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Dating Regrets

Published under copyright by Loveawake Tirana © Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.
Do you have any dating regrets?  Most people do.  Here are some of the ones people often tell me about:

1. Dating someone for the wrong reason

Fear of being alone is a big motivator.  People would rather go out with anyone rather than not go out at all.  You can get stuck on the idea that you will never find someone.  And then you can get stuck … with the wrong person.

2. Missed opportunities

How many times did you notice someone interesting but walked away without saying anything?  Chances are, they might have been interested in you too but thought you didn’t care because you didn’t speak to them.  Sometimes, you have a short moment in time to seize an opportunity.  You need to step up and introduce yourself.  If you can get over the notion that you might be “rejected” you have nothing to lose.  If the person you talk to isn’t friendly, you don’t want to be there with them anyway.  Brush it off and move on.  Finding your love takes a certain amount of risk.  You can do it.

3. Working all the time

There is a fine line between being responsible at your job so you can take care of yourself, and working all the time to the point where you don’t have a life.  Seek the balance, knowing that there will be times when it isn’t possible to keep reasonable hours if you are in the middle of a project.  But you also need time to be alone, be with friends, be available to meet people to date, and rest and recharge yourself.  Make your personal life as important as your work life.

4. Saying thoughtless things

Unkind words can kill a relationship.  In the blink of an eye, put-down humor can stop sounding funny and start to sound mean.  Pay attention to what people are sensitive to (usually their weight, how they look, their background, or their age) and be attuned to comments that are hurtful.

5. The inability to say “no”

You may be the kind of person who doesn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  You know how bad it would feel if someone turned you down … so you don’t want to do that to someone else.  The problem is, if you don’t value your own happiness, you can get caught on this hook of being nice… and then cornered with someone you don’t really want.  You have to learn to set your boundaries and politely excuse yourself from a conversation with someone you are not attracted to.   Countless divorced people have told me they knew from the beginning of a relationship that it wasn’t right, but they didn’t know how to get out of it.  Not saying “no” is a big dating regret for many people.

6. Bad communication

This is probably the worst dating mistake everyone regrets: not expressing their feelings.  If you wait for the person you meet to say how he or she feels first, you may drift apart, not knowing there was the potential for a relationship.  On the other hand, if you profess feelings of love before you know someone well, it can frighten them away.  Sounding desperate is not attractive.  Keep your expressions appropriate to the situation.  Mean what you say, say what you mean, and don’t say it mean.
No one is perfect … and everyone has made some dating mistakes they’d like to forget.  You are not alone.

Why We Leave

I was listening to Rob Lowe talk about his best selling book the other day, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends,” and it was obvious the guy has done some work on himself.  One of his comments referred to his experience on the TV show, “West Wing.”  He talked about how he was sad that he had to leave it.  His explanation spoke volumes however: “I would hope that if my children were in a relationship where they were consistently unappreciated… they would leave.”
Does your relationship work?  If not—why doesn’t it?  Some of the basic reasons you might wind up in an unfulfilling relationship are:
* Codependency issues.  One or both of you have an addiction of some kind.
* The relationship was never meant to be—but you are too scared or stuck or rigid to leave.
* Economic/life-style/survivor issues.
* The other person had a family and you wanted a place to belong.
* You became committed before you knew the person well.
* You “settled” because you gave up looking for the person you could be madly in love with.
* The clock was ticking and you wanted to have a family.
* All your friends were in a relationship.
* You entered the relationship on false assumptions, illusions, projections.
* You were/are full of fear.  Fear you’ll never find anyone; fear you aren’t good enough; fear of being alone, living alone, dying alone; fear no one wants you.  All this fear causes you to make stuff up about yourself, the other person, and the relationship.
These may be some of the reasons and forces that led you into an unsatisfying relationship…and this could be why you feel unappreciated.  If so, it may be time for a relationship checkup.
Your relationship is working if you follow the 80%-20% rule:  80% of the time you are happy …and only 20% of your time together is spent on problems.
Should you leave?  After looking at the above points, and then applying the 80-20 rule, you will know if it’s time to consider taking the next step… which is a plan of action.
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