With Valentine’s Day around the corner everyone is thinking about L-O-V-E!! It’s a fun day for sure; I love presents and Tomas’ undivided attention so it’s always a win in my book! The last couple of years Tomas has gotten me a new car so I wonder what is in the cards for this year 😉 (It just happen to be that I needed a new car around V-Day so it worked out and he threw in a few extras into the car because of the timing, but still! 😉 )

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I know for some V-Day can be a depressing, I get it, I was single once upon a time, but I want to encourage some of you with some dating advice if you are waiting for “the one” or just some tips if you are dating someone!

Some backstory here, Tomas and I have been married almost seven years and together for nine years. When we met, I was not looking for a boyfriend, actually the opposite. I was a freshman in college, focused on school, and boys were the last thing on my mind. I thought boys were a distraction and pointless knowing I had six years of school ahead of me, butttttt then I met Tomas and all that went out the window. I will sill focused and pursued my a$$ off in school but I was now falling in love, and fast! More details on our little love story here. I wanted to share with you guys some things that I took into account before I was dating and when we first started dating which quickly showed me Tomas was the one. Maybe it will be helpful to you!

Pre-dating:

Baggage- Ok so we all have it. Chances are if you are human some ‘ish’ has gone down in your life, but it is important to deal with as much stuff as you can before dating and marriage because if not you will bring it into your relationship. I went through counseling while at Mercy which brought a lot of healing to my life and went to counseling again before we got married to make sure I wasn’t bringing any past stuff into our marriage. Of course Tomas and I had stuff to work through and he loved me through a lot of my family stuff but he has never been my therapist, accountability partner, or security. I have always found those things outside of him. A healthy relationship requires two healthy people!!

Confidence- I have been super insecure before and I get it, it sucks. When you aren’t secure in who you are if effects all areas of your life, but mostly your relationships. I have been insecure and secure in dating relationships and I will tell you the relationships are night and day difference. Finding confidence in who I am in God and who He created me to be has completely changed me from the inside out. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. Tomas tells me all the time that the number one thing that attracted him to me and still to this day is my confidence, so it really does matter!

“Would you date yourself?”- When I first started dating Tomas (like 2 days in), he asked me this very question right off the bat! I remember being in the café at school picking out which flavored Bugles I wanted and he dropped that question. I thought for a second and was like, yeah I think I would. What a genius is he?!?! If you don’t want to date yourself it will be hard for someone else. To work on the elements that consist of this question look at the two points above 😉

Dating:

Enjoy The Single Life- So I think this is really important and I know you think I am annoying if you are single and think I just don’t understand, well I was single before and I will tell you I loved it! I loved the time with my girlfriends and always had a blast. I took a lot of time to do things I knew wouldn’t be as easy once I got married like crazy internships and stuff that barely brought in any money because I didn’t need that much. I also loved having time to myself. One thing I have tried to be super intentional about is not wishing seasons of life away. Like “I wish I had a boyfriend then I will be happy” or whatever stage of life you are in. I think it really important to fully enjoy each stage because each has positives and you don’t want to miss them!

The list- Ok so I am one of those crazy girls that made a list of their top 10 qualities I wanted in a guy. I made this list two years before I met Tomas and at the time I thought it would be impossible to find someone who could reach my standards, but I did! The list was filled with both super important things like “loves God” to super shallow things like “is tall”. Regardless of what they were all the things on the list were really important to me. When I started dating someone, I would refer back to the list and if he didn’t fit the mold I took it as a sign. I didn’t completely write him off but I definitely took it into consideration. When I really started to like Tomas I called my sister (who was living at home) and had her dig up the list and read it off to me, and he was every item on the list. Done and done.

Don’t Settle- This kinda piggybacks off the last point but still deserves it’s own point, don’t freaking settle!!! Marriage is the most important decision you will ever make in your life, this is not an area you want to compromise!! Side note, most people settle because of insecurities because they don’t think they can get better- wrong, wrong, wrong, refer to the confidence point!!

Red Flags- Ok so this might sounds weird but it REALLY worked for me so I thought it was worth mentioning. When I was dating I would pray and ask God to reveal any red flags right off the bat. One thing I did not want to do was waste my time, so having God show me this right off the bat saved me time and emotional energy. It really worked! The most bizarre things would come up to show me it was not going to work right away and I would just move on, respectfully of course 😉

Princess Treatment- Once you are in a dating relationship, it is over the top important that you are treated with respect and like you are a freaking princess! One of my favorite things about Tomas is how he loves me and how he takes the time to show it in both big and small ways. Every morning he brings me coffee in bed, he still brings me flowers for no reason, tells me how beautiful I am constantly, and laughs at my constant goofiness! He constantly does things to show me how much he cares and it matters so much to me! I think every girl deserves this type of treatment and should not settle!!

I hope you find this post helpful!! I think I covered a lot of the bases! If you are in a relationship I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s days and if not, I am excited for what the future has for you! Enjoy this season!

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*Shout out to Macey Rikard for the fab pics, she’s seriously AMAZING!!! Check her out here!

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