- Dr. Teresa Edwards
In Look Before You Leap, I covered three dating pitfalls that commonly cause hurt to individuals and relationships. Below, I cover another three mistakes that could lead to painful emotions and damaged relationships.
1. Hiding the real self
People hide who they are for many reasons. For example, some people hate being alone. They hate being alone so much that they hide who they really are to make a relationship work. In the long run, this is never successful. Eventually, the real you will show up, shocking the person you’re with and possibly causing a lack of trust in the relationship. You can’t have a REAL relationship if you’re not being the REAL you. When you decide that the real you is good enough not to hide, you’ll attract the person that’s a good fit for you.
2. Relationship jumping
People tend to jump from relationship to relationship when they are afraid of being alone or they want something to distract them from the pain of the previous relationship ending. Relationship jumping doesn’t give you time to heal, to reflect, to process, and to learn. You enter the next relationship with the baggage that you got from or carried into the last relationship. When people relationship jump, they are repeating the same relational pattern over and over with different people. Take time to heal and grow after a relationship ends. Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
3. Believing that “All You Need Is Love”
While this phrase made a hit song for the Beatles, it’s not a good motto for dating. Stable, long-lasting relationships are created by the joining of two mature, emotionally healthy people who share common values, goals, beliefs, and worldviews. People that are mature and emotionally healthy generally have certain characteristics. They are working towards personal growth, willing to admit their weaknesses, respectful to others, empathetic, dependable, adaptable, emotionally and financially independent, emotionally intelligent, and have healthy relationships with family and friends. It's these characteristics that enable two people to work together through ups and downs and create shared meaning through relationship.
If you're struggling with any of these dating pitfalls, talking to a counselor can help you sort things out.