The Importance of Open-Mindedness in Dating

open minded

The Importance of Open-Mindedness in Dating

There are lots of frustrated, depressed and discouraged daters out there in the world today. They don’t think they will ever find the one for them. But there are only a few attitudes that can mean the difference between someone happy and satisfied in their love life and those who are not. One of the most important qualities a person can exhibit in dating is open-mindedness. Most people have a mental or even a physical checklist for what they are looking for in the perfect match. The best daters know that however realistic their list seems, they will date people who have other qualities that they like that aren’t on the list, or they may date people who have potential but don’t have one or even a few of the qualities they decided they were in search of. But the best daters don’t write someone off completely merely because they don’t possess all of the qualities they decided they needed. In fact, they may continue to date this person or these people, and be open-minded enough to the possibility that a person who does have these qualities may come along.

Those who are open-minded can see potentialities with people, ways to be flexible and make things work. They also know that they may need to throw out their checklist altogether. Lots of people gulp and feel a wave of fear with the thought of taking a checklist they worked hard on, which they were committed to and chucking it out the window. But the truth is that the human heart is far more intricate, precarious, mysterious and difficult to quantify than anything else on earth. Said differently, you could fall in love with someone, struck out of nowhere like a lightning bolt, or it may come to you slowly as the tide slowly rolls in to shore. But this person that you fall for may not have any of the qualities on your list. Lots of people hem and haw, maybe even deny the feelings that they have for a person due to their checklist. But the thing about falling in love is, you can’t predict it. There are proclivities but no sets of conclusions. And if you knew all about love and how we fall in love right from the beginning, wouldn’t that take the mystery out of it? And in taking out that mystery wouldn’t we lose something in the beauty of love? It’s that same mysteriousness that makes it interesting. Remember to stick to your core values. This should be someone you are comfortable with and have chemistry with. But don’t turn away good catches because they have one little imperfection here or there. You might go hungry. And who doesn’t have imperfections? You may even notice some in yourself. We all have them. Just find someone who has the kind you can live with. For more dating advice read, Decoding Love: Why it Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince, and Other Revelations from the Science of Attraction by Andrew Trees.

Signs He’s Not over His Ex

ex

Signs He’s Not over His Ex

Guys are usually pretty easy to read. The trouble comes when we are in denial about a relationship. Or when we’re so caught up in how it makes us feel we don’t take a good, hard look at who this is all pointed toward. There are some clear signs when a guy isn’t over his ex. Lots of girls choose not to notice it. Others keep dismissing these or other bad behaviors. It comes from a low self-esteem, needing validation or being so wrapped up in the feelings of love that we forget ourselves. But it’s that intuition you really need to listen to. Intuition is other parts of your brain, speaking from experience telling you that something is not right here. Listen to that inner voice and ask your friends what they seriously think should things progress and they get to meet him. Take things to heart and understand what they mean from his point of view. First, consider how he broke up with his ex. Was there closure there? Or did he feel like things were left unsettled? If he has told you all about her, how much does he talk about her? If you have spent hours listening to things about her or their relationship he clearly isn’t over her.

What kinds of things does he say about her? If he still compliments her for certain things, or talks about what he brought to the relationship, he may just have a hard time letting things go. If he’s over complimenting her than he probably wants to get back with her. Then there are those guys who drone on and on about what a heartless monster his ex was. He is clearly jaded by the whole thing. But the fact that he can’t stop focusing means two things. One, he’s not focusing on you as he should. Number two is that he must have really loved her, if she hurt him so badly. That said, how long ago was this relationship? If it wasn’t long ago or he hasn’t dated since, you might be the rebound. How does that make you feel? If you are okay with that then simply ask him to tone it down about his ex. But if it drives you crazy and you don’t think you are getting the attention you deserve, why not cut your ties and sail on? You aren’t getting what you want out of this relationship. And who wants to hear some guy drone on about his ex all the time? If his ex broke it off or if she cheated on him, you should turn around and walk the other way. If she left him he may still be pining for her. You are just a way to make him feel better. The same is true if she cheated on him, plus he may have trust issues due to this. It’s better to let this one go. For more advice on this topic read, Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman.

Abolish Subliminal Romantic Messages

kisses-sleeping-beauty

Abolish Subliminal Romantic Messages

There are romantic messages in movies, TV, fairy tales and pretty much every other media in our culture. David Sbarra, Ph.D., relationship expert at Youbeauty.com, recently said, “We get messages about happy endings, soul mates and destiny. In this way, pop culture ideas—while fun to engage in and with for a bit—can cast a huge shadow over real-life relationships.” Movies make it okay to give one word answers for explanations. So in Jerry McGuire when she says “You had me at ‘hello’,” you know that wouldn’t fly in the real world, especially from how he treated her in the beginning. In the real world, anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that that’s just not going to fly. The idea of completing a person, while in the movie world sounds so romantic, in the real world is not psychologically healthy. Classic Disney films like “Sleeping Beauty” show little girls that they need a handsome prince to come and rescue them. Yet, many a lady waits her whole life for a prince that never comes. She exports her problems, her power, and her happiness to some ideal male other. We all know this doesn’t and shouldn’t happen in real life. Every person should be in charge of their own happiness. Relationships should merely enhance that happiness. Let’s make sure that little girls are raised to be more like Merida from “Brave”; self-reliant, capable and free.

Do you remember the famous film “Love Story?” Their tagline was “Love never means having to say you’re sorry.” What a lot of hooey that is. Apologizing for transgressions in relationships is dutifully important. But you should never apologize for who you are, only for the missteps you do. Also compromise is key. Of this Sbarra said, “Even the happiest and most successful couples fight and sometimes quite a lot, but they’re fighting for their relationship. If we see a fight as a sign that things aren’t ‘meant to be,’ we’re only ever engaging a fantasy relationship.” Romantic comedy’s themselves are written to look as though love is so easy that it just falls into place. Take “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” where Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson can’t seem to ditch one another, though they each swear they don’t want  a relationship and keep trying to sabotage theirs from forming. Beyond that, the problems they unearth and solve are done in a snap, making it even easier for the couple to end up together. The messages we cull from romantic comedies “…cause(s) two problems,” says Sbarra. “First, we come to think we’re defective if things don’t work out. And second, we come to see the hard work of making a relationship successful as indicators that something is wrong.” Don’t take mass media as a model for your relationship. Take it for what it is, entertainment. For more on this topic pick up a copy of, Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Analysis and Criticism of Unrealistic Portrayals and Their Influence by Mary-Lou Galician.

Does Cheating Really Make you a Bad Person?

cheaters

Does Cheating Really Make you a Bad Person?

When a husband cheats on a wife, for example, she cannot see him as anything but a betrayer. The word cheater brazenly rolls off her lips when she talks about the separation or divorce, usually thinly veiling the pain she harbors, but also calling attention to the fact that it wasn’t her fault, that he is the villain in this and she the perfectly innocent victim. But oftentimes what goes unseen or unsaid are the problems the relationship had before the infidelity occurred. Lack of respect, a lack of interest in one another and life goals that are counter rather than complimentary. When a low simmering conflict or a cold war enters into a house it can be difficult to alleviate it. If it simmers for a long time it becomes the new normal. People forget what this kind of tepid mutual dislike can do for one’s mental health. Still when many couples are in this kind of relationship someone outside of the relationship may awaken the need for connection and intimacy within them, a real human need. The other may not think their spouse is capable of cheating. But many a spouse has thought a person they lived next to for so many years incapable, until faced with the truth. But this person wasn’t getting what they needed from the relationship. Does cheating then really make you a bad person?

A person can work themselves to the bone for their family, and yet feel the need to stray outside a marriage. The truth is that real life is so much more complicated than that simple, old dichotomy of good versus evil. Someone can be good in certain spheres and not good in others. That doesn’t mean what this person did was right. Nor does it mean you have to stay with them. This could be a wakeup call for your relationship. Or it could mean that it’s over. Each person and relationship is different. Everyone has the ability to mess up in a relationship. The point is what is there to salvage? Good memories are just that. But what do you have in the relationship now? Is there still love there? Can there be peace, cooperation, mutual respect and understanding? IF you will always be opponents living under the same roof rather than partners, then you have no business being together. Couples should hold each other up not hold each other down. They should bring out the best in one another, not the worst. We all get off track occasionally in our relationships. We all fall into ruts. But we have to look at one another and reconnect. We need to work at mutual understanding and know that the other is worth it. But if they aren’t worth it, if the relationship is toxic or it’s soured beyond redemption it’s time to move on. Try to make the transition in your life, whatever it is, as healthy as possible. For advice on moving past infidelity read, Surviving an Affair by Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. and Dr. Jennifer Harley Chalmers.

Why do Some People Stay with Someone Who Isn’t Good Enough for them?

Fashion Beautiful Couple In Love Holding Money The Family Budget. Business Concept

Why do Some People Stay with Someone Who Isn’t Good Enough for them?

You know when you see that really amazing girl or guy; funny, good looking, smart and passionate, and you find out later who they are dating and you are floored? Why them? This person is so gorgeous and their partner seems to be short on good qualities. And you wonder why this unbelievable person could be with this mediocre at best partner. Why do some people stay with someone who doesn’t appear good enough for them? Some people are merely complacent in their relationships. Others are harboring feelings of inadequacy and fear being single. There are those who have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle, one financed by their significant other. But it’s psychologically unhealthy if the love for material items far outweighs the love for your partner. Each person should be able to support themselves and be financially independent or at least plan to be say if one is in college working toward a career, or else you end up resenting the other person and the power dynamic is merely one sided. A relationship should fulfill a person emotionally. But if a relationship doesn’t do that, no matter how good the lifestyle or how good it feels to be with someone, it isn’t going to do what it is supposed to do. You will get emotionally drained and sooner or later you’ll split up.

Some people stick together for the sake of the kids. But if this is a high conflict relationship, studies have shown that you are probably doing more harm than good. Even if it is a low conflict household, children can sense the unhappiness of their parents. And what effect will that have on their psyches? If you are embedded in a relationship and do not know how to get out of it, start with your own self-worth. Start to discover who you really are and who you want to be. Learn to love yourself. Then see if you can love the person you are with. Are they good for you or are they adding to negativity in your life? Is the relationship salvageable or is it best to move on? Come to realize what your personal needs are and if the person you are with can fulfill them. Can you fulfill their personal needs? If you are in an unhealthy relationship, find your way out of it. It will only get worse. Instead of allowing you the room you need to grow and develop and become the best person you can be, it will be holding you back and stifling your development. Find someone who enhances your life experience instead of someone who hampers it. Go out on a limb and find real love. It will be there if you just give yourself the right to be happy. For more advice read, Letting Go of Mr. Wrong: Realize Your Self-Worth by Sonya Parker.