Relationship mistakes – Quit it! Maybe you’re that rare man or woman who is past making dating mistakes. Or maybe you just make different mistakes than you used to — your incorrect perceptions and misjudgments may be more sophisticated than they were in 1990.
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Perhaps you have different priorities for a partner now; tall and handsome may be replaced by warm and adventurous. So keep things in perspective. The lessons you learned from a failure 10 years ago may make today’s relationship a success.
Here’s my list of dating mistakes, from experience, discussion, classes, and reading a lot about relationships (feel free to add your own):
1. You have too many expectations … or none at all.
Both having and not having expectations can be a problem.
You will hopefully know what you want and need from a relationship before you get emotionally involved. You might even ask yourself how past relationships could have been better if you had had clarity on what was important before and during that relationship.
You should be able to count on someone to show respect and consideration for you, to honor your boundaries and accept your values. If that is not a given, why are you together?!
It’s not only okay, it’s a positive expectation to count on honesty and open communication, as well as sharing of values that are truly important to you.
On the other hand, watch out for unspoken assumptions, and taking each other for granted. When you start needing your companion to be different than who they are, that’s a negative expectation.
Ken Keyes in Handbook for “Higher Consciousness” discusses demands versus preferences. Its fine to prefer a partner who’s a gourmet cook and a dancing instructor, but don’t demand a private person to indulge in your wish for kissing in public.
A friend of mine was involved with a man she found very attractive; unfortunately, he had many other interests that took his time. When she came to the conclusion that she would always be second to his athletic pursuits, she broke up with him. She was clear about what was important, so her choice was right for her.
I believe lack of clarity is the root of negative expectation. If you are very clear about what you need for a fulfilling relationship, you won’t get involved with a partner who doesn’t meet your criteria, and you will — most of the time — have only positive expectations.