Don't swipe right: relationship advice from a former single gal

I've been married for seven years and, we've been together for nine. I can't explain how I knew Jorge was the one. I felt it and, by our fourth date I was “there,” imagining myself spending the rest of my life by his side.  

Before that, the story was way different. I dated a few good ones and more douchebags than I care to count (not that many but you get the gist).

I'm by no means an expert; I made my fair share of mistakes, dated a douchebag who chased me for three years and when I told him -No, I’m not sleeping with you now” He bolted! I never saw someone run so fast, Usain Bolt like-fast.

My dating story is a regular one; I went for the boys that I liked a few times and, they didn't like me back. The ones who did were douchebags, or I wasn't interested. Once, I went out with a guy that was happy I didn’t call him my boyfriend, because “he didn’t believe in labels” meaning: “I’m dating you and like 57 different girls and, I don’t want them to get confused”.

It took me less time to fall for Jorge than to pick a good pair of heels because he had it all, and as corny as this might sound: I still remember how I felt the first time I saw him. Think about that; it's a precious feeling, even today when we have a dumb fight like: he forgot our anniversary or I didn't take the garbage out when I supposed to, I remember that moment. And today after seven years, six homes, three countries and countless perfect moments I feel like can shed some light in the relationship field.

Before you keep swiping, read this:

Never dumb yourself down for a guy

At some points in my life, I liked a boy; he was cool, was a surfer or a skateboarder or maybe an intense looking dude with a great smile and excellent music taste and, I dumbed myself down to carry on conversations. Don't do that; you deserve better than arm candy, you need to be able to share things that you care about as well. Jorge just called me to geek out about something that he knew I'd love and, that makes my day. I like having smart and meaningful conversations about life, politics and, even heated discussions about religion. Also, bear in mind that you want to be able to say conundrum without getting a puzzled look.

If you can't be yourself, do you want to be with him?

I see your side eye, and I'll raise you a Gilmore Girls binge-a-thon. [Pick your poison, I binge GG and Jorge lets me do it, it's a huge deal because he doesn’t like it, he has issues with Lorelai’s monologs, I know, blasphemy!]  

See? It's a fundamental part of every relationship; you won't change for someone else, you will do it because you want to, I'll keep watching my shows, talking way too fast and making him crazy and, he loves me despite that.

You're more than a fantasy: you're real!

Guys often fantasize about the idea of you; it may be “the hot girl, ” and the whole thing is about getting into your knickers, or “the cool girl” fantasy but, what if you’re not always like that? I do understand the power that gives you: you own him because you have what he wants but, that’s not always the case. Everyone has a silly side, a messy one or is a dork like me. A good guy will love all aspects of your personality, not just the physical or sexy one.

I’m not always perfectly put together, sometimes I'm wearing leggings while I’m doing photos at home, and dance like a dork, feel free to do it shamelessly, and he's there, smiling in the back of the room. Being in a relationship also means feeling free to be you. {and that means all of your sides}

He sent a dick pic, did you want it?  And, REALLY?

Dude you like sends you a picture of his dick. First of all, WTF? No disrespect to the male genitalia but, what has to break inside his brain to say: "yes, let's take a picture of my junk and text it to this girl." Girl, if that's the case and you got one of those without asking for it, run, the whole thing reeks of #fuckboi. That dick is probably used more than the seats of the NYC subway. If you asked for it, I guess it's okay but, do you need a pic? If you do, I want to know why. It’s not a dress, you know? Do you need to look at it? What’s the deal there?

In case that the aforementioned dick pic was unsolicited (like, in most cases) there are different approaches, but if I were you, my first reaction would insult the manhood. Bring it down! It doesn't matter if it's a 50 inches long schlong, you have to make him feel like that shit is tiny. Comments like: oh is that it? And “Aw it’s adorable, is that a throwback from when you were seven?”. Let’s face the music: you can't date a guy who texts you a dick pic; it's just creepy. Moving on...

It's okay to be alone and to have high standards  

"Bela, he's sorta cute, and we don't have a lot in common but, it's a date you know?" NO! This is unacceptable, first of all, you are better than this, you deserve awesome dates with someone you truly like. I'm guilty of this, after breaking up with my ex-boyfriend, I dated a super nice guy,  wasn't really into it, but was terrified of being alone, didn’t know who I was outside of a relationship. Looking back on this, that dude didn't have the things I was looking for at the time. Being alone is better than having a mediocre relationship. Learn to be with yourself first; you’re fun. I know it.

It's also okay just to be casual, don't feel guilty!

If you don't want a boyfriend (or a husband) and you want to keep things casual: GO FOR IT! I'm exhausted of the old school thinking of women are the whores of Babylon because they're dating more than one guy. It’s like wine: you taste a few before settling with your favorite. I know dating can be exhausting, but it also should be fun. Don't be your own party pooper. 

But, before pulling a douche boy on a nice guy: be open and honest about what you are looking for.

No, you're not an idiot magnet: douchebags are everywhere

This is something we need to discuss: you’re not a douchebag magnet! Here in the Bay Area, this species is most commonly known as brogrammer or “sales dude,” they’re everywhere, talking about their big salaries, their app that’s “it’s uber for dating hot chicks” (I’ve heard this, and I could feel my IQ dropping). And, they don’t want a girlfriend, they want a trophy. In this case: it’s not you, it’s definitely them.

A good couple is about love and realness

Jorge isn't perfect but, my life is 100% better than nine years ago. I deal with my issues, and he does the same. We keep on learning; we fight over whose socks are on the counter right now but, everything is better because of our relationship. I love the person I am in this marriage and, that’s priceless. I can look awful, feel like a loser and he’ll be my cheerleader and my best friend. He’s the person I want to tell good news and random things about my day and, cry over the things that break my heart; I can be every (good and bad) version of myself around him.