#254 - Affairs of the heart can be messy.

dating loneliness respect self worth

When was the last time you were in a relationship and didn’t get emotionally involved? Even if that relationship only lasted for a few weeks, odds are you were already developing emotional ties to them.

When we start dating someone and it looks like you have a really strong connection, everything is new and exciting and you start opening your heart to them. Things seem to be going well and then slowly you recognize that something is off.

The long phone conversations start getting shorter. Dates become more infrequent. Communication turns to texting and phone calls become rare. These are sure signs that something is wrong.

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Make sure you’re dating for the right reasons!
If you get into or are in a relationship because you’re afraid to be alone or think you need someone in your life, you’re setting yourself up for failure. These are fairly common signs of potential co-dependency.

We all date for different reasons, and if your reasons are unhealthy it will be nearly impossible to have and maintain a healthy relationship.

We all have a hand in our past. Whatever has happened in your past relationships is partially your fault. Many of you are going to tune out right here because I’ve just offended your sense of reality. Stick with me though. I think you’ll understand in a minute.

You’re probably not responsible for the physical, verbal, or psychological abuse you may have suffered BUT, you are the one that stayed after the first episode of abuse. You’re the one that stayed after you started to recognize patterns of abuse or bad behavior.

You can’t control what someone else says or does to you, only how you respond to it. When you stay in an abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship, you’re saying that it’s okay to treat me this way.

When you date because you’re lonely, you’re probably going to remain lonely in that relationship.
Sure, you have someone in your life but, is it a quality relationship? You’re probably giving your all to the relationship but are they?

When you’re the only one really participating in the relationship it becomes a struggle. You try to please them in any and every way you know how, yet they just don’t respond. Why? It could be a number of reasons.

Maybe they’re just not that into you. Maybe they’re not emotionally available. Maybe they just don’t want to date seriously. Regardless of the reason, you’re the only one truly in the relationship and that gets pretty lonely after a while.

Make sure you’re not making someone’s life a living hell!
Don’t carry you anger and hurt from past relationships into new relationships. If you try carrying that much unhealthy baggage into your next relationship…or even just casual dating for that matter, you’re going to be a miserable date and dater.

No matter how hard you try to bury your emotions from the past, they will eventually bubble up in the least expected places and ways.

This past spring, I met someone that I was really attracted to. We had a couple of great dates and things seems to be going well as we started to get to know each other. There seemed to be a mutual respect and interest in each other.

As we were having dinner one evening, I asked about her last relationship. As she talked, she became a little bit upset and stressed. She had an epiphany.

She realized that she really wasn’t ready to date because she still harbored a lot of anger for her ex. I truly respect her for recognizing that she still had issues to resolve before she could move on and date in a healthy way.

In general, there is not greater turn-off than trying to date someone that is angry all the time.

Don’t date for sex.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people date just for sex. They don’t necessarily have a lot in common and don’t share many core values, the sex is good.

The real problem is not the great sex. It’s the fact that you don’t develop a real connection or even truly get to know the person you’re sleeping with.

What a great way to create a biological attachment without a significant intellectual or spiritual connection. When this relationship ends it’s like a smoker, alcoholic, or junkie trying to break their habit. I’ve talked about the biological connections we make in previous blogs. For more information check out my blog #272 – We’re designed for connection to other people.

Don’t date with a chip on your shoulder!
Dating can be hard enough. Don’t make it harder because you have a chip on your shoulder. It’s so easy to get angry because a relationship or relationships didn’t go the way you want.

It’s easy to be angry about the fact that you invest time getting to know someone and they don’t really develop an interest in you. It’s so easy to get hurt over something you have no control over.

If you meet someone you like, don’t get upset or take it personally that they don’t like you back. Men, you’re not God’s gift to women. Ladies, you’re not God’s gift to men. However, you’re all God’s gift to someone…you just have to find them.

Dating can be emotionally messy and undoubtedly has been for all of us at times.
Recognize that this is a part of the process but don’t make it any worse than it has to be. Make sure you are emotionally healthy and ready to date before getting serious with anyone. Take your time getting back into dating after your divorce or the death of your spouse. If you have any serious repetitive issues, seek help from a qualified counselor or therapist. Sometimes there are issue that you just can’t fix on your own.

Take dating seriously. Don’t toy with people and play on their emotional vulnerability. It’s always a great feeling to swoop in and try to save the day. In reality, you’re probably only making things worse.

Date with the best outcome for both of you in mind. Understand that no matter who you date, emotions are going to be involved. Work at making sure that you start from a position of emotional health and stability. Leave the fixing of someone else to the professionals.

I sincerely hope you’ll think about what I’ve shared with you today and use this information to help you be more proactive and successful in your dating life.

Join me next week for “How well do you think you communicate?”