In a recent blog post we discussed the most common dating mistake that everyone makes. We all do it until we get tired of suffering it seems. I did it for years, and it took getting my heart broken enough times before I had to make a change. I’d finally suffered enough. If you find yourself getting into semi-long relationships (3-6 months) that end abruptly, or with a lot of drama, then you may be guilty of what I’m about to describe below.
Did you miss that post? No worries. What is the most common dating mistake that everyone makes?
We break up with someone and then we turn around and date someone else exactly the same. Some of us date someone worse than our ex!
They have the same negative traits. They treat us basically the same as the last person. They let us down just like we were let down by the person before. It’s a viscous cycle and one that’s super easy to get stuck in. If you find yourself constantly let down by whomever you date, you may be guilty of what I describe below.
Why do we do this?
More importantly why do we keep doing it over and over again? The previous blog post goes into the why’s. (I posted the link at the end in case you missed that post). Today’s post helps you to identify two actions you’re taking that lead you down the same un-healthy path. It addresses exactly what you’re doing that results in yet another failed relationship. It also addresses how to STOP doing it!
I should know, after all this used to be me.
The actions that I speak of are two-fold. I continuously see people do this when they’re dating. The person who does this is the person who can’t seem to keep a relationship. Whether they get dumped or they can’t get a relationships to stick, these two actions are all too common.
I actually have a term that I use to describe people who do this. They are Fantasy Daters. They don’t live in reality and see only what they want to see. Call it rose-colored glasses, call it wishing and hoping. You can call it whatever you want, but bottom line, you’re not living in reality if you do the below.
Below are two actions of Fantasy Daters.
- They only look for things in the other person that validate what they want to see
- They ignore what they don’t want to see
You may think it sounds pretty basic. You may think you don’t do it. The truth is, if you continue to date the same type of person repeatedly and you’re still struggling to find someone, you most likely do this.
The person who does this will date the same type of person over and over again. This person generally doesn’t like to stick up for him or herself or rock the boat. They may not know any better (or have suffered enough!) or they may be afraid to be alone. This person only pays attention to the actions or traits of the other person that they want to see. They seek validation for what they want to believe. This person is all too quick to gloss over unattractive traits or pass them off as isolated events.
Why does the relationship end abruptly?
We don’t want to deal with reality so what do we do? We come up with excuses, or worse we ignore bad behavior. We begin to make excuses as to why this person behaves this way. At some point it’s in our face whether we want to see it or not! Then it happens. You can’t ignore it anymore. You can no longer make excuses as to why this person is behaving a certain way. They might end up dumping you out of the blue! Worse, they end up doing something really crappy to you, or they literally disappear! You feel blind-sided, but if you’d paid attention to what you didn’t want to see, you wouldn’t be so surprised.
This is the reason a lot of our friends viewing from the outside have the “I told you so” look on their face when it finally happens. Do you know this face all too well?
How do you take off the blinders? How do you stop the madness?
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you already know that I believe in writing everything down. Everyone should have a journal. If you’re struggling to figure something out in your life, then you should own a journal and write about it. Writing in a journal helps you process your feelings. Period. Anything you’re struggling with in your life requires you to go through a series of thoughts, and you must process those thoughts to find a conclusion. Writing helps you do that.
Here’s what you should do. When you meet someone new and think that things may progress in the relationship, take a moment and write down what you like about that person. What are those qualities that you find attractive in this person right now?
Does he or she seem like a good parent? Write it down. Does this person seem kind? Write it down. Does he or she appear to be open-minded and easy going? Write it down. Does this person appear to be mentally stable and have it together? Write it down.
Write it all down and put a date on it.
This is your reality check-list.
You will use this list and often refer back to it as the relationships progresses to check in with yourself. If something happens to the contrary of what you wrote down, make a note! After you’ve been dating for a while, (3 months or so) check back in. Go back to your list.
Are those things that you wrote down proving to be true? Are they proving to be false? Is this person not holding up to your first impression?
Remember, whenever you meet someone new they are on their best behavior. Everyone puts their best foot forward. The one person that will stick, is the one who is consistent. The person you want will in time show you with their actions, that they can back up their words. Anybody can say anything they want, but if their actions don’t show it, then it’s simply BS.
Did you go back to this list and find that nothing you wrote down seems to be true? You need to take a good hard look at why you’re still dating this person.
On the contrary, you should also write down anything that happens in the relationship that gives you an unsettling feeling. I’m not saying that what this person did was bad. I’m saying to write down anything that made you raise your eyebrows even once. This is where you need to pay especially close attention. These are the little clues you will get that something bigger and even worse may happen. (If the potential is there of course)
Pay attention to the eye brow raisers.
Those are your little relationship clues. Don’t ignore them. If this person did something that doesn’t line up with your reality check list, then pay close attention. The eye brown raisers are what so many people gloss over. So many people push them under the rug or dismiss them all too easily. The eye brow raisers are your best indicators of this person’s true self.
What’s great about doing this, is that you also begin to notice patterns. Patterns will emerge that give you an idea of the types of behaviors that you’re attracted to. Healthy and un-healthy behaviors! Are these good behaviors? Are they bad? Pay attention. Through this process you’re now coming up with your list. This is your list of those qualities that are important to you in a person, and those qualities that don’t work for you. It’s also now your reality check-list for dating.
When you begin to date someone new, start your reality check list. Keep yourself in check. Keep that person in check. Keep it real. Don’t be a fantasy dater.
I don’t know what happened to the day when everyone had a journal. Everything turned digital and no one takes the time to write down their thoughts anymore. The best way to figure out anything that’s challenging you, is to write down your thoughts. As time passes things begin to make sense when you go back and read it. Once a little time has passed, you’ve gotten more references to draw from. You’ve seen more and it’s easier to put things into perspective. I guess that takes too long in this digital world.
That’s my take on it anyway. Get a journal!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Did you miss the The Most Common Dating Mistake Blog Post? Click here to read it.
Do you know that all of this advice is well and good, but if you’re not practicing Old School Dating then you’re totally missing the mark.
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