by Maria Schulz
I was driving to work the other day when Pink’s latest single, True Love, came on the radio. The lyrics are amusing and while not exactly romantic, at times true:
At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You’re an a***ole but I love you
And you make me so mad I ask myself
Why I’m still here, or where could I go
You’re the only love I’ve ever known
But I hate you, I really hate you,
So much, I think it must be
True love, true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like
True love, true love,
It must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you
Once the song ended, the DJs introduced a “Love Expert” who told listeners how to find true love. I always enjoy these radio spots, mostly because the so-called “Expert” usually has 12 cats and is not currently in a relationship of any kind. Still, you can always learn something from other people. So, here’s a mix of her dating rules and my hard-won “soul mate” wisdom.
The 9 Rules to Take You from First Date to Soul Mate
1. Get out of the house. Even if you’re dating online, you need to get out and meet people.
Really? Sorry folks, but this one’s a no-brainer. If you don’t realize that 99.9% of every dating profile is absolute hooey, then you might like to buy this great bridge I have for sale.
2. Don’t ignore the things you hate about the other person. They won’t go away, no matter how much you hope they will.
Let me ‘splain this one.
Let’s say your date is gorgeous, funny, financially stable, mentally stable, and has perfect manners. However, he/she has more annoying tics than you have fingers and toes, and you two have zero chemistry. You should:
a) Marry him/her immediately
b) Go to the bathroom and climb out the nearest window
c) Tell him/her there’s no love connection, but you have a friend he/she might like (people on dates love to hear that!)
d) Promise to call but never speak to him/her again
e) Thank him/her for a lovely evening but tell them that you don’t see this going anywhere
3) Get your priorities straight
Let’s say your date is kind, generous, and friendly. He is okay looking but not your usual type. You should:
a) Have an actual conversation to see how many things you have in common
b) Rule him out because you were hoping for Brad Pitt and you got Homer Simpson
c) Give him a chance since you probably don’t look like Angelina Jolie
d) Go to the bathroom and climb out the window.
Answer: A, C & possibly D
4) Know what your limits are, and when to bail out.
Now, let’s say your date shows up and you realize that he/she may be an axe murderer. Also, the photo on their online profile bears no possible connection to the cretin sitting before you. You should:
a) Go to the bathroom and climb out the window
b) Sit in the parking lot until he/she arrives, then drive away
c) Be gracious enough to meet him/her like you promised, because even axe murderers have feelings
d) Sit down and share a meal with him/her, because you can’t judge a book by its cover
e) Sit down and wait for your “fake” emergency call to come through
Answer: Definitely A, probably B, and maybe E
5) Ask trusted family and friends to help you find true love.
The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Why on earth would I ever do that?” Your family and friends already know you’re available, and they are probably bombarding you with possible mates. Why invite them to do it?
If you choose to do this, make sure you check out the bathrooms in the places you propose to meet. You will need a big window and a short drop to the ground in order to escape.
God forbid you don’t have wedding plans with their “find” by the end of Date #1. Do you really want to be responsible for another broken heart? (Theirs—not your date’s). Chances are she’s/he’s scoping out the bathroom windows too.
If you need to find someone suitable, go the hell outside (see #1, above).
6) When you do find your soul mate, accept them as they are.
So what does this really mean? Let’s say you meet someone who is kind, considerate, and wonderful in every way. However, there are several traits of his/hers that you would like to change immediately. You should:
a) Approach him/her like a DIY project, and gut them from top to bottom, in order to build a better partner
b) Proceed slowly, fixing the worst parts first
c) Look in the mirror and fix your many shortcomings, before he/she runs for his/her life
d) Accept him/her for who he/she is, and shut up.
7) Never dictate your partner’s attachments to family/friends
The person who says, “I’m not marrying my husband’s/wife’s family” has obviously never been married. Of course you’re marrying them! Plan on seeing them constantly if you live close enough or if they have lots of miles from their credit card. Also, get ready to split every single holiday—from New Year’s Day to Flag Day to New Year’s Eve and back again, because your in-laws will expect to see you there whether you like it or not.
As far as his or her friends go, if he/she has been friends with someone for years, why should they sever the relationship just because you say so? You may not love their friend, but you love him/her, right? So be pleasant, smile a lot, and shut up already.
8) When you become parents, you should always carve time out for each other and remember to thank your partner every single day
Again, let me ‘splain this one.
Husbands: Now that your wife is a brand new mother, she probably doesn’t have time to do anything but hold her crying baby and dream of her child-free years. You may sometimes look at her and wonder what happened to that beautiful, funny, sexy girl you fell in love with, and when she was replaced with a homeless fat lady who wears baggy clothes and has spit up running down her back. Don’t, I REPEAT DON’T, ever say things to her like: “Have you taken a shower today?”
This will surely lead to disaster, especially if you’ve just returned from a business dinner with clients that included a leisurely day of golfing followed by a lobster bake and cocktails. Chances are, your wife looks like this because YOUR BABY screamed for 14 straight hours (the duration of your day out). Want to hear your wife scream for 14 more? Ask her that question again.
If the roles are reversed and Dad stays home with the kids, wives: don’t walk through the door and start harassing him because he doesn’t do things your way. Just thank your lucky stars that he is doing it, smile and shut up.
WIVES/HUSBANDS: don’t get mad at your partner if you call him/her in the middle of the workday to talk and he/she seems distracted. It’s not that your blow-by-blow account of all of the charming things Little Johnny’s been up to isn’t riveting. It’s just that your sweetheart is up to his/her eyeballs with work and really couldn’t care less that Cookie Monster just came out with a new video.
Cookie Monster spoofs Icona Pop’s “I Love It”
P.S. about that carving time out for each other and saying thank you: forget it. Chances are good you won’t actually be spending time together alone or hearing the words “thank you” for another 10 years. This isn’t a chick flick, after all.
9) Always remember, your spouse was here first, and you hope he/she will be there once the children leave the nest
No kidding? Sometimes, the blinding fog of parental stress clears and you say, “who the hell is that standing there?” Then, if you’re really lucky, you remember: that, my friends, is your soul mate…the one you were so thrilled to find all those years ago.
Parenthood is a job that’s supposed to make you obsolete eventually. Yes, I assure you, one day your child will grow up and leave. Why not put all that pent up, helicopter-parenting energy into your relationship with your spouse?
As for me, I am happy to be on the other side of first dates, searching for my true love, those numbing days of early parenthood, and with big kids who are nearing the time when they will someday say, “Get lost, old lady.”
I heard another radio “survey” on love the other day. That day, the DJs said they polled people to ask how they would describe their partner in one word. The big “winner” of the day? STUBBORN.
I don’t think I could find one word to describe my husband, but here are a few: Funny. Handsome. Charming. Beloved. Loyal. Dedicated. Kind. Soulmate. Oh yeah, and Stubborn. I’m really happy to see the mists of early parenthood clearing, only to find my spouse standing right there. He is still exactly as he was when I saw him for the first time 100+ years ago, minus the skinny ties and oversized 80s glasses. And he’s all mine!
My husband still knows that when faced with a crisis situation, he should head straight to White Castle and bring home cheeseburgers for me. He still knows how to make me laugh so hard, I might shoot soda through my nose. He knows just when to step in and get the kids to stop fighting in order to keep my head from exploding. He also knows to send me flowers on Valentine’s Day, our Anniversary, and sometimes just because. I know most people don’t put some of the things I just mentioned high on their “Must Have” lists, but romance and sweet talk can only get you so far.
Boy am I glad I got to star in my own chick flick.
Almost White Castle Hamburgers
I don’t eat as much White Castle as I used to, but this recipe lets you mimic the taste in a slightly healthier version (it’s always healthier when you cook it at home).
So, Hungry Lifers: if you could give some dating or marriage advice, what would it be? What’s the funniest thing a date/spouse ever did or said to you? What’s your “crisis situation” food?
Please leave a comment and let us all know! Thanks!