Kim and Jackie talk with Jessica Bunevacz, author of Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman: The Polished Woman’s Guide to Love, Romance, and Sex
About Jessica: What do you get when you mix a strict Catholic upbringing, a strong curiosity for the opposite sex, and the need to grow up quickly? If you’re lucky you get an outcome like Jessica Bunevacz, the vivacious and outspoken first time author behind Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman: The Polished Woman’s Guide to Love, Romance, and Sex.
Born Jessica Rodriguez in the Philippines and raised by her grandparents after the separation of her mother and father, Bunevacz was thrust into the role of provider after the murder of her mother when she was fifteen. With four siblings relying on her she began work early, first as a live mannequin and later as a model, actress, talent manager, and television host. The jobs not only helped her to support her siblings, but also her first two children. One of her proudest moments while working in entertainment was as the force behind a project called “Miss Ugly No More” where women were showed how they could feel and look their best.
“In my younger years, I ran with the wild crowd. I partied, rubbed elbows, dated and slept with the rich and famous – politicians, actors, Hollywood stars, models, celebrities, sugar daddies, and what have you. I have had fleeting relationships with all sorts of men from different countries and of different races.
“From first-hand knowledge, I have grasped the possible reasons why men do what they do. When my parents separated, I had to learn to fend for myself and my siblings. I did modeling jobs at an early age, entered show business, and later on branched into talent management for other women aspiring to proverbial fame and fortune.”
Juggling family and work Bunevacz was not content to simply sit on the sidelines while life passed her by, and dating became her favorite contact sport. Traveling frequently for work and fascinated by men, it wasn’t long before she developed a set of rules to snag them and guidelines for how she could remain at her best without being bested by the games others were playing. It wasn’t long before she became a self-proclaimed MANnizer, capable of capturing and holding the attention of whoever interested her, while also continuing to do what was in her best interest as both a mother and entrepreneur with both family and a business to protect.
“Through trial and error and in the most painful way possible, I eventually uncovered a good sense of what I did not want from a man or in a relationship. The constant vicious cycle of loving and hurting got me somewhere in the end. After all was said and done, I became wiser. So the woman you see today is the product all these experiences combined.
“Then one day, as I was on my way to becoming my ‘polished self’ – smoothing out my ‘rough edges,’ ‘buffing’ my exterior so that I would glow, and cultivating the gem that was my innermost being — I met my polished man. He was like a chivalrous knight in shining armor who swept me off my feet in one fluid movement.”
A romantic at heart however, Jessica soon stopped her pursuit of “Mr. Right Now” when she met the man who was “Mr. Right,” the man who became her husband. Newly married, she found herself rethinking everything she knew and realized that the same qualities that made a woman an amazing girlfriend didn’t necessarily work for a wife. Rather than wait for someone else to write a marriage manual, she retooled her dating rules for herself to apply for a life after marriage.
“I wasn’t looking for love when I met my husband. We were both simply ready to fall in love. Everything happened so fast that our common friends doubted that our relationship was real. But there was an unexplainable connection that I did not have with anyone else before. Also, what was most important is we had both been on this ‘polished journey’ so when we met, we knew we were meant for and worthy of each other.
“After a few months of dating, we got engaged and made the trip to the altar in the presence of family and friends. My wonderful husband even adopted my two young children. We now have three beautiful children and after 12 years of marriage, we’re still crazy in love with each other.
“But we are far from perfect. Like all married couples, we had to strive hard to fight temptations and trials. Complacency has no place in a marriage or relationship. Nothing, not even the number of years together, can guarantee success in a marriage. Marriage is hard work. Never put your guard down.”
Jessica Bunevacz is now a happily married wife and mother of three currently residing in California. While her life has been unconventional she has no regrets, and lives with the understanding that we all have the same basic desire: to feel loved, whether it’s just for one night or for an entire lifetime. Using her own life experiences as a basis she develops real-world relationship advice to help women feel more confident and comfortable whether they’re dating or have already said “I do.”
“I don’t hold a degree in medicine or psychology. Nor do I have a professional license as a life coach or marriage counselor. If I had pursued a medical degree, it would have been in dermatology. I don’t claim to be a beauty or fashion guru; rather beauty and fashion are my passions. But my friends have been nothing but encouraging when I tell them I wanted to do this blog focusing on advice for women.
“I love women and I love being a woman. I love being surrounded by beautiful women and I believe every woman is attractive. I want to help and witness women evolve into their desired selves. We just have to learn to express what is within and to let out the essence of our beauty from our core.
“This blog had me finding my purpose. I want to be here for all the women who need to hear the voice of reason, a voice I have painfully come to know first-hand. I want to impart the wisdom I have gained in my own life.”