This man has all the qualities you want. He's attractive, relatable, lives close by, grounded, smart, stable, works hard and there's a spark. You click.
There's a pretty good chance that there's some serious potential here, but there's just a few problems. He is always at work, like, at 2 am, 7 am, 3 pm and, damn, even on Sundays. Does he even sleep? Could he be a vampire?
He has no idea when your next date is going to be until one hour before it's supposed to happen. He calls and texts you all morning, but he disappears after 5 pm.
Something is up. You may never know what it is, but use this experience to know that flaking out on dates and disappearing is not acceptable, no matter how much potential a guy has.
Hopefully, there won't be many other duds you have to encounter on your quest for the one who fits. But don't give up.
All the dating wrongs can open up your eyes to what is right for you, and there's nothing wrong with that. You will learn what you are looking for, what you will or will not tolerate and, most of all, what you want and need.
Sooner or later, there's going to be a guy who shows up unexpectedly and is someone who has everything you're looking for.
Being with him will feel effortless, and if you're as lucky as I am, he will also be hot AF and never hesitate to take you anywhere and show you off. And most importantly, he will tell you constantly how beautiful and amazing you are.
Hang in there, girls!