Often I’ll read or learn some new dating insight that will just blow my mind—and then be really frustrated that I didn’t know this valuable tool or strategy before things went sour. The wonderful thing is that when you learn something new—be it from this blog, The Rules, or Why Men Love Bitches, you can start using what you learn immediately. You can literally drop whatever your old bad habit was and resolve to do better from now until forever.
Be patient with yourself.
Just remember that you won’t necessarily get it right every time, but that doing your best to date with dignity is better than throwing the whole thing out the window and just doing whatever feels good to you in the moment. When you are just starting out in the rudiments of dating with dignity, rely on books like The Rules and Why Men Love Bitches to guide you through the process. Call and chat with girlfriends who date with dignity so they can pump you up and encourage you to date with dignity—not with desperation.
Do not announce your intentions to your man.
Even though you may think your boyfriend will be confused about your sudden change in behavior, men already think that women are crazy, so he won’t be that disturbed. There’s no need to inform your boyfriend that you’ve turned a new leaf, you’re a new woman now, you’re going to date with dignity, or any other such stuff. Let your actions speak for themselves. If he usually only makes last-minute plans with you, make plans ahead of time and let him know once and concisely without accusing, nagging, or dropping hints that you’d appreciate it if he made plans with you in advance: “I’d love to go, but I already made plans to go to the movies with my girlfriends. I really enjoy spending time with you. I’d appreciate it if you would make plans with me ahead of time.” After that, if he keeps up the bad behavior, just keep having other plans. He’ll get the picture eventually—or you’ll cut him loose for someone who will make plans with you in advance.
Stick to your guns.
You won’t necessarily see change overnight. Just like you built up bad dating habits, you created a monster who was used to those bad dating habits. As you work on dating with dignity, observe how your boyfriend’s behavior changes if at all. Give him two or three weeks to find his bearings. He will likely have no idea you’re acting differently for the first week. The next week, he may be confused but won’t say anything, and the last week he will likely wake up and see that he has to actually court you and be your boyfriend if he wants to be with you. If you find that the respect and attention your dignified dating style demands are still not being met, this may be when you need to have a talk with him where you clearly spell out that your needs are not being met in the relationship and you think it is time for you to both move on. If the guy bucks and sincerely seems ready to step up to the challenge of loving you the right way, consider whether giving him a second chance even makes sense. What incentive does he really have to change? Did he just not understand that you were serious before—or did he just not care? If you have it in you to stay with him and see if he’ll change, give him a week to prove it to you. If you still feel like a dating doormat, let him know it’s just not working out and move on to someone who you don’t have to tell how to love you.
Whether you’re married and feeling like things could be better, in a relationship that isn’t progressing, or single and dating multiple people, it’s never too late to stop practicing the bad habits that don’t get you what you want and start practicing the good ones that will weed out the duds and help you keep the studs.