My 15-year-old sister is new to the exciting world of dating and relationships and had a ton of questions piled up. Questions like,
Who should pay on the first date?
(which resulted in a heated debate on feminism, equal rights, and the world’s economy)
How much effort should we put into a relationship?
What if a girl makes more money than the guy?
How do you know if he’s the one?
And so on and so forth.
Being the big sister, I am expected to have all the answers. The right answers. But my answers didn’t make sense, and it led to even more questions.
That’s when it hit me. And what I’m about to say could potentially blow your mind away.
When it comes to dating and relationships, there are NO right or wrong answers. (bam! Are you blown away?)
It’s like asking
What kind of fries taste the best
How crispy do fries need to be
When’s the best time to eat fries
There are no ‘right’ answers to these questions about fries, because it varies according to each person’s tastes and preferences. For instance, some people may like their fries crispy, but I actually prefer soggy fries.
Bottom line being – There are no set rules on how fries should be consumed, just like there are no set rules on how relationships work. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily have to work for the rest of us. No one can really tell you how a first date ‘should’ be, or what type of guy you ‘should’ date, or what an ideal relationship ‘should’ be like.
Since no one else can answer on your behalf, the questions to ask yourself would be more along the lines of,
What do I like?
What would make me happy?
What type of person would I want to wake up next to everyday?
But in order to answer these questions, you have to do one thing : know yourself. Know what you like and what you don’t like.
But how do I know what I like or don’t like?
I can already hear my sister asking.
Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to self-discovery, and only through life experiences will you start to learn more about yourself and your preferences.
I know I don’t like curly fries because I’ve tasted them.
I know I can’t stand men who are controlling because I’ve dated them.
The tricky thing about knowing yourself, however, is that people change! You might like fries with ketchup today, but tomorrow you could discover that you actually prefer fries with mayonnaise. You might have to try 10 different type of fries before you know what you really like. But that’s okay, you learn as you go.
So, to my sister who is just starting her journey towards self-discovery : This is YOUR life. There are no set rules, no set deadlines, no shoulds, no rights, and no wrongs. Get out there and live. You will meet tons of guys. Most of which will help you figure out what you don’t like. Then you will meet more guys who will make you discover what you hate. But have faith and keep going. Because when you finally know what you like, you will find exactly that. I promise you.
Hehe this made me giggle having just discovered your fries analogies…I used to have a flatmate who used chocolate cake in the same way. But I’m a much more savoury kinda person so this rules!
So true… “The tricky thing about knowing yourself, however, is that people change!”
Love it! Similar questions to what i ask! Have a read of my blog, http://www.sayitgoodsayitright.wordpress.com
Perfect! I was just talking to my boyfriend yesterday about this very subject. Yes, I am sure he was uncomfortable. I used to read every dating/relationship self help book on the market. I had lists and rules and do’s and don’ts in letters, outlines, and questionaires. Then, I realized this very thing-there are no rules. You can decide who you are and that is all. I was so busy kicking nice guys out of my life for not meeting the criteria in Section Three; Questions Two thru Five that I missed out! The worst part was, I really thought I knew things about relationships and I thought they worked one way. Thinking you know things when you don’t is very dangerous to your happiness. I chucked all those books a couple years ago and I am happy to make up my own ‘rules’ as I go. I know I am not the same person now I was two years ago. I wouldn’t say I changed as much as I found myself. Gosh, I would wilt and die trying to cultivate a relationship via those books today! You are a very good older sister for giving this advice. Thank you for the great blog.. AGAIN!! You are an amazing writer and I am very happy to have discovered your work. It is always a ray of sunshine in my day.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, and i totally relate to what u r saying. Thank you so much for your kind words too, your comment was also a ray of sunshine in my day 🙂 glad you liked it and stay tuned for the next one!
I really enjoyed reading your post. I feel like that is excellent advice for your sister. There really are so many different varieties and not everyone will like all of them.
I feel like self discovery is one of those challenging life long journeys that will sometimes knock you down. And in those times, you just have to hop right back up.
You are absolutely right , we just gotta keep moving forward 🙂 thank you for dropping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
Your sister is one very lucky girl to have you to look up to and ask advice of. If more people could hear that advice, there might be a whole lot more joy out there. Of course, the self-help authors would be struggling though 🙂
Aww thank you for your kind words 🙂 p.s. please tell my sister what you just said, I don’t think she believes it.. Hehe
Dear Sister of the Queen: You are very, very lucky to have a wise and caring older sister. Clearly, she has been living a full life and learning from it. All of that amazing advice can help you immensely, and when you go on to make your own mistakes anyway, I am sure she will be there to eat ice cream and french fries and watch sad movies with you. You are very, very lucky. 🙂 Sincerely, Jen (maybe you could just pass along the message…since I’m not yet sure where to find her!)
Wow you actually did !! How sweet 🙂 thank you so much !! You’re amazing ! Look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂
🙂 Same here!