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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Dating Intuition

Most every single person endeavoring to either find more people to spend time with or who is serious about finding a life partner have heard of the female guide-book, The Rules, the “male” perspective, He’s Just Not that Into You, and now, Dr. Phil’s Love Smart.

The fact of the matter is, while most guide-books can offer sound dating advice, each person and situation is a bit different, so trying to apply a rote situation to your own life often smacks of trying to put a round peg into a square hole. If you ever expect that peg to fit, you have to scale the edges on it first. The same holds true in using advice from someone; you have to adjust it to a given particular situation.

Consider the Source
Interestingly, just before Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work, (one of the follow-up books to the wildy successful The Rules), was released; one of the co-authors, Ellen Fein, was planning to become divorced. Citing "abandonment" as grounds for divorce in a claim filed in New York, apparently, Ms. Fein planned to use the advice from The Rules to find her next husband. Relationship guru John Gray, of the Venus and Mars series, was relationship guru Barbara De Angelis's third husband. John Gray and Barbara De Angelis continued putting on relationship seminars, infomercials, and selling books and tapes even after their divorce. As a rebuttal to The Rules, Ms. De Angelis published The Real Rules: How to Find the Right Man for the Real You, which begins: When I was a little girl, I believed that the happiest day of my life would be my wedding day." (Apparently, she still believes this, as she is alleged to be on her fifth marriage).

What the above demonstrates, is that even the so-called “relationship experts” have difficulty following their own guidelines, so that begs to question the validity of the information in the first place.

Don’t Ignore Your Gut
When meeting people, it’s important to realize that above all else, no matter what any book or well-meaning dating or relationship guru says to do, we should always still trust our own instincts when it comes to meeting new people and developing relationships, of all kinds. When someone doesn't answer questions directly, or omits essential information, trust your better instincts and move on. If you suspect that someone is being less than truthful with you, that is most likely the case. Rather than waste time trying to elicit or determine the truth, it would make more sense to accept that dishonesty is a trait that will not likely change.

In addition, it is usually more prudent not to encourage someone you know there is no chemistry or connection with, rather than cultivate a relationship out of politeness, only to let them down later. Keep in mind that the best, most lasting relationships of all kinds are built on honesty, respect and acceptance.
Just as the usual “red flags” in social interaction can be somewhat obvious and should not be ignored, some of the finer points that die-hard dating “experts” proclaim are “deal breakers,” if taken too seriously, can actually prohibit accomplishing social goals.

Case in point: A friend once excitedly told me, after purchasing The Rules, that the techniques were working well for her and that she had a much more fruitful dating social life, which she attributed to following the mantras in the book. Never being one to put all eggs in one basket, and believing that usually, great results come from a number of successful actions, rather than just one, I was not surprised to learn that she almost lost the love of her life, after diligently and strictly following The Rules specifying that she not contact a man she is interested in.

After a date that she believed was very successful, a guy she had really connected with and promised to call, had not, in fact, called. Since she never got the messages, she started to assume that he “just wasn’t that into her,” as she had might have thought.

As she became increasingly distraught, I indicated that she should use common sense and give the guy a call. After protesting, she finally did call, finding out that he had, in fact called and left two messages. After not hearing from her, he began to think that she was the one who was not interested. Therefore, had she not called, they probably would have lost touch entirely, which would have been tragic, given that a year later, they were married and have now been married for several years.

The lesson learned here, is that modern technology, after all, is not foolproof. And neither are relationship guides, or human beings, in general. If you do decide to utilize the advice of any relationship expert, always consider your own circumstance and what your mind and heart indicate, as well, rather than simply heeding the words of anyone else.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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