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When our editor approached US, Kelli and Natalia, two single women in their 30’s about writing a dating article, we had to stop and ask ourselves how we ended up in our present situation.  So we decided to take a trip down memory lane to see where we veered off path.

Natalia: I could sit here and talk about my single life for days!  The stories are endless – So tell me Kelli, what’s your story?

kelli

Kelli Collins

Kelli: Well basically, while I was in my early 20s, I was encouraged by family members and mentors to save dating for later. Focus on career and school, they said. So that’s what I did – while casually dating.  I always knew I wanted to get married and have children, but I thought that it would magically happen after I, “focused on career and school”.

By the time I was finished with nursing school, I found myself in a 3 year relationship that wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go in.  So here I am at 32, a registered nurse, no kids, and no man, lol.

Natalia: That’s funny, our stories aren’t too different from each other except that I officially started my dating life when I was 14 years old!  By the time I was 25, I had been in a dead-end relationship for 6 years.  I had had enough and I decided to leave my then-boyfriend because I just couldn’t put up with the lies and repetitive let-downs anymore.  I have now spent the past 6 years of my life being single, working, enjoying my friends/family and experiencing life the way I was never able to before.

Kelli: Walking away from a 6 year relationship is hard.  Not many women have the strength to do that, so I’m proud of you.  Looking back on your dating experiences in your 20s, what advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Natalia: Oh my God, are you sure we have time for this!? Ha!  If I could go back in time and give myself advice, first things first, I would tell 20 year old Nat to steer clear of the bad boys!  They are A LOT of fun; however, they are also a lot of trouble and they can’t be fixed.  Secondly, I would remind her never to settle just out of fear of being alone – it’s better to be happy alone, than unhappy with someone.  Lastly, I would want her to remember that no matter how hard or scary a break-up can be, no one EVER dies from a broken heart!  Cry it all out, put on some red lipstick and pick up the broken pieces of your heart and keep it moving!  I hope that is good advice … Kelli, what do you think you would tell your 20 year old self?

Kelli: First of all, I wish I could crawl back into my mothers womb and start all over again with the knowledge that have now, lol, but honestly, I would tell myself to focus on all the things I want.  I always knew that I wanted to be married with children, but I wasn’t willing to do the work required to be a desirable mate. Outside of keeping up my physical appearance, I would tell myself to find the hobbies and activities that will make me happy.  These are the things that shape your life this way, when a potential suitor comes, you can say, “Well, I’ve been writing for a magazine and I enjoy working out and cooking. I spend time with family and friends; I’m active in church and I just got back from Jamaica because I love to travel”.  My pastor said the best thing that a single woman can do is to get a life and I couldn’t agree more!  Men like to see a woman with her own ambitions, so basically I would say keep yourself busy and never be at any man’s beck and call.

Natalia: I think that is some of the best advice you can give someone.  I can tell you, from experience, that in one of my first relationships, all I did was cater to my boyfriend.  I didn’t have a life to call my own, I gave up my friends and I just continued to let him control me because I was afraid to end up alone.  That did nothing but make me resent him.  I became depressed and I lost myself.  From that relationship, I was able to learn exactly what you just said, “never be at a mans’ beck and call”.  I think it is very important to put yourself first and find the things that make you happy!

Kelli: Yeah, I’ve been down that road, too.  I think as women we are natural nurturers, so it’s second nature to cater to others.  Well, let’s move forward with the lessons from our past.  I think it’s time to get back out there and date the right way!  Are you down to hang out?

Natalia: Kelli, I am so ready to see what’s in store for us!  This should definitely be a fun ride!!!  For all you single ladies that find yourself in our shoes, don’t worry!  We are here to give as much advice as we continue our search for finding Mr. Right!  Join us next month as Kelli and I up some hot spots for singles.

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