The Dating Diary: A 20-Year-Old's Tips On Humans You Shouldn't Date

celebrating life without you
With 4 years of (sometimes uncomfortable) dating under my belt, I feel the need to share with the literate world my experiences in the "minefield of love". In this week's diary entry you will find a brief and condensed history of boys I've been around, and my thoughts of who you shouldn't date.

Let me be very clear when I say that I am in no way qualified to determine the strength of another's relationship. All advice presented before you comes from personal experience and should be read as such. So here goes nothing...

Part One: Hailey's History With The Opposite Sex
Awkward isn't a strong enough word to describe myself around boys throughout my teenage years; more specifically high school. I had a hard time trying to read boys and was (& still is) a chronic over-thinker. I read too far into insignificant gestures and assumed that with just the right amount of outfit-planning, I could score myself a boyfriend. And I did. The immature relationship didn't last long but rather set the scene for my college beaus. 

Part Two: Hailey Thinks She Can "Fix Up" Anyone
For some delusional reason that is beyond me, I whole-heartedly believed I could transform any frog into my "perfect" Prince Charming. Because what girl doesn't want the boy straight-off her "Future Husband" list that she had carefully constructed during a Mia Maid's activity? And with that mindset I tossed my expectations out, because I was sure I could build up any guy into the man I wanted. Little did I know that people don't just change into what you want, or more importantly need, with TLC. They especially wouldn't change if it wasn't because they wanted to. So I spent a-many ignorant months casually dating boys that weren't close to anything I actually wanted.

Part Three: Hailey Tries Really Hard Not To Be Bitter And Finds The Silver Lining
After unearthing painful emotional deceptions, I vowed that I would become a better judge of character. I concede that I have marginally improved in the dating game, but am still far from where I'd like to eventually be. "Trying to find the good in every situation" didn't come too easy after my heart had been wrung out, so it took me A LOT of pondering and reevaluating to see any good. Now with valuable lessons learned and silver linings counted, I want to bequeath advice to those who'll lend an ear.

#1: Call it quits if they're wishy-washy about their feelings. Chances are they've got you on a leash, and only want you when their attention permits or they see you've become uninterested. Get outta there before you get tangled in a sticky-web of emotional confusion.

#2: Their time and FULL attention is the most precious gift. Materialistic presents are easily bought, but time together away from iPhone notifications is seriously the best. Take up time talking and really getting to know the person inside and out. A relationship should always be built on a solid foundation of friendship.

#3: Look for reliability. This is the tip I want to emphasize the most. Find a person that you can rely on fully and take their word without a shred of doubt. If they say they'll be there, make sure they are. You don't deserve fragmented trust and a half-hearted "I'm sorry" text.  A majority of my disappointment stemmed from broken trust, so I feel strongly the need to give prominence to a person's valid dependability. 

I could continue this list with more of my short-sightings and an inspirational quote or two, but I trust you to have better judgment than my own. Just know that you don't have to settle for a mediocre love.

xoxo hails.

top: A&F
shorts: HCO


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