We've heard it time and time again: "Never sleep with a guy on the first date." It's something I have read, heard, and been told since I was in my early 20s. Did I ever care to listen to this restrictive piece of advice given by people like Steve Harvey or Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker? You bet I didn't.
Why? Because I wanted to have fun and experience the pleasures that life had to offer. It never made sense to me that I should wait to sleep with a guy. I mean, whatever happened to living in the moment? Would you go to a restaurant and see a delicious piece of chocolate cake, and then just look at it? I sure wouldn't.
Now that I'm in my early 30s, and in a healthy, happy marriage, I can honestly say that this piece of advice is worth a second look. So, what changed? I became an entrepreneur and learned the importance of two words: value and investment.
Still not convinced? Let's walk through it.
Value is defined as the regard that something is held to deserve the importance, worth, or usefulness of a person, place, or thing.
Investment is defined as devoting one's time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.
Some people value their friends and family while others value material things, health, and/or work. Each person's core values differ, but we are all constantly dedicating our time, effort, and energy toward things we value.
If you're someone who values your friends and family, you'll most likely be spending your free time with the people you love. If you're someone who values your job, you may be inclined to spend some evenings and weekends at the office working overtime. Whether you're conscious of it or not, this is a choice, and it stems from your values.
What does this mean for the single ladies out there?
Think about a 7-year-old boy who's been asking his parents to buy him a bike. He's very persistent in asking, but every time they respond, "Johnny, if you continue to do your chores every week for the next three months, we will buy you a shiny, red bike for Christmas." He continues to do his chores, visualizing and dreaming about that special day that he'll get to ride his new bike.
Christmas comes and Johnny opens his present. For the next year, he treasures his bike. He spends time taking good care of it, washing it, and filling the tires frequently. He loves and values his bike even more than he otherwise would've because he put time, effort, and energy into acquiring it. Most likely, Johnny won't ask his parents for a new bike for a long time.
Now, imagine Johnny's parents gave him the bike the day he asked for it. Would he have the same investment in the bike as he did in the first scenario? How many months would it take for Johnny to ask his parents for another bike, or maybe a new scooter? When we have to work for something, we become more invested in it. This helps us really appreciate whatever it is that we have put our time, effort, and energy toward.
Now, let's delve back into dating and relationships. This example is meant to show you that when you sleep with someone right away, neither of you has had sufficient time to truly value and appreciate who each of you is. When a person spends only a couple of hours getting to know you, it's a small investment. Whether you like it or not, the truth is that if something comes too easily and we haven't worked for it, it loses its value quickly. This is why it's hard to end long-term relationships even when it's clear that they are not working out. Both parties involved have invested so much, it's difficult to let go.
It's also incredibly important for us as women to build value in ourselves. How can we do this? Spending time, effort, and energy on ourselves is a great place to start. Whether it be reading a self-enrichment book, meditating, or going to the gym, spending time investing in your own value is a way of modeling the way you want others to treat you.
Next time you're in a situation where you want to sleep with someone you like on the first date, think about the two words we've gone over—value and investment. And know that valuing and investing in yourself doesn't look the same for everyone. Learn what makes you feel valued, and live accordingly. This is what works for me. I hope you move forward in your dating relationships and every other area of your life feeling more empowered.