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Margarita Confessionals: Clutch relationship advice from a mom who’s not your mom

It’s Margarita Monday! Each week, we’ll be publishing a story about dating by Lauren Levine and/or Ali Washburn to go along with the latest episode of “The Margarita Confessionals,” a podcast for the jaded dater. You can find it on Soundcloud or iTunes.

In a time when many marriages can be measured in Kardashian increments (72 days? K …) it can feel like long-time couples are slowly going extinct. When you’re single and three dates feels like things are getting pretty serious, hearing about marriages that have lasted for decades is awe-inspiring.

That’s why we decided to bring in Pam Levine, my mom and owner of a 35-year marriage, onto this week’s episode of The Margarita Confessionals to infuse hope into our jaded dating lives and provide some insight into making a relationship work.

Her key points:

(1) Take it slow.

Everything moves faster these days. You want a pizza? Order it on your phone and have it delivered in 15 minutes. See a pair of shoes you like? Cool, they’ll be at your door before this weekend.

While this makes certain elements of life awesome, it also makes dating much more complicated. Instead of going on three dates with someone and then deciding if you want to keep seeing them, you’re more prone to making snap judgments before you’ve even ordered a beer.

Fight this urge and take the time to get to know the person. Dates are nerve-wracking. Dates with someone you met on an app are even more nerve-wracking. The slightly awkward conversation you’re having one night might not actually be what the rest of your relationship looks like. If you think there could be something there, give it a chance to develop.

(2) Even Ryan Gosling has gross quirks.

Settling is tragic. Don’t do it. You deserve more. But if you’re holding out for a Ryan Gosling/Ryan Reynolds/Luke Kuechly hybrid, spoiler alert: they don’t exist.

If the person has a lot of traits you love and a few that make you feel like you might want to stab them from time to time, that’s normal.

(3) You don’t need to plan decades and decades into the future.

Planning can be fun. Go make a Pinterest board about your dream home. Think about the infinity pool you’ll install when you make your first million. But don’t let your love of planning dominate your dating life.

When you’re seeing someone new, stop worrying about whether this is your forever relationship. Focus on having fun and getting to know them. No need to analyze away what could be a good thing because you’re worried about whether you have the same vision for the kind of schools your children should attend.

(4) Don’t let the past seep into your present.

When you go into a date assuming that they’ll act the same as the horrendous dates you’ve been on in the past, you’re not giving the person across from you a fair shot. It’s guilty until proven innocent.

Past dates were sketchy/rude/clingy. This person might be the total opposite, so let them have a clean slate.

We’re all aware that dating in 2016 can feel like a total mystery. All of the app options and social media add to the chaos. And while we won’t get away from that, my mom, long-time married person, advises slowing the process down and giving someone a chance before you mentally swipe left on them. You never know what could develop.

Photo: Lauren Levine

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