Here’s where I see so many people run into problems: they say that they want to be in a serious relationship, to settle down, and to no longer be in their old pattern, but their choices say otherwise. And it’s the latter that sets the stage for the relationship they will get.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say that you want to be in a serious relationship. You want the whole shebang including compatibility, attraction, your emotional needs met, and are ready for the things you say you want such as sharing a home, having a family or progressing in your career. But then two twos, you’re going out with or being someone that contradicts this.

Maybe you’re back with your ex who keeps dicking you around. Perhaps you’re moving super fast on a new/ambiguous/casual situation. Maybe the things you’re doing mean that you feel bad about yourself, triggered or anxious, or that you can’t be present, for example, at work.

All of this is sending a message. It’s sending a message to you but also a message to life.

You’re voting against yourself.

It’s not the case that you can just say something and then Shazam!, everything else will follow. You will have people, things and situations that will present themselves to you. It’s all too easy to assume that you’ve learned all that you need to and that it won’t be tested. But how will you know that you’ve 1) learned what you say you’ve learned and 2) that you’re serious about being, doing and having the things, relationships and opportunities you say that you need, desire and deserve?

How you respond is a vote for or against what you say you want. It’s not about being ‘perfect’ (no one is), but it is about choosing to zig where you would normally zag. It’s about matching your choices your values so that you don’t wake up knee-deep in a situation that doesn’t reflect your character or highest intentions for you.

If you’re serious about being in a serious relationship, accept no substitutes.

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