I’ve talked about the impact of negative beliefs on dating and relationships, the way you have to wade through a lot of dubious people to get to decent ones when you date online, and how there are a lot of difficult ‘older’ guys, but that their age isn’t the real issue if they have always been problematic. If anything, it is important to ensure that you’re not limiting yourself by having misguided ideas about type, compatibility, and common interests.
Many women have found themselves being ‘compatible’ with dubious dating and relationship behaviour. If you have a ‘type’, it’s typically a toxic type because it’s a blind spot that lets you continue to cater to negative relationship patterns and limits your options.
While it can be good to have similar interests, often many of the interests that we profess a common ground on don’t mean anything to the relationship in the wider context – you may not share common ground on values and where you both see the relationship.
There are good men to date just like there are plenty of good women to date. To declare ‘the good man’ obsolete is like deciding to resign yourself to the dubious characters of this world.
If you have misguided ideas about compatibility, type, and common interests, you will likely gravitate to guys that are the least likely candidates for giving you what you want.
There will be conflicts of interest and as I always explain to people: What’s the point in being able to sit there and have long-winded conversations about politics, having a shared love of 18th century literature, and listening to opera while eating your favourite food, if at the end of the day, you don’t share the common ground of being able to act with mutual love, care, trust, and respect, and you don’t both want to be in the same relationship?
I’m not with the man I thought I’d be with – thank goodness.
Before I got wise about myself and my dodgy dating and relationships, I was like a heat-seeking missile hunting down assclowns and Mr Unavailables!
The man who I thought I would be with is a reflection of my old beliefs. If I’d stuck with those beliefs, I’d still be dating same guy, different package.
The man who I’m with now, is a reflection of my authentic self with my revised beliefs.
He is infinitely more than I imagined and that’s good, because when I was an assclown and Mr Unavailable lover, I had a limited imagination. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees and I was chasing a feeling instead of looking at the bigger picture.
Every day I hear from women who’ve had the same dating and relationship patterns from their late teens. There’s been tweaks here and there along the way, but when they look back on where they’ve been, they realise that they’ve been with same man, different package.
Dating is tiresome especially when you’re very focused on it or you’ve been doing it for a long time. If you’re feeling jaded and have come to believe that like Barbara who inspired this post, you’ve been left with “the sh*t”, it’s important to have an honest conversation with yourself and evaluate what you’ve been looking for and whether you are unwittingly continuing to recreate the same patterns.
Barbara mentioned in her email about how she was sure that her success had something to do with why she was struggling to meet someone. While there are some men who feel their nuts shrivel up around women they deem to be more successful than them, how successful you are is only part of the problem, not all of the problem, and it can sometimes be the easy thing to blame, especially as it’s not like you’re going to go out and ‘change’ how successful you are and throw away your money or achievements so that you can meet a man.
I talked about the whole ‘I’m successful! Why am I still single?‘ issue a couple of months back and as part of evaluating where you are and taking control of things that you can influence, it is important to realise that there are other reasons why you haven’t met a man and it’s not to do with your success and it’s those things that we often avoid addressing and changing.
“You’re not single because you’re successful. You’re not going to be in a relationship and happy unless tied in with whatever measurements of success you have, you have healthy love habits. You may be single though because you place too much emphasis on your ‘success’, using it to define yourself and are not dealing with other behaviours that could be impacting on your chances because you don’t recognise the importance.”
Often, when we date a ‘problematic’ person – let’s say they’re resistant to being committed, whether that’s committing to being with you, or committing to let you go, plus they blow hot and cold, they make promises they can’t keep, their actions and words don’t match, they’re passive aggressive, they do everything on their own terms, disappear, don’t call when they say they will, stonewall you on discussions and resolving issues etc – they didn’t just wake up in 2010 and become this way.
They’re often this way before you were with them and they’ll often continue to be this way long after you are gone.
It’s time to change the type of guy you’re interested in, especially if what you’re looking for hasn’t really changed that much.
Relationship insanity is carrying the same baggage, beliefs, behaviour and attitudes, choosing same person different package, and essentially sticking with ‘your way’, and then expecting different results.
In dating, relationship insanity becomes like continuing in the same mode and hoping that fate will wear one of these men down.
This is not about absolving these guys from what can be extremely annoying behaviour, but quite frankly, you haven’t (or shouldn’t have) the time and energy to try to revolutionise the wheel. Experience already indicates what the likely outcome will be if you keep pursuing the same types of guy. Rather than keep hammering away, sticking to them like glue, and eradicating your self-esteem in the process while trying to get him to make you the exception to his rule of behaving in this way, move on.
Address what you’re looking for as a companion because I’ll be honest, certain types of people, that’s both male and female, don’t make great candidates for a relationship. If you keep trying to change them and to fix/heal/help them, you’re betting on commitment from the least likely candidates.
It is important to realise that what you think, feel, and do, is not what someone else thinks, feels, and does.
Feeling attracted to someone or professing love for someone doesn’t demand an IOU. Wanting to settle down doesn’t mean that each guy you meet should want to settle down too, especially if your ‘type’ tends to be the commitment resistant type.
It’s better to address your own beliefs and issues about dating and relationships because if you assume it’s all them and not you, you will waste even more time with people who are not worthy of your energy.
Before you saddle up and get back out on the dating horse, remember the following:
1) Boundaries are a requirement. They teach people how to treat you and also what to expect. You teach them that they can do as they like, they’ll do as they like and disrespect you. Know your boundaries and use them to filter out people who do not share your core values.
2) I get that you want commitment, to settle down etc., but you have to be careful of assuming that the way you think is the way that someone else of a similar age, background etc thinks. This means that it’s important to not make too many assumptions and to spend time around like-minded people who reflect your beliefs. Which brings me to…
3) Sanity check your beliefs about yourself, relationships, and love. When I work with readers, I ask them what they believe (they often give 3-5 core beliefs on each) and they are incredibly revealing and contradictory. If you believe all men cheat, that there’s something wrong with you, that sex is the most important thing, that love conquers all, that there are no good men to date, that people leave, and that you should stay and try to work things out no matter how poorly you are treated, you open yourself up to a world of pain. What you believe is what you get. When you look out at the world, your beliefs are what you see. You will be drawn to people that reflect what you believe and continue to be stuck.
4) Drop the illusions and be actions focused. Keep your feet very firmly in reality, be careful of betting on non-existent potential – seeing potential in every guy you meet and sticking with illusions even when the reality clearly indicates that the two things don’t match. If you’re the type that builds sandcastles in the sky, stay away from online dating until you can be grounded in reality.
5) The modern world has created this concept of unlimited options, plenty more fish in the sea, and a criteria-based world where you can go online and look for partners that match your list of requirements. Every day though, people do remove their options and choose to only be with one person. Do not let people keep/treat you as an option – you deserve better.
6) Let go of the ex. Whether you’re playing the Yo-Yo Girl in a boomerang relationship and hooking up, pining for someone, or secretly hoping that they’ll come back, or are even nursing several heartbreaks, deal with them. You’re carrying dead weight and you cannot truly move into a positive future with someone new, if you’re still emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually caught up with someone else.
7) Be the person you want to date. It’s all very well saying how guys have poor dating and relationship habits, but ladies, we do too. You can curse the immaturity of the fickle, flip-flapping, overgrown man-children, but it’s important to ensure that your own love habits have matured and that you understand true compatibility, type, and common interests.
8) Stop chasing a feeling. Focus on substance and look at the bigger picture.
9) Believe in good people out there. It’s important to have faith and don’t write off the men of this world because we wouldn’t like it if we were written off.
10) Get out of stuck. Break your habits, move around in different circles, do different things, go to different places, and fill up your life. If you’re in a sister cluster where you’re all professing how crap the dating world is, work together to change your outlook and experiences, or break away, because it’s important not to enable one another to stay stuck.
As I said in part two, “If you can hand on heart, with 100% honesty say that you have boundaries, healthy love habits, have no attraction to Mr Unavailables and assclowns (that’s not attracting them, I mean actually being attracted to and becoming involved with them), personal security, a full life that isn’t dependent on your relationship status, positive beliefs about love, relationships, and yourself, and have not stuck to the same routine and tried and tested route, then go ahead and say that there are very few decent men to date. …….read my posts on 10 reasons why women choose men and why they shouldn’t, my extensive posts on compatibility, type, and common interests, as well as my post on ‘But we have so much in common!, as well as positive woman equals positive relationship. If you still think that you’re still thinking that you’re good to go, let’s talk.”
And I mean it. If you read all this and deduced that you’ve been good to go and your house is in order, get in touch. But in the meantime, there are good men to date.