As a “certified” people watcher, I am continually amazed at the choices people make to find a romantic partner — someone to share life with into eternity. Why do such searches so often end up being the “wrong” choice? Brittany Wong has written an interesting piece on that subject. I quote her here and add my comments.

  1. YOU’RE PORTRAYING YOURSELF ON DATING APPS (AND POSSIBLY IN PERSON) AS  SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT. Insecure people put on a façade, an image, that they think portrays them in a favorable light. It does not! Authenticity is a starting point to meet another authentic person who may be a good fit for you. 
  2. YOU BUILD A FANTASY ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON BEFORE YOU EVEN MEET UP. You read certain things about a person or you are told about certain qualities of a person and you get all revved up to meet “the one.” Attracting the right partner requires intention as well as dedicating time to get to know the real person, not the one who you made up in your mind. So often in marriage therapy I hear one of both partners say, “S/he’s not the person I married.” BS, the person was. You were just too naïve, needy, or blind to know who was the real person underneath the image.
  3. YOU’RE TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE UNWORTHY OF LOVE, OR EVEN A FIRST DATE. I don’t know how many people actually say that, but I do know many feel that and it comes out in the interplay with another. Dating with confidence starts with embracing and valuing who you are now, at this moment in time. “You can’t give (love) what you don’t have.”
  4. YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR YOUR PERFECT MATCH. Good luck with that. By the way, you’re not perfect. Nobody is. You must be willing to balance having expectations while also accepting your partner for who they are. Most people, however, are not looking for the perfect match. They rush into an imperfect match out of neediness.
  5. YOU HAVE BAGGAGE TO ADDRESS. This is a biggee that too few people recognize and address. Everyone has some baggage that inhibits their ability to connect meaningfully and lovingly with another. Some of it comes from family of origin, other from previous relationships. And on and on. It is important to know and unload in order to move forward.
  6. YOUR TYPE IS “EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE”. Many potential people you may want to date are not capable of connecting. Too often you will be dating a “wounded bird” and you will try to “fix” him or her. It doesn’t work that way! It sends a message to your partner the message that they’re not good enough and it positions the two of you in a parent-child dynamic rather than equals and lovers.
  7. YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE YOU NEED, NOT SOMEONE YOU WANT. This is huge. As alluded to earlier, too many people grab on to a partner out of neediness, weakness. If you come into a relationship based on being needy you will find no one can help you to feel whole or fulfill all your needs. The relationship will not work. You should be looking for an interesting, equal partner (no “bottom fishing”), not an emotional caretaker to help you fill in the blanks in your life. 

Well, Respected Reader, where do you fit in all this? How have you done so far in your relationships? In the past have you been with the “wrong” person? Currently? Doing anything to find and maximize a good relationship. Given up? If you’re still in the game these tips may help. Hope so!

Dr. Stathas can be reached at 706-473-1780. Email: jstathas13@gmail.com. Website: drstathas.googlepages.com. Blog: drstathas.com

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