It’s not fair. Finding love is so important—yet most of us get it wrong at least once. I wish there were a magic wand I could wave so you could recognize and hold onto a good love match. The best I can give you in this brief article is to provide you with a cautionary list of dating advice.
This list is based on more than five years of research with thousands of women just like you—smart in many ways but not as much when it comes to love.
1. You “swear off” men for too long after a breakup.
This mindset is the Number One mistake women made in my study. Yes, it is good to take time off from dating—as long as you use that time to examine what went wrong in your previous relationship. But too many women took too long of a break out of fear of making another wrong love choice.
Waiting too long to date again makes you rusty in reading men and yourself. It also leaves you vulnerable to choosing a man hastily when you face a crisis.
2. You avoid sustaining effective, in-depth, psychological self-examination.
Coming to honest terms with you is not easy. It requires tremendous emotional bravery. Yes, reading self-help books is very useful—but you most likely will still need help in sustaining and applying your understanding.
Get a licensed mental health professional to serve as your guide. And stay in therapy beyond the feeling of being “cured.” Most often, this sense of well-being is a temporary high that masks the fears of looking more deeply inside.
3. You rely too soon on feelings of “chemistry” to rule a person in or out.
Yes—that feeling of “chemistry” with someone is so wonderful. But—oops—remember that you probably felt that way before with someone who turned out not to be such a good match for you. The truth is that you can feel chemistry for someone who is not good for you.
Unfortunately, that sweet sense of comfort with a man could be coming from the feelings you had growing up in your family. If your family and your role in it are not healthy, then you are more likely to find yourself in an unhealthy intimate relationship.
Give most men at least one more chance before you rule him out. And take your time to know a man who appeals to you. Ask yourself these two key questions: Do I like the me who is in this relationship? Do I respect my man?
4. You had sex too soon.
Feeling that special “click” with a man can lead you straight to the bedroom. Okay—sex on the first date is commonplace. But there are good reasons to forego sex too soon that are not based on religious or family values.
Having sex right away is a big sign that you are not in charge of your emotional management—which is a hallmark of adulthood. Smart women know that sex activates oxytocin and similarly acting neural chemicals that make you feel close to your partner.
Being in charge of your feelings such as loneliness and anxiety allow you to be in charge of choosing wisely to have sex—rather than going with the flow and into bed with a man you don’t know but to whom you feel close! Slow down.
5. You over-correct your previous love mistake.
The women in my study often over-corrected their previous love choice. If things didn’t work out with a man who was sweet but not too effective, then next time they chose a competent man.
Now there is nothing wrong with this kind of man—unless, of course, you misread his take-control-of-you as competency. And so, to avoid choosing yet another controlling man you go back to choosing a mild man whom you think couldn’t possibly hurt you as your mean and rotten, controlling man did.
Get out of this Flip Cycle by paying attention to how well you respect each other and how well you act as a team.
Hope these tips help!
The National Association of Social Workers has named her as One of the Fifty who has contributed to the field. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’Who’s Who publications.
Receive your free What to do on the First Three Dates booklet by signing up on her website www.lovevictory.com