A fog of confusion surrounds much of dating in your twenties. Everything is so new and exciting and first timey! Why is this happening? Why is he doing this? Why did he take me here for a date? Is this significant? What does this (cough, sniffle, smile, wink, cold shoulder) mean??

Once upon a time these were considered legitimate topics of conversation in my friends circle. We could meet up for dinner and discuss one gesture for hours (and then he said blah and I said blah and then he turned around and said, not if I see you first???) and then get home and text each other about it for several more hours.  Those days are no longer.

Gone are the days where my girlfriends and I spend hours discussing exactly what a sigh or missed call might mean. Because life. In between kids, careers, other people’s marriages, and general adulting, no one has time (or energy) to dissect every little gesture some guy makes. No one really cares anyway. We are now in the “Eyes Wide Open” era of dating,

If you are dating (or goodness forbid, hanging out) with a dude who neglects to text you back on the regular, or only texts you after 11pm, or never pulls out his wallet on a date, then chances are you already know where you stand. You don’t need to discuss the fact that you are dating a loser because it’s obvi (to you and everyone else).

Now that you are officially old enough to know better, you don’t need your friends to tell you when he doesn’t ever call you first that a) he’s not interested and b) is a jerk. You already know.

So why are you still wasting your time with dude-to-nowhere?

*le shrug*

Everyone has her own reasons: boredom, lack of other options, loneliness, cold nights, football season. Did I say boredom?

These are the conversations that you now have with your besties. I can’t believe that I’m still talking to this guy. He just called me yesterday after five days of not talking to me. What is wrong with me that I am willing to accept this behavior? And now you spend hours analyzing your own toxic relationship choices while your besties do their best not to blurt out: damn girl, get your life together and make better choices!

Look, I am all for self-analysis. You want to figure out why you keep dating emotionally unavailable men, or why the void in your heart seems to be dude-sized, or exactly when you forgot your self-worth, dignity, and respect? Go for it.

Eyes wide open; figure it out.

But, you don’t need to keep hanging out with dude-to-nowhere while you get your life together. You don’t need to keep him around while you figure ish out. You already know that he isn’t it. So let it go. Seriously.

If you awaken at midnight with smoke and flames surrounding your California King, are you going to start Colomboing and asking questions: how did this fire start? Did I leave the stove/iron/fireplace on? Was this arson? No! You’re going to get out of bed and then out of that house as quickly as possible.

Seriously, poor dating habits in your thirties is like setting your own home on fire. Bad relationships are a direct result of poor mating choices. You know this because you’ve seen your friends’, families’ and even co-workers’ combustible relationships. All of those warning signs that dude-to-nowhere displays (lack of communication, opposing values, lack of intention and goals) are kindling to a fire that will consume you if you allow it.

Don’t allow it.

Of course, unless you want to keep waking up to the smell of smoke and a fire in your bedroom, you’ll have to figure out why you make the toxic relationship choices that you do. But you don’t need to stick around with dude-to-nowhere until you do.

Consider this a friendly PSA from a fellow Single Girl. Stay Woke: Eyes Wide Open.

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