Its not him, it really is you.

Relationships-in-RecoveryOk, the title is a little harsher than I tend to be, but I feel it’s important to just be blunt and honest. So often after a break up, many will go to their friends for comfort and reassurance they weren’t to blame for the end of a relationship. I myself have taken part in this rite of passage on more than, well fifty occasions. Even though I also looked at myself in all my failed relationships, I still was able to put a majority of the failure on my exes’ shoulders. Over time, I began to think, “how can all these guys come to the same conclusion that I am not dateable.” Well they knew something I wasn’t prepared to see myself, but now I am.

I believe a male biological clock ticks for many. The idea of being sixty and alone is very unsettling. But more unsettling is the idea of being sixty and stuck in a relationship with the wrong person. Now in my mid thirties, I feel it’s important to be more practical in how I evaluate my dating patterns, without feeling the need to settle and cause myself and my possible partner distress. In doing so, I looked at how I date, who I have dated, and what my part was in the dissolution of the relationship. I can’t fix or worry about their problem, but I have all the power in the world to adjust my habits to be more successful at dating.

imageI want to make sure it’s clear, this is not advice on how to trick someone into thinking you are something you aren’t. If a successful relationship is your goal, it’s important to present an accurate picture of what they are in store for. The relationship will end once the acting does, and then you are back to square one. This is about patterns that more so don’t show you as you really are. This is about presenting the good with the bad, but making sure the bad isn’t mental constructs that have developed through past relationships, too many romantic comedies, or friends relationships that scare the hell out of you. This is about that self-help book that gave you amazing tips that have kept you single all this time. Now is the time to help yourself by being yourself.

So when I say it’s you, I mean you had a hand in the dissolution of the relationship. The harsh truth is, even if your man was a douche, you picked him. You decided to look past his faults, all the signs of his behavior, and maintained his ego to continue acting as he wanted. It’s important to look at your role, because in the end you still want a partner, and you don’t want a repeat of any, and I mean any of the past relationship drama you’ve had. So many people stick to types as a way to choose a partner. They go for the jock type because they feel that type SHOULD match them perfectly, but just because someone is that type, doesn’t mean they will embody the ideals you have placed on that type. The first step is working through your mental formations and destroying all of them.

The mind creates everything. We see a hot guy and think, yes he is strong, masculine, and husband material. He looks like that father up the street who cuts the grass shirtless, picks his kids up from soccer practice, and kisses his wife in public without reason. He is perfect, and he is a totally different guy then the guy who is hot that reminds you of him. This goes for old boyfriends and your friend’s man you covert in secret. animatedmenIt’s important to have no preconceived notions on anyone you meet really so you can evaluate with a clean slate, giving that person a real shot, and you a fresh and lite experience.

The second step is to be in the moment. Stop thinking about what your friends will think of your man, how hot you will look going to the white party with him, or what the Christmas card will look like in the future. Be about really enjoying what that person is showing you because all of those things will be revealed earlier than you think. I know pretty much everything I need to know in the first and second date because I have crafted a dating style that opens that person up (click here).. I put them at ease so they don’t feel they must put on a show to impress me. The moment they try to impress me is the moment I’m done. It’s important not to try to impress either. Just exist and have fun. Sure later you will have to engage in the Q&A portion of getting to know each other. You won’t know if they want to live in the suburbs or city, private school or public school, or many deep philosophical differences until you ask, but asking in the first couple of dates doesn’t put you in the best light.

The last step I’m going to mention (really I don’t have a list) is to listen. After looking back, I realized I did a lot of talking about my dreams, my plans, my, my, my, and didn’t take the time to shut up and listen to him.¬†In some cases, I recall them telling me who they were and what they wanted, but because I liked them and the chemistry in other areas was amazing, I felt I could change them or they would change themselves for me. imageIf you go into a relationship thinking over time they will change one or more things about themselves for you, you already doomed your relationship. Why start with drama and a project? When you listen you get the answers that are important. You get to decide if those answers are acceptable or if you should move on, but thinking, ” oh I can get him to see my side later” from jump is silly, destructive, and unfair to him.

Honestly I could write a book on do’s and don’ts but when I say it’s you I mean you have to look at your part in what happened. I mostly see people trying to put their possible partner in old boxes, looking too far ahead instead of being in the moment, and listening and accepting what is said and presented as the chief reasons for failure. The other reason really is you aren’t ready. You can’t handle being a partner, being supportive, and being kind even during struggle. You can’t handle you might be a little cra cra, and calming down or even being the passenger in the relationship might be better. You might need this alone time to be very okay being alone to be very happy and grateful when this unassuming stranger comes into your life and never leaves.

I want everyone to find love. I know I will find it so the single life doesn’t bother me. I’m doing the work now, I put it into practice when I get the chance to date, and if it fails I evaluate, adjust if needed, and on to the next. I’m open, I’m listening, and I’m ready.

What are some steps you think would be helpful? Do any of my scenarios relate to your past or current dating life? Leave a comment below.

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