I don’t normally offer advice, dating or otherwise, at least not prompted or without a whole bunch of qualifiers. I’ll start by saying I have no credentials beyond that I used to not believe in healthy human relationships, but 20 years into actual Happily Ever After have given me hope.
So here you go:
Talk your little heads off. Talk about everything. How you feel about sports, kids, trees, bees, pollution, politics, religion. Say stupid things. Say the things you think about worry about wonder about. Say the things you fear will chase someone off. Say the things you hope one day to share with someone who finds you charming, hilarious, valuable, valid. Say the things. Say all the things. None of this third date, fifth date, middle of the night drunken text stuff after one month or two or six or some arbitrarily set milestone.
Because yes, absolutely, someone will leave you.
Someone will find you not to their liking. And you’ll find folks not to yours. And wouldn’t you rather find that out now? Wouldn’t you rather know early enough that you can cut your losses and go? Rather than spend decades in a relationship with a stranger, rather than spend a lifetime with someone you feel is judging you, laughing at you, disapproving of you?
Because someone else is going to love you.
Someone else is going to laugh at your stupidest jokes if for no reason other than that you said them, eyes crinkling at the corners, lips stretching wide over your own audacity. They’re going to want to know about your dullest day at work and how you got toner on your favorite slacks. They’re going love your quoting song lyrics or movies. Or misremembering the lines of your favorites children’s book. They’re going to love your sleepy wonderings and your pre-coffee grumblings and your ramblings. My goodness they’re going to love your ramblings. They’re going to text/email/call you in the middle of the day just to see how your morning’s gone, even if it’s just like every other morning, and they’re going to tell you they love you because you should know. You’re going to go to bed like every night is a sleepover still talking and laughing about the same ridiculous thing you did last year or the year before.
Because you’re going to love all of that about them too.
One of the most wonderful things about loving someone is wanting to share the world with them and wanting to see the world through their eyes.
Talk on those first dates, those first texts or whatever you kids are using for first contacts these days. Be yourself. Make real connections or don’t. Cut your losses. Keep looking. Because the last thing you want is an UnHappily Ever After with a stranger who doesn’t care what’s going on between your ears. The last thing any of us should want is an UnHappily Ever After with someone whose mind we don’t know and love.