Things I Wish I’d Learned in My 20s (i.e., Everything My Nagging Jewish Mother Ever Told Me)

Don’t date boys that don’t have their shit together – no matter how hot they may be. What’s start out as endearing quickly turns obnoxious. Seriously.

Put another way: would you rather a man who takes care of you, or would you rather play mother/nurse/financial supporter to a pretty face that turns uglier by the second as they spout excuse after excuse of why they don’t have their life together – and why it’s everyone else’s fault but theirs?

Save your empathy for people who deserve it. Back away from people who play perpetual victim.

Pay attention to red flags:

Most of their exes are crazy and/or still in love with them

Everyone at work is out to get them

Everything is always someone else’s fault – past break-ups, job situation, etc.

30+ with roommates (double red flag for female roommates)Is friends with all their exes

Has a history of cheating

30+ and financially unstable

30+ and no career (career, not job*)

Drug use

Excessive alcohol intake

never single**

Gets physical during anger – with you, or with objects, i.e. slamming tables, punching walls – before long, this will escalate to your face. Seriously. Back away slowly – then run for your life.

Not calm/respectful during anger – people are on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship, pay close attention to how they are when you disagree – do they all of a sudden turn on you, i.e. quick escalations of anger, snapping at you, etc.

I’m not saying people can’t change, but it takes a LOT of work. Take things EXTRA slow if you are moving forward even with these red flags, i.e. take the time to really see if they’ve changed before you get in too deep – sexually, emotionally and otherwise. If they are “working on it” (getting their life together, overcoming something major) take a step back during this time, what’s a few months in the span of a lifetime to get to a more solid place to build a healthy relationship from?

*Why career not job? I always prided myself on never questioning job/career/finances because I thought it proved I wasn’t a gold digger. The result: I kept dating guys who didn’t have their shit together. I don’t need a millionaire, but if I am going to build a life with someone, I want them to be the kind of man that my kids will look up to and emulate. Driven, ambitious, passionate, balanced, responsible, solid, stable. (Yes, it was my Jewish mother who pointed this out to me. In her defense, she wasn’t even nagging, she just explained it in a way that finally clicked with me, perhaps because I was finally ready to listen… Le sigh.)

**Is never single – translation: either can’t/won’t be alone, which is not a good thing, or they are one of those guys who is busy lining up the next one in case this one doesn’t work out, which in my book constitutes emotional cheating. Seriously what is it with people nowadays flirting and sexting other people online when they’re in a relationship? Deal with your self-esteem and respect issues please. These are clear signs that he doesn’t value and respect you – but remember, it’s not actually about you, it’s about him. This is not a void you can fill, so save yourself the heartache and walk away.

-Jade Alexandra

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