When a college friend suggested I read the book He’s Just Not That Into You, I was slightly offended. I should’ve expected the same from my girlfriend when I gifted the book to her for her recent birthday. Another of her friends described it as some tough love.
We have the kind of relationship where one of us can share some tough love when the other needs it. In the ten years we’ve known each other, we’ve shared some amazing nights out on the town. We’ve gone on some epic vacations. We’ve fought and made up. We’ve consoled each other through heartaches and losses. She stood beside me at my wedding as my maid of honor and we’ve celebrated many other milestones.
So there we were celebrating another birthday and my friend was not thrilled with her gift. In my defense, it was an add-on. Her true gift included earrings she loved and a bottle of her favorite wine. With book in hand and a look of disgust on her face, she said she’s seen the movie and she does not need to read the book. I insisted she needed to read the book and committed to her that we would read it together during our upcoming beach vacation.
Well into my 30s and happily married, I finally laid poolside by the beach reading the book He’s Just Not That Into You. In hindsight, I should’ve taken my friend’s advice and read the book when I was in college. The wisdom would’ve benefitted me as I struggled to understand and to deal with men. At 30, the book entertained and reaffirmed what I already learned along my broken road. The book was so funny I often caught myself laughing out loud.
You can find some of the best lines from co-author Liz Tuccillo on page 164 of the book’s 2004 edition. This is where Tuccillo asks, “what would happen if all the women in the world . . . all started insisting that men keep true to their word, treat us with respect, shower us with the appropriate amount of love and affection? I think there would be an awful lot of better behaved men in the world. That’s all I’m saying.”
In addition to Tuccillo’s sage advice, I offer the following list of things I wish I would have known and done in my 20s to prepare for meeting my best friend and love of my life.
Read the book He’s Just Not That Into You.
The book may be found on a shelf at Dartmouth College’s Baker-Berry library, as well as many other libraries and bookstores across America and beyond. After all, it’s a New York Times best seller. If you have not read it yet pick up a copy sooner rather than later and find out what millions of other women already know.
Get your life in order.
Don’t add someone to the mix while you are still trying to figure things out for yourself. A struggling relationship was the last challenge I needed during law school, but there I was reigniting my college flame as if that was going to be better the second time around. Work through any issues and baggage you may be carrying. Give your all to your education and launch your career. Be your best so that you can give your best and attract the best.
Maximize your life.
Don’t minimize it by focusing on what is missing. Enjoy all the freedom and flexibility you have as a single person. I respect and admire the way my single girlfriend, Jenni, travels the world. Yes, she would prefer that she met someone, married and started a family by now, but she does not wait to live her life. She lives it to the fullest!
Set goals based on factors within your control.
You might want to be married with three children by age 30, but c’mon, should you really turn that into a do or die criteria? While it’s important to set goals in your professional and personal life, accept that you only have so much control in life, like when and where you meet Mr. Right. And by all means, never settle!
Put yourself in a position to meet people.
It can be challenging to meet new people in life after college, especially if you prefer routine over change. You can turn to Young Professional Networks, like the ones we have all across the state of New Hampshire, to connect and meet people your age. While these are not singles groups for dating, it does not hurt to know more people your age who know other people your age. Meetup.com allows you to find people in your area who meet over shared interests like running or craft beer. If the meetup you’re looking for doesn’t exist, you can start one. Be flexible. Be willing to leave your comfort zone and try new things.
Almost perfect is perfect enough (or at least perfect for you).
While you should never settle, get a grip on what matters most and what does not matter at all. In my early 20s I was totally grossed out by chest hair – eew! Thankfully that feeling faded as I grew closer to my 30s. Otherwise, I would not be lucky in love with my best friend and love of my life! Looks really do fade, but you can pretty much count on a man’s morals, values and character to remain.
What is your take on the advice I offer? Is there anything you would add?