Happy Saturday all! I hope that you have been taking advantage of this gorgeous Saturday because it's the first day of summer! Okay, never mind the fact that some of us didn't really have the change to enjoy the Spring season outside of those rainy days lol. Honestly it felt like there was an incredibly long Winter season in Georgia and then the humidity just strolled right in. I'm rambling again, forgive me. 

I know that you've noticed the pretty interesting title of today's post by now and I'm going to assume that you may be slightly interested in knowing where in the world am I going with this. Well, if you had a chance to read my 10 Things That 2014 Has Taught Me So Far post then it explains everything that you need to know. After being in a relationship for almost 3 years with zero breaks, I'm a little rusty when it comes down to the dating world. Let me elaborate. I know exactly what I will/won't tolerate within a relationship but I am clueless about how to even attract someone who understands and respects how I feel. So, this series is here to help me navigate the dating world and sort of get back on the scene, for lack of better terminology. 

Earlier in the day, I went to see the amazing and hilarious Think Like A Man Too, I hardly ever rely on the reviews that the movie critics give because ultimately, the box office numbers do not lie. There were bad reviews on The Best Man Holiday and I know way too many people who enjoyed the sequel to The Best Man. Think Like A Man Too revolves around the idea that this time, there isn't a book to follow rules from. To see the different themes that arose within each relationship made me start thinking about myself and my dating guidelines. As the wonderful Morgan Pitts of c o s MORG p o l i t a n told me, I have to "make my own rules." Make my own rules...what a concept. Here I've been navigating the world of dating and relationships, shrinking back after voicing an opinion or concern that my previous partners found a problem with. I became too much and no guy wants an overbearing, opinionated woman right? Well, in my book, at the tender age of 22 going on 23, I say to hell with the idea that I'm "too much" or "not enough." 

I've tried to minimize my personality, my past and basically all of the things that make me who I am to stroke the egos of my previous partners and after stuffing myself into some ridiculous little box, every part of me is screaming for freedom. So, below you will find a list of things that my last relationship taught me. These are tailored from my personal experiences and my personal views so they aren't meant to be universal laws. If you happen to agree with one of them then great! We're best friends in my head lol. Here goes:

  1. GOD DID NOT CREATE YOU TO BEND TO THE LAWS OF MEN NOR DID HE CREATE YOU TO FOLLOW ANOTHER'S SHADOW! You know who you are and what HE requires of you. Stop changing for people who decide that in order for them to continue loving you or dealing with you, you have to be their idea of acceptable.

  2. THINK BEFORE you speak, especially when angry. You can apologize all day long but once words are spoken, they have a way of lingering in the atmosphere. Be mindful of what you're putting out there.

  3. It is more than okay to support your partner but you need to support yourself just as much and you need to be sure that they're giving you the same amount of support that you're pouring into them.

  4. If your partner is doing something that makes you uncomfortable, C O M M U N I C A T E with them instead of letting your discomfort level rise over a period of time. 

  5. TRUST YOUR GUT! Your instincts are there for a reason. 

  6. Be honest with yourself and your partner, always.

  7. Stop looking for perfection in the form of a human being or anything for that matter. Perfection is a man made word. 

  8. You, as you are at this given moment, ARE ENOUGH and anyone who insinuate that your past is a reason for you to feel small isn't worthy of your space.

I'm sure there are plenty of other lessons that I can pull from my last relationship but I'll have to save that for the next post. My goal isn't to center this series around my last relationship because the key is to move forward and stop focusing on why it wasn't meant to be. I'm not sure if you can see the pattern above but there is one. The first step to easing back into the dating scene is for me to fully accept myself and reject the ideals of my previous partners about who I should or shouldn't be. Step two will probably present itself to me soon after that. 

I hope that you'll come back weekly to catch the latest additions to The Chronicles of Dating in 2014 and who knows, I may have a few guest appearances who will voice their opinions on dating & relationships.