Five years of

The Dating

In case you blinked and missed it, it's been a little over five years since the Dating Diva has been coming at you from the pages of CityBeat. Since then, I've greatly scaled back on the marathon dating I used to do.

But that doesn't mean I haven't learned anything new. Indeed, over the past five years I have learned a lot about the social interactions of men and women. I've also been able to dispel some long-held beliefs as well as reinforce others that I initially wasn't so sure about.

So I'd like to wish myself a happy five-year anniversary and hope I get to celebrate many more. As a gift to myself and the readers, I'm going to give you a short but well thought out list of dating tidbits I've either learned in the past five years or came to believe with more certainty.

· Condoms should be carried at all times and replaced frequently as they can become damaged by heat or punctured by other items you carry.

· Ladies should remember that the number of men you've slept with is one per decade. So, if you're in your twenties, it's three men; in your thirties, it's four; and so on. No need to tally the actual number.

Fellas, you don't have to give a number because you have so much respect for every woman you've been with you wouldn't dare reduce her to a callous statistic.

· If you think sex is better than a good night's sleep, you've never had a good night's sleep.

· Every person's kissing technique could probably be improved. Teach by example.

· People you love get better looking over time; people you dislike or had bad breakups with get uglier.

· Marry someone you like. I loved a lot of men, but I liked only one enough to commit to for life. Also, your grand passion, the love of your life and the person you marry will probably be three different people. If it's the same person, you're either truly blessed or you don't get out much.

· The biggest dating regrets you ever have will not be the things you did but the things you didn't do. As a famous person once said — and I'm too lazy to check Bartlett's to find out who — you only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.

And that, dear readers, is enough wisdom to absorb this week. Besides, like dating, if I give away all the good stuff too soon, what will keep you coming back?

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