9 Apr 09

Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel: Part 1 – Chapter 6

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Chapter Six from my book….

Dating Books Debunked

Let’s face it: a date is a job-interview that lasts all night. The only difference between a date and a job interview is: not many job-interviews is there a chance you’ll end up naked at the end of it. — Jerry Seinfeld

There are many places to get relationship and dating advice—our modern-day airwaves are chock full of opinions, as are our families and friends—and it can be difficult to figure out who to trust. My grandmother and I always had a very tight bond. She was a strong woman: an artist with dedicated family values, she was considered to be somewhat of a bohemian of her day, and in my opinion, a truly amazing woman. When I was young, I marveled at my grandparents’ marriage. I remember asking her how she managed to stay devoted to my grandfather and keep their love alive. She said, “I have always kept some mystery in the marriage.”

What a wonderful nugget of advice; she was not saying to play games, but to keep a place within yourself that is sacred. At her age, I am certain that she did not read that in Glamour or Cosmopolitan, but learned it from her own life experience. And while I do agree that a certain amount of mystery is important to a relationship, at the end of the day, the key is being honest on all levels.

My parents also gave me some words of wisdom about what it takes to sustain a loving relationship and the essentials to make it last: both people must have willingness to work at the relationship, be open, have honest communication, and the ability to compromise. As high school sweethearts, they have been very happily married for almost 50 years. They must be doing something right. My maternal grandmother shared with my mother and father that “each person needs to give 100% to the relationship.” She and my grandfather were also married over 50 years.

I come from a long line of lasting, happy relationships, and because of the examples around me I have learned that, while no one is perfect, the ideal is possible. There is no reason to settle. As long as you have honesty, communication and the ability to be flexible, a solid, relationship is 100% attainable.

But if it was really that simple, why do we need the countless movies, TV shows, magazine articles websites and books to guide us? (Next time you are at a newsstand, notice the number of cover stories about finding and keeping a mate.) I read many dating and relationship books researching this phenomenon, and what I read astonished me: so many rules to follow, as many ways to “find love” as there are choices and possibilities in life. That is valid—everyone is different—and what works for one person may not work for the next. So who should you believe? Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Cosmo, Men’s Health, Dr. Phil, Oprah? There is an exhaustive laundry list of advice constantly being waved in our faces.

To be continued…

  • What do you think?

About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”

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