3 Helpful Tips To Keep In Mind While Dating
by Keiyana McIntosh on December 21, 2022
Ladies, it’s that time of year again.
A time that puts sweater weather and the holidays in full effect.
A time to get cozy up near the fire place with hot chocolate with the one you love.
However, this season has me thinking about the who put love on hold to focus on their goals and are now ready for love.
For the second half of this year I’ve seen a common topic circling around- Cuffing Season, and I wanted to encourage my single ladies not to let this toxic trend lure you in this holiday season.
Now, I’m no stranger to Cuffing Season, but I quickly realized I brought too much to the table to be settling, and you are too!
With that said, I want to pose a question:
Are we so discouraged and impatient towards love, that we'd settle for less than we deserve through a meaningless companionship?
(Take a second and really think on it)
We entertain ideas like, "cuffing season," why?
Just to say we have somebody?
I mean I get it.
We watch everyone else’s love story fall into place, and question when it’s our turn to be boo’d up?
But I guess I’m wondering…
Why would any woman want to willingly lower her standards to be with someone that they don’t even see a future with?
I understand cuffing season has its rules intended to keep both parties from getting involved emotionally.
However, unless you’re a robot, anyone that you share your time and goods with gets a piece of you.
And you’ll wind up being cuffed alright.
Cuffed to yet another soul tie.
I know the dating game has been rough, and you feel like you’ve struck out on love, but don’t give up!
Sista to sista, we’ve played small with our hearts for too long, and I want better for us because we deserve better!
And the only way to get better, is to stop playing these toxic games, and be direct with our expectations of love.
So I’ll be providing a few tips to remind you of some things you've may have lost sight of .
Now if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a little curious on where the person giving you dating advice stands on the spectrum of love.
To say the least, I’ve been happily married for seven years!
Now, ironically my husband and I met eight years ago during said “cuffing season,” but that was the furthest thing from our mind.
At the time, I had been tired of kissing frogs and ready to find my king.
So I knew, whoever I decided to date next must be intentional to only ‘cuff’ a ring on my finger.
Luckily, my husband was on the same page.
And now I’m here to help you!
First Things First: Throw Away The List
Yes I said it! Throw away the list.
Understand that getting rid of your list doesn’t mean lowering your standards.
I heard a friend of mine say it like this, “you can’t find love in a list.”
And she’s right!
Most women have a list of the “perfect man,” but let’s be honest; no man is perfect, and our list can sometimes be far from realistic.
Sometimes we believe we want a certain thing until we get it, then realize it’s far from what we really want or need for that matter.
At least that has been my experience.
You would be surprised how love can find you once you release your control, and allow God to do the work.
Honestly, when I stopped trying to figure it out on my own, and surrendered my love life to God, is when I met my husband.
Cause let’s face it, when we do the choosing ourselves it usually comes back and bites us in the butt.
So, instead of putting so much emphasis on your ideal significant other's appearance, wallet, or tangible assets; focus on their perspective, their character, and how you they treat you etc.
Having someone you’re attracted to is always a given, but isn’t the most important.
Make sure the person you end up with has the heart of someone you could love even when the looks start to fade.
Let Your Expectations Be Known
You know how in business we say, “know your worth, then add tax?”
Well it’s the same when it comes to relationships.
You should know your expectations and set your boundaries.
A lot of the time we internalize our expectations, without setting the external boundaries to balance it.
When we do this, our expectations remain a fantasy in our mind instead of becoming a realization; making it easier for us to get disappointed because we’re viewing someone’s red flags through rose colored glasses.
The downside about voicing your expectations are that it doesn't guarantee that every one of them will be met, but it does leave room for someone to learn and grow in how to love you.
The one for you will set up to the plate instead of being comfortable in his potential alone.
Therefore, communicating your expectations upfront is essential because it’s a guideline for others to know how to treat you while weeding out the counterfeits.
Stop Ignoring Red Flags
I saved this point for last because it seems to be the root of most women's failed relationships.
The only reason we ignore red flags is because we lead with our feelings and heart too soon.
We get caught up in the smooth approach, charm, smell goods, looks and our “needs” that the signs get easily overlooked.
Before we know it we’re hooked playing wife as if it’s an application that’ll lead us to the real deal.
What I want us to understand is that ignoring red flags is a two-way street because sometimes we even ignore our own.
Most of the community of women have developed trust issues, insecurities, jealousy and the list goes on.
It’s been a toxic generational trait in women to believe that there aren’t any good men, but the truth is it’s something about ourselves that keeps attracting the same dude but in different packages.
Those things in itself show red flags, so in order for us to be aware of red flags in love, we have to first be able to acknowledge and heal from our own.
However, this can be combated if we were more intentional with guarding our hearts, self-reflecting, asking the right questions and observing the response.
In conclusion, I said all this to say that in the same way being an entrepreneur has its challenges but is worth the risk, so is love.
You didn’t settle on your dreams, so don’t settle with your heart.
That perfectly imperfect love will find its way to you, but remember timing is everything.
God will not bless you with anything prematurely, so don’t just trust the process, enjoy it!
Use your singleness to prepare by healing, growing, and learning.
That way when Mr. Right comes along you’ll truly be his good thing without carrying excess baggage.
So if you currently find yourself participating in the activities of cuffing season, the good news is you still have time to give yourself the best gift going into the holiday and New Year: a clean slate and reassurance that are you worthy of love!