Monique Elise

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The Games We Play ...

I like to think of myself as a hopeless romantic. I love…love. I gravitate towards stories that tug at my heart strings and I live for a happy ending. I guess that’s why I chose to write my romance novel Dilemmas Of a Damsel in my spare time. That’s not to say that my own personal experiences were all rainbows and roses – because that simply is not possible. But going through heartache helped me learn some hard lessons about myself and what I truly wanted. Regardless of it all, I wouldn’t change a thing because it made me who I am today, and I think I’m pretty awesome (wink). That being said, I know some people that seem to have no luck as far as dating, and falling in love is concerned. Also, I know how easy it can be to feel like the cards are stacked against you when it comes to meeting someone that is actually worth your time. After a while, exhaustion sets in and you find yourself asking, “Why is dating so damn hard?”

You'd be surprised at the different answers you'd get in response to that question. As a test - I posed the question on my Facebook and the answers were quite intriguing to say the least. But what stuck out to me the most was how many people deflected and placed blame. Whether it was the abundance of “fuckboys”, women that don’t know what they want, or social media – no one owned up to anything they might have done to possibly make meeting the right one so hard. Actually, the dialogue proved a notion that I’ve had for quite some time - dating isn’t hard because of XYZ; it’s hard because we make it that way. I think we make dating hard in a number of ways, but I think there are some basic commonalities. First, we refuse to change our dating patterns but want different results. Second, we often don’t believe a person when they show us their true colors the first time. And finally, we love blaming everything on social media. 

Jade, the main character in my novel, clearly knows what she wants in a man. At a certain point in my life, I did too, but it took me quite some time to realize that what I wanted was no good for me. I made a bad habit of being with guys that I had no business dealing with. Time after time I emotionally attached myself to people and their potential. Looking back on it, all the signs were there - but I ignored them and reasoned things would change. It wasn't until my 27th birthday and another failed relationship that I finally started to wake up. Yes there are plenty of assholes out there, liars, cheaters, and "fuckboys". However, there are just as many loyal, respectful, ambitious and loving men who were eager to give me everything I deserved and needed. But for some reason I was attracted to the latter and I couldn't understand it for the life of me. That's when I realized, I would be my own worst enemy in the game of love. 

It's very easy to blame someone(thing) else for your mistakes, on the other hand, the ability to take a look in the mirror and accept your flaws requires effort. But that's what I did, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Because once I was honest with myself, I was more sure about what I actually wanted, what I brought to the table, and what I would deal with. My head and heart were clear and I was able to open myself up to meeting new people and making meaningful connections. Not a few months later, I met my now boyfriend and I couldn't be happier. I can honestly say that my willingness to check myself and change my ways opened me up to someone that I might not have appreciated before.  

Just because you like something, doesn't mean it's good for you. I'm sure addicts like drugs, but drugs clearly don't like them back! The same goes with relationships. Don't let your preferences or what you're comfortable with hinder you and your chances of actually meeting someone that you could have something amazing with. I know it's hard to accept, but you may be the main contributor to your hardships in dating. After all, love isn't a game that you have to outsmart - it's not calculating and strategic, it's simple and pretty straightforward. We are the one's that make it so complex.

Here are some things to remember...

1. Vibes are very much a thing...

Just like that. So see what type of people your vibes attract. That may be telling you something! But don't stop there, you should also evaluate the type of people that you CHOOSE to entertain. Do you have a tendency to always deal with  people that are irresponsible, or that have abandonment issues? There has to be a reason for the redundancy. Do some soul-searching and figure that all out before you jump on letting someone new into your life.   

2. Be honest with yourself...

This is vital. When you're honest with yourself about what you really want, you're able to sort through the BS much easier.

3. Have fun!

Dating isn't a rat race, love isn't a rat race. Shit happens the way it's supposed to happen and you will meet "the one" when you are supposed to. Just make sure you have your stuff together when you do. In the meantime, get to know yourself, love yourself, and enjoy your own company.  


What are some of your dating tips?