PSA: First Date Conversation

As a relationship expert, I do a lot of coaching. I constantly hear he/she did not bother to ask anything (on a date) about me, except my age, marital history, and income.

A first date can be uncomfortable, especially if you arrive with a bad attitude or don’t even attempt to give the other person a chance. However, if you can walk into a first date with a great attitude and no expectations, things will go much smoother… this is actually true with everything in life!

During a first date, both people are supposed to use this time to get to know one another a little better. The keyword here is …BOTH… but at least seventy percent of the time this doesn’t happen.

We’ve all been on that date when one person is so self-absorbed that they spend the entire time talking about themselves, what they have, where they have been, or who they know. (This is a RED flag)

FYI: If a first date conversation includes: Can you show me photos of your ex’s? How much money do you make? How big is your house? How many cars do you have?… RUN! Don’t waste your time lecturing an adult with poor priorities, just leave.

So, today I want to set the record straight with a few extremely basic guidelines:

  1. Remember, a first date is also the first impression, and first dates are inherently awkward. Which means the first impression may not be so great, either. As long as the person seems nice enough, you share some basic interests, and there is some chemistry, try for date number two. On your second date, things are generally way more comfortable and you can really get a better idea of who someone is.
  2. Always go with your gut. If you go out on a first date and leave with the feeling that something is just not right (i.e your instincts are warning you, not a superficial judgment), then maybe just move on to someone that doesn’t make you uncomfortable to be around. Don’t waste time here…
  3. Ask questions, appropriate questions, and lots of them! Ask about interests, life goals, family, pets, favorite foods, or television shows. Ask about holidays, culture, and even if they enjoy their career. Don’t talk about break-ups, divorces, finances, how you want a baby by date three, or anything else that you would not disclose to a total stranger. Use this time to get to know someone and allow them to get to know you. This is NOT an interview and should be fun and relaxing.
  4. Lastly, please stop with the games. There is no winner when this happens. Grow up. If you don’t want a second date, say it. If you like someone, tell them. If you want a second date, ask right away. Don’t wait around because you don’t want to seem too excited or desperate. Pick up the damn phone and call.

“The early bird gets the amazing relationship!”

I Don’t Want to Make my Parent’s Mistake

Reader’s Question:

I’m a senior in high school. I am considering if I should start college next year or not. Both my parents want me to go to college. My problem is that I really don’t like school. Both of my parents went to college and it didn’t do much for them. They both still work long weeks and we are not broke, but things still get tight. If college didn’t help to improve their finances, then what’s the point of wasting all that time and money for nothing? College is very expensive. I work to make money and I don’t think I need college to do what I want in life. I’d like to be a chef and own a few restaurants one day and for that, I need experience, not education, correct? How can I help my parents to understand that I don’t want to make their mistake?

Incorrect! You need both.

I wish you were the neighbor’s kid so I could hunt you down and give you a good talking!

Please, try not to be offended… you truly have no idea what you’re talking about. That is okay though, the next stage in your life will be a lot of lessons and learning.

EDUCATION IS VITAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!

Lucky for you, you already know what you want to go to college for and culinary school’s exist!

If you want to be a chef and own a restaurant, you need to attend culinary school. You should also have spoken to a career or college counselor about this, as you clearly did not know culinary school’s offer 4-year degrees. Culinary school degree programs cover basic professional writing and business skills, which are needed to be successful in your extremely competitive industry.  Running a business is not all common sense, you must learn first. Or, you will fail!

You must learn from the best. You must surround yourself with those much more experienced than you. Why make a mistake someone else has already learned from? You want to do things the smart way? Learn from others and trust their experience.

You need college. How do you plan to be a chef and own your own restaurant if you don’t know squat about running a business or cooking at a high level? Are you going to work your way up from washing dishes at a fancy restaurant with the hopes that they let you peel carrots after a year? Does that sound better than going to college?

Also, if you think your parents work long weeks as professionals, wait until you work all hours of the night as a cook… all weekend long, and on holidays.

Do you think a bank is going to give a cook that makes $12/hr with no education or financial leverage a loan for that restaurant? How will you manage the front of the house if you’ve ever only known the line? Who will handle your payroll, taxes, vendor invoices, budgets, and sales forecasts? You won’t be qualified to do so with no college degree or administrative experience?

Lastly, your parents did not make a mistake by going to college. College is never a mistake. You show your age by making such comments. Most middle-class families (with a college education) still have a hard time financially. You have no clue how much harder life would be without both parents having higher education. If your parents had no degrees and worked restaurant jobs, waiting tables to get by, you would be in the first college class that let you in!

College does not guarantee success, true. Success is up to the individual. Did you know a college degree usually means you will make at least one million dollars more throughout life?… that makes it worth the $50k (or higher) price tag.

Be grateful your parents are pushing you to better yourself, not many kids have that support at home these days.

Knowledge is power… and you will need every bit of power to make a nice life for yourself.

Start looking into culinary schools that offer 4-year degrees and thank your parents for supporting your future at a higher education organization. They want what’s best for you and that’s not slinging burgers for the rest of your life.

Am I a Bad Mom?

Reader’s Question:

 My best friend and I are both pregnant! She has two other children and this will be my second. She is a natural mother and loves being pregnant. She never complains and I have never heard her raise her voice to either her children or her husband. She’s perfect. I scream and yell, cry and complain. I hate being pregnant and while I don’t mind the kids, I do count the days until they will be able to wipe their own butt. I’m tired and just so done with it all and she wakes up each day ready to take it head-on, with neat, well-behaved children attached to the hip. Why can’t I feel more like her? Am I a bad mom for wishing their time with me away?

I laughed as I read this for the second and third time. You are not alone. There are many women who experience the same feelings about pregnancy and parenting as you.

I have two children and I can honestly say that I hated almost every moment that I was pregnant. I cannot remember a moment in either pregnancy where I thought, WOW I AM FREAKING LOVING THIS!

Most women I talk to feel that same way. Pregnancy is not for everyone. It’s fine to not love it, but try to stay positive as it will be over soon and you can choose to never do it again.

Every parent I know is, or has been waiting for the day their children leave home to venture out on their own. Raising children is hard work and takes immense efforts. It’s hard for you. It’s hard for your husband. It’s hard for the children. It’s hard on your marriage.

It’s hard… so any reasonable person, from time to time… will daydream. I do this multiple times a day. Shoot, I took a break writing this just to daydream a bit! Imagine the day you finally get to do anything you want! The day with no chance of butt wiping, teething, soccer games, concerts, school lines, sick days, snow days, bad grades, periods, cell phones, social media, bullying… it’s endless.

The point is, what you feel is normal. Even when things are going “great” and seem “easy” and you still feel like you want them gone, that’s normal too! Being a parent is hard work and we struggle every single day.

Just breathe, this time will be over before you know it (ish).