Do you want to find the partner of your dreams? Someone who will accept you and love you for who you are? Someone whose priority is to help you to become the best version of yourself? Someone who will fill your world with happiness and love every day? To find the right person for yourself will require not only a diligent search effort but a well thought out want list as well.
When you have not taken the time to think through what you want in a partner and written it down, you simply have no basis for making a good decision whether to walk away or stick around. When you are desperate, when you feel you are not worthy of the partner of your dreams and settle for less than you want, you will make the dating mistakes listed below and sadly suffer the consequences. And the consequences can be severe – years of your life invested into the wrong person, an unfulfilled relationship, guilt, unhappiness, and damage to your self-esteem.
It is sad to say but true that most people give more thought to purchasing a pair of shoes than what type of person they want for a partner. How about you? Do you have a well thought out list in writing of the character, values, and compatibility traits that your ideal partner will possess? If not, why not? You cannot afford to settle for dating whoever chooses to ask you out and hope for the best. When you settle for less than what you want, making the dating mistakes Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D. listed in her book Are You The One For Me, you are risking a future for yourself filled with regret and heartache.
You can spare yourself from hurtful dating experiences and poor decisions regarding a future partner by avoiding these six common mistakes
First, having sex to early distorts the relationship more than any other single event. Sex is a powerful emotion between two people and when it is experienced too early in a relationship it can be very harmful to the health of the relationship. When sex is experienced before you are emotionally and intellectually intimate as a couple, the relationship can become distorted as you get to know one another. More often than not, the woman will be the one to sacrifice her identity, edit her behavior, and compromise her thoughts and actions in an attempt to make the relationship work; she must justify the validity of the relationship to support her sexual behavior. The negative trade-off for attempting to justify the relationship is the curtailing of ones willingness to freely reveal their true self. The compromising of your true identity will always damage the development of a healthy, balanced relationship. To get to know someone intimately on an emotional and intellectual level takes an investment of time together; you need to exchange thoughts and share mutual experiences for a long period of time. You need to share feelings, beliefs, life values, past history, weaknesses, fears, dreams, and experience hardships together. Don’t rush the sex; it will be less hurtful and much easier to end the relationship if you discover he is not the right one for you.
Second, we don’t ask enough questions. It can be uncomfortable to ask probing questions but how else are you going to get to know someone; how do they think, what do they value, what does their past look like. Maybe you are so desperate to make the relationship work you don’t want to rock the boat. But the bottom line is the more understanding you have about someone’s thinking and personal reality, the better decisions you will be able to make regarding your compatibility. The only way you can really get to know someone is to spend a lot of quality time conducting meaningful communication; you need to ask a lot of probing questions, listen, and follow up with more questions to gain a real understanding of another person.
Third, we put commitment before compatibility. Many people just want a partner; they settle into a relationship to quickly without ever questioning their real, long term compatibility. We will rush to commit ourselves to the other person wrongly for any of the following reasons: we are tired of dating, we are lonely, we feel unloved and lost as a single, we are afraid we are getting too old to attract a partner, or we simply want to be part of a couple versus being single. Generally people who place commitment ahead of compatibility will have sex too early, will move in together too early, will feel this person is perfect for them when they have only been dating for a short time, will feel intense feelings toward the partner and fanaticize about a future with them. Their reality of a compatible future relationship with this person is distorted.
Fourth, we do not give ourselves enough time to know the person intimately on an emotional and intellectual level to test real compatibility. Because we are so rushed to fall in love with someone, we become a couple in our mind before we have taken the time to get to know the real person. Getting to know another individual intimately takes several months of meaningful conversation, shared activities, experiences, and hardships.
Fifth, we can be seduced by flattering material lifestyles. Women in particular can be disempowered by men with financial resources, especially when the resources are used to purchase nice things to make them feel more worthy. Women can easily be seduced with the security and care a financially well off man can offer and neglect searching his heart and mind for long term compatibility. Financial well- being cannot replace the emotional and intellectual intimacy that healthy relationships require.
Sixth, we are not emotionally ready to enter into a healthy relationship. When you are not whole emotionally, you will not be capable to determine if you are with the right person. For example, if you still carry emotions about a past relationship, if you feel empty, if you do not feel worthy as an individual, if you feel lonely and desperate, if you are unwilling to discuss your feelings, if you feel “Your Dream Man” would never want to be in a relationship with you, if you have an addiction problem. It is impossible to search for true compatibility openly and honestly if you are looking for a crutch to make yourself whole. Healthy relationships can only thrive when both people bring a strong self to the relationship and are each capable of lifting their partner up to a higher level of themselves.
Let me ask you, have you ever committed any of these dating relationship mistakes? What was the outcome? People commit these dating mistakes all of the time. People enter into relationships with the wrong person all of the time. People get stuck and settle all of the time. People suffer in unhappy relationships all of the time. People are getting divorced all of the time. You don’t have to be one of them! Know what you want, don’t settle and make these mistakes. Keep searching for the right one until you find him.
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