Dating advice revolves around people. Honesty, communication, chemistry – the concepts aren’t exclusive to romantic relationships, and I’ve spoken before on the blog about how odd it is that we break up with lovers, but won’t cut ties with bad friends.
The more I come to understand dating, the more I recognise common lessons for life.
In fact, yesterday, when I posted a new article on The Huffington Post, entitled “10 Things To Do While You’re Still Single“, one reader was quick to point out, that by changing just a few words, it could also be a list of things to do with your partner!
Last month I looked at the all too common game of Cat and Mouse. Guys who don’t ever intend to have a relationship with you, or even necessarily meet up with you again, but who keep stringing you along because they enjoy the attention.
It’s a trait I can now recognise online very quickly. I can sense the apathy, and rather than fight for attention, I simply move on to all those plenty of other fish we’re constanty being told about! It’s the reason I no longer make the first move on Tinder, and leave it to guys to approach me. I don’t want to chase someone who isn’t really that interested. It just ends up with me feeling rejected and bad about myself.
But the thing is, people don’t just act that way when it comes to dating. People play games in all areas of your life. And unfortunately the world is full of time wasters!
This summer has seen me leave a reliable 9-5(*cough*) banking job, to step into the unknown world of the entrepreneur. As I try to turn 30 Dates into a career, every single day is full of new opportunities. I’ve met more new people in the last six months, than I have in the other three years I’ve been back living in the UK. And not all those people are going to have a positive influence on my life.
In the same way that when you date, you actively decide whether someone changes just one night of your life, or months, or years of it, the same applies to people you meet in other circumstances. To your friends – who come into your life for a reason, a season or for life, and for people you meet in a business sense.
I’ve always liked the image of the radiator and the drain. Having met far too many drains in my personal life, I always try my hardest to be a radiator – the person giving off the positive energy, as opposed to the one taking it from everyone else. It’s an attitude which sees me working at my best. As if the hotter I turn up the heat, the better the version of me that results – like some odd chemical reaction. And whenever I notice myself loosing steam, the only way to get my mojo back is to actively turn up my own heat – the same way I did at the start of last summer, when I set myself the 30 Blind Dates challenge which led to this entire blog.
They say in life you should surround yourself with radiators, and avoid the drains. In friendships, the drain is an emotional one. But in other aspects of life, the drain can be your time.
Now, I don’t know about you, but my time is bloody precious to me! I try to cram as much as possible into every day, and if I waste my time on something, it frustrates me, because I think of all the other things I could have used that time for.
And sometimes there are people in life who are nothing but time-wasters. They’re not emotional drains, because you’re not emotionally attached to them. And yet they drain you in other ways. Maybe it’s someone you’re trying to do business with, who sends you countless lengthy emails, demanding lengthy answers in return, only for it to end up going nowhere. Maybe it’s that guy on the dating app who always says you should meet up, but never actually confirms a date. Maybe it’s the friend who cancels on you at the last minute, every time you try to meet up.
Before, those people frustrated me.
Now, I laugh it off, and mentally give them a label which makes me grin – #timewaster.
For some reason, the moment you can give them a label, the easier it becomes to deal with them. Or even better – ignore them!
And whether it’s changing a guy’s name on your phone to #timewaster, or ‘filing’ every email from someone in a special folder named #timewaster, I promise, using the expression will turn the inevitable frown the message causes upside down! 😉
There are people in our lives who won’t have a positive influence. People who appear, who do nothing but waste your time and your energy. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to spot them … but you’ll recognise them soon enough. And when that happens, don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them exhaust or upset you. Just give them a label #timewaster, and move on. Even if the only person who ever sees that label is you 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx