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I never looked at a lunch date the same way again.  I’m probably being dramatic, but it was an eye opener.  At my second week at Leo Burnett, an advertising agency where I work, me and some of the lovely ladies from my team (also millennial women) decided to go out for lunch.  It was a Friday, a pretty slow day, with the majority of the team out of town.  So why not suck up these last few days of summer with some girl bonding time to break away from a busy week?

10.3 TW

James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's A Wonderful Life

We hopped in a cab with Little Goat as the main destination, a delicious upscale diner right off Randolph and Halsted.   All four of us grabbed seats, ordered IPA’s, ordered food, and chuckled about how us women are so indecisive when it comes to picking something off the menu.  As the food and beer came out, conversation starting flowing.  I took a bite of my gouda and montamore cheese, pork guanciale, and smoke tomato grilled cheese sammich (Little Goat cleverly eased that word into the menu), when the conversation prompt of, 'So tell me about your dating life.' sprang towards me from one of the girls after everyone else did a round the table intro on their dating lives. 

All three girls are in long term monogamous relationships.  One is engaged and set to marry in April, essentially every girl’s dream.  Oh wait, I didn’t mention, I was the only girl at the table single.  Oh the irony of eating my grilled cheese (which was delicious by the way, not joking) and talking about monogamy when being single can be very polyamorous.  After sharing the 411 on my current crush, the girls insured that it is evident that there are some sparks flying.  Of course they wanted later updates.  What I didn’t disclose is that sometimes I think I’m confused as to what I want in my dating life right now.  What I do know is, I wanted what they had, a long-term monogamous relationship.

Dating talk turned to best age defying skin products, to naming some of our worst social media handles, to current ad campaigns that were a successful product of Leo Burnett’s creativity - something we were happy to gloat about.   I didn’t just take away my love of bonding with the girls on my team, but how certain dating dynamics will never die down, and in most cases, lead to Mr. Prince Charming.

Here is what I took away from the conversation:

1) 'I’m an old fashioned type of gal'

All four of us agreed that we still adhere to old fashioned courting.  It’s nice to have a guy take us out on several dates, and pay for it.  This has nothing to do with sexism at all, it’s just understanding the fact that in the initial stages of dating, the guy should impress the girl.  First impressions are the most lasting impressions right?  I understand the fact that we live in a society where women are more career driven, financially savvy, and overall independent. But, it’s nice to be courted.  When things start getting a bit more serious, then get all 'Ms. Independent' and treat him to dinner.  He’s lasted this long, so he’s worth it.

2) Build a friendship

I found out even from my own experience that’s it’s so easy to jump into things out of pure attraction.  But, there has to be something much deeper and that’s a friendship.  Each one of the girls mentioned how they have a strong friendship with their mates.  You’re basically dating your best friend, and that’s how it should be.  You want to know each other from top to bottom, share those ups and downs, and encourage one another.  You are now an open book to this guy.  If he’s the right one, he’ll adore you even more, flaws and all.

3) 'Ok, I’m weird'

I found out that the little things we may think are weird, are actually the cutest and most unique attributes about ourselves.  And guess what, that destined prince charming will love those little weird personality traits about you.  Some of us girls are afraid to be ourselves because we live in a very judgemental society with so many social constructs of what is considered the “norm”.  Well guess what?   I’m obsessed with cheesecake, cartoons, and star gazing.  My future boyfriend better be ok with that. The best feeling in the world is to be YOU.

4) Stop looking for Mr. Right

We all have expectations - it’s not a bad thing.   But, there is such a thing as expecting too much.  There is no such thing as Mr. Right.  Everyone has different qualities.  Those qualities that each person may be missing could be our perfect match.  Think of it as a puzzle.  When completing a puzzle, you're not looking for the same piece.  Essentially you’re looking for an opposite piece that fits perfectly.  Each of my co-workers shared how they were complete opposites from their mate.  One of my co-workers told us that her fiance is a neat freak.  But she mentioned, 'That’s where you compromise.'  Someone shared this quote on Facebook that I thought was such an inspiration when looking for a mate. Ironically, they were just recently engaged.  'While you’re busy looking for the perfect person, you’ll probably miss the imperfect person who could make you perfectly happy.'

5) Be happy

Being happy is the most crucial thing overall.  If you have goals, go after them.  If not, set them.  Remain career driven, push your education (if that’s something you want to do).  Meditate, set a girls date with some of your close friends, embrace spirituality.  Spend as much family time as possible.  These are some of the essentials of life!   I’ve learned that relationships are much happier when you’re happy with yourself. 

We’re all still learning when it comes to the dating game.  Heck, I’m still learning myself.  And no worries, I’m taking my own advice.

 

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