When we’re interested in someone and think they could be the one, it seems that we’ll make a lot of changes in ourselves to accommodate our new love interest.
Over the years I’ve had plenty of conversations with people that have lost themselves in their relationship or marriage to make it work.
Recently I caught myself starting to bury my sense of humor because the woman I was seeing didn’t get it. The reason is that I loved her…and still do.
I was all in to make this work. Fortunately, I came to my senses and recognized that I was willing to put in a lot of effort with little or no reciprocal effort in return.
It surprised me how quickly I was willing to give up so much of what was important to me. As I look back, the more I gave, the more she took.
When someone special comes along, we’re all blinded by their great qualities. We’re also blinded by our imagination of the potential we see in this new relationship.
Meanwhile we miss or overlook the warning signs that will ultimately lead to the demise of that relationship.
To be fair, it sometimes takes a little while to discover that our new love isn’t going to live up to our expectations of who we think they are.
We get so wrapped up in anticipation and expectations.
We devote ourselves to these new relationships in hopes that this is the one.
There’s a significant time and emotional investment that’s needed for all relationships. Without it, all relationships will fail…eventually.
But there has to come a time when you let go. You have to recognize that no matter what you do, it will never be right. They will never be the right one for you.
The longer you stay, the harder it gets to leave.
I was visiting with a friend of mind the other day and we were sharing stories about dating and the difficulty of finding someone that is amenable to a traveling lifestyle.
The longer you stay, the deeper your attachment becomes. Even if you know this isn’t the right relationship for you, your connection becomes stronger with each passing day.
That’s one of the reasons it takes so much time to heal after your marriage or long-term relationship ends.
The longer you stay, the longer it takes to peel back the protective layers you have built up shield yourself.
Whether you have buried your sense of humor, avoid certain topics of discussion, or abandon certain circles of friends, it takes time to regain yourself when a relationship ends.
Be selective in dating choices.
It’s so important to pay attention to all aspects of a relationship. It’s always easy to see the things you have in common. It’s not always easy to see your differences.
I’m not suggesting that you overthink every aspect of every date, of every conversation, or every action or reaction.
I’m suggesting that you step back periodically to make sure you’re both on the same page. This is where great conversation comes in. It’s also the time when you can start to recognize whether their actions are reflecting their words.
It’s when words and actions are consistently incongruent that it’s time to walk away. Don’t try to change anyone. You are who you are and they are who they are.
If it’s not a good fit, no matter what you do, you’ll never make it work by trying to force it.
I know this sounds cold and heartless but you have to know when to cut your losses and walk away.
Human nature will cause you to second guess your decision to walk away. You’ll be drawn back to your partner for a myriad of reason.
This is the time you need to focus on the reasons your relationship didn’t work. If you’re going to overthink anything, these are the things to focus on.
Here are some resources for you.
My book, Dating Backward, is a great resource to start with. In it you’ll learn (or relearn) the basics of dating and the fundamentals of all great relationships. You can order it directly from my website, RickSoetebier.com or from Amazon.com.
If you want a more personal touch, drop me a note at Rick@RickSoetebier.com to schedule a free introductory personal session.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today. Have a great and blessed day.