{Dating} What advice would you give your 25-year-old self about love?

If we only knew what we know, now! FOFs, if you could go back and give your 25-year-old self some dating advice, what would it be? Read some wise words about love from other FOFs, and tell us your own advice in the comments below. We’re putting together our favorite advice for a special Valentine’s Day eBook!

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Staness Jonekos is author of the bestselling book, The Menopause Makeover (2010). At 47, Staness got engaged for the first time to the love of her life–her very own “Mr. Right,” as she calls him. You can read her personal story here.

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“I wish someone had told me when I was 25 that:

1. Dating is an interview process, and YOU are doing the interviewing. Qualify your candidates.

2. Men love a mission – be his mission!

3. A man can never read your mind – tell him what you want, don’t tell him how to ‘be.’

4. If you want to be pursued, don’t pursue.

5. Never lose yourself in a relationship, always place your needs first. The right man will want that for you because when you are happy, he is happy.

6. Don’t marry a rich man. Marry a good man. He will spend his life trying to keep you happy. No rich man can buy that! (Of course, if he is rich AND good-–jackpot!)”

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Sherry DeRosa is a life skills coach. Sherry met her current husband Michael in her 50s, and soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Michael supported Sherry while she fought the disease. The two married in 2009 on an ocean terrace in Laguna Beach. Read the entire story here.

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Trust life, love and remain true to oneself. The latter is the hardest thing to learn. At 25, we want to rush everything, get everything done and set for the ‘future.’ Instead, live in the present.”

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Candida Royalle is an erotic film pioneer, entrepreneur, and author of How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do. Candida is divorced, but a few years ago, she fell in love and experienced “the most fulfilling sex of my adult life…in my fifties!” she says. She was engaged but broke it off. “I felt we were incompatible in other ways. But, I think it shows that one is never too old to have a fulfilling, intimate life. And, I’m sure there’s another great love affair in me.”

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1. “Be clear about what you’re looking for. Are you interested in finding a man who’s marriage material? Or are you just looking for someone to have fun with? When I was younger, I’d often fall in love with men but then later decide they weren’t appropriate for building a life together. My lack of personal clarity and planning in relationships ultimately led to disappointment and heartbreak for one or both of us. My girlfriends who knew what they wanted, tended to have achieved their desired outcomes with love.

2. Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws. If you focus on what drives you crazy about someone, you will drive yourself right out of the relationship. If you focus on what you like, you have a much better shot at finding deep, lasting and intimate love.

3. Do NOT move in with someone within the first year, and do NOT become engaged or get married before you’ve spent at least 2 years together! The first two years are pretty much a masquerade, where you each put your best face forward while also seeing only the best in one another. Wait for the dust to settle, and find out who you’re really hanging out with before giving up that great apartment with reasonable rent and before putting the down payment on an expensive wedding hall!

4. If you want to know what kind of lover he is, watch the way he eats. Does he take his time eating, savoring each bite and enjoying the flavor and texture of his food? This is probably a man who takes his time making love and enjoys more sensual, caressing lovemaking. If you’re a woman who likes to cut to the chase, past all the touching and cuddling and go right to the end goal, then the guy with a ravenous appetite who plows through his food is the one for you!

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Pamela Madsen is a leading sex expert, founder of the American Fertility Association and author of SHAMELESS: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner which is #1 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in Sexual Therapy.” She and her husband recently celebrated their 30-year anniversary. Read more about Pamela here.

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“I would tell my 25-year-old self that I was truly beautiful–and that any man would be lucky to get me! I remember not believing in my own beauty at that age. I thought everything was a little bit wrong–my weight, my hair, etc. I’d also tell myself to give the guy a chance! So many young women have this checklist of what the perfect guy should look like, act like, etc. Cut them a break and get to know them. Last, sex is good–but precious. Truly think about who you share yourself with.”

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Francesca Kranzberg, is one of FabOverFifty’s marvelous makeover winners. She works for JConnect in Maryland, helping newcomers get acquainted with the community. She met her husband at the age of 27, through a Jewish matchmaking service.

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“I’d give myself the same advice I give my 25-year-old daughter:

1. Don’t rush into anything

2. Don’t become exclusive until you are sure you have found someone you want to be with. Dating around helps you to learn what traits are important in a mate–and also, what you can live without.

3. Guys love the chase. Don’t be too available or they will lose interest. If a guy calls you on Thursday or Friday for a Saturday night, tell him you already have plans, or even a date.

4. Once you are sure you have found ‘the one,’ let him know it. But, also let him know that you will walk away if he can’t commit by a certain date.  In other words, give him an ultimatum. If he can’t commit, then you aren’t walking away from much.

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Gerri Shute enjoyed a wonderful career in the world of executive recruiting as Vice President of Research for a leading international firm. After she left an 11-year relationship in her late 40s, Gerri met David, the love of her life who she ultimately married. “It was a love affair to the end,” Gerri says. David died of Parkinson’s in 2008.

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“Don’t settle. If after the first date or second date, it doesn’t feel right, stop there. Don’t get into something where you’ll ultimately get hurt or not have the opportunity to open your heart completely. I remember in my 20s I went to a guy’s garden apartment for a drink. It was our first date. Well, the apartment was a total man cave and he gave me a dusty wine glass. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Your first instincts are best. On my first date with David, we were both very relaxed–we never stopped talking and never had an awkward moment. When we got married, my wedding dressmaker said to me ‘Gerri, you didn’t settle.” She was right! David was the love of my life.”

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12 Responses to “{Dating} What advice would you give your 25-year-old self about love?”

  1. Jeremiah says:

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  2. Laura Borud says:

    Yes all your friends have married off but relax, you don’t have to be too. It will happen. Develop a better sense of self, you are much more beautiful and desirable than you can possible imagine. YOU get to choose who you want, NOT the other way around. Keep in touch with Deney, you two belong together, to hell with Kal, she ends up being a mean, drunk, psycho.

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  3. Patricia says:

    Study Hard & pursue your dreams
    Understand self-esteem it is more than a word
    Love and respect yourself first
    Never fall for the old line, “but sweetheart, I love you”
    Make sure your friends are “Friends”
    Trust in your instincts, never second guess yourself
    True love comes once in a lifetime
    Never hurt the ones you love
    Be honest with yourself, stay true to your heart
    Kiss your Mom and Dad goodnight, you will miss them when they are gone…

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    • Cindy says:

      Could not have said this betterEspecially the third statement.

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  4. Andy says:

    Don’t rush into anything! There a lot of marvelous men around. Look for true goodness and fair goals for both of you. You will live with those qualities for the rest of your lives. Give 100% and don’t be surprised if you have it returned. The best relationships are for life! This is not a “trial & error” situation.

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  5. Barb says:

    I agree with Scout LOL. Not only to moisturize, but to take care of yourself and love yourself. Oh, if only we could go back and guide that 25 year old through every one of life’s battles. I would try to make her understand that she was just as good and important as the people around her. That you can’t please everyone any of the time. Just live and be good to yourself.

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  6. carolina says:

    I would tell my 25 year old self that I was worth so much more than I thought at the time. I was so desperate for someone to love me that I mistook love for control. I would tell my 25 year old self that I had the right to voice opinions and demand respect. I had the right to be valued and cherished. I had the right to know that I did not have to be anyone’s puppet – that I could think, manage, make decisions and say NO – without fear of being rejected. Too bad it took me 35 years, three kids and a divorce to finally embrace all those beliefs……….

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  7. Pam Munro says:

    At 25 my heart had already been broken by my college boy friend – so I knew more than I thought I did then! Therapy, therapy, therapy! Know thyself! And don’t let yourself be talked out of your passion(s). Good men are hard to find at any age – so live your own LIFE.

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  8. gramhebert says:

    Take your time. Dont be pressured to rush into any relationship~

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  9. scoutcrs13 says:

    Moisturize!

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  10. BlueBear says:

    I’d tell my 25 year old self to stop trying so hard! You are young and successful. Just stay open to everyone you meet and your Prince Charming will be found. Handsome men often come with boatloads of problems. Look for the steadfast man who is beautiful inside. He’s the catch of a lifetime!

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  11. Cynthia says:

    1. Close your eyes and listen with your heart. A lot of guys know how to lie convincingly. They lean in close and gaze into your eyes, smile engagingly, give a small self-depracating grimace – and before they even open their mouths you already believe them!
    2. Listen to what he DOES, not what he SAYS.
    3. NEVER make excuses for a man.
    4. If your family doesn’t like or trust him, dump him immediately.

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