Dear Me, 10 years ago,
Another late night hey? Flicking through your paperback copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – and armed with a neon pink highlighter. Your well worn early edition of The Rules has become a permanent fixture on your bedside table, and right now is doubling as a coaster for your second hot chocolate. You keep refreshing your browser, waiting for your Inbox to signal delivery of the eBook you purchased minutes ago online – the one that tells you how to have the most amazing relationship possible… (along with that other less intellectual title – ironically called How Men Think).
I know that you're searching for answers. I know that you are sick of meeting the wrong guys, and getting into relationships that just don’t feel right. Somehow you keep getting the short end of the stick, time and time again.
You’ve kissed some frogs, yet there is still no sign of Prince Charming. You can’t help but feel a bit gypped, right? A pre-internet adolescence reared on soap operas and romance novels seems to have lined you up for a young adulthood of confusion and disappointment.
You have asked for a sign - a bolt of thunder, a visit from a guardian angel - anything to let you know that there is hope for your love life yet.
Well ta-freakin-dahhh - here I am. You, 10 years from now.
There’s a lot of so called dating and relationship ‘advice’ out there (and certainly more headed your way) so I am going to simplify it for you. There are 5 key things I wish I - you - knew (and more importantly believed) ten years ago.
1. The warning signs are always there
In the early days of a relationship, it’s all too easy (and convenient) to disregard behaviour which should be regarded as a red flag. When you are twenty five, you meet a charming and engaging man who enjoys impassioned conversation and debate. One evening, you express an opinion that differs to his. He berates you, questions your ability to form a sound opinion and slams the phone down. He refuses to talk to you for several days. Your gut tells you something is off and you should find the nearest exit, but you are resolute in mending the relationship and end up apologising to him for no good reason at all. You persevere for six more months, hoping things will change, only to suffer through several more irrational temper tantrums. Finally, you end it.