They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same result. I am guilty of dating the same guy over and over. Does that make me insane? Possibly, but I’d rather call it hopeful. The “guy” that I’ve dated over and over for years at a time is the guy who wants his cake and to eat it too.
By that I mean they say they want longevity and commitment but they don’t want to do any of the work that comes with it. They’re also usually long distance which makes it easy to keep things more casual. There comes a point in one’s life when they want more than casual dating. Seeing each other a weekend here or there or talking on the phone once every two weeks isn’t enough fulfillment. Even if your relationship is long distance, the needs of each party needs to be met.
It has become harder as I’ve become older to be as picky as I’d like. I’ve learned to be more compromising and realized I can’t cut someone off at the first blunder. There are times when a second, or sometimes third chance should be awarded. Dating the same guy over and over has also allowed me to recognize the strengths and weakness in myself while easily detecting red flags when I see them.
As I start over with a (semi) fresh outlook on relationships and love, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons along the way:
Stop soliciting the opinion of others!
As women, we like to get the opinion of our girlfriends, mother, hairstylist, neighbor, mailman, etc. Although it does help to get the opinion of others in order to either tell us we’re not acting crazy, or nod their head in silence despite the fact that we are acting crazy, it’s doesn’t necessarily benefit our romantic relationships. Only you and the person you’re with knows the details of your courtship. When you’re telling someone a story about why you’re arguing or what decisions you should make, you’re only giving them half of the story. Working out the kinks of your relationship with your inner circle leaves out one of the most important players, your partner. You’ve also worked yourself up, being egged on by your friends, and your reaction may end up being too much for the issue at hand.
Don’t carry over old habits!
The beginning of relationships are important because that’s when you get to know what makes the other person tick. No matter what insecurities your previous relationships have left you with, you’re blindsiding the person you’re with when your walls come down and you blow up when they don’t return your phone call. In an ideal world, you meet someone, they love everything about you, you communicate without speaking, and you live happily ever after. For those of us who aren’t that lucky, there’s a long road of trials, patience, and forgiveness. We have needs we want met as does the person we’re dating. We just have to make sure to express those needs and realize it takes some trial and error.
Every relationship is unique!
This is something that I’ve only learned the value of very recently. Everyone has grown up with their own experiences which shapes the way they view the world and handle different situations. We all have our own habits and way of doing things or ways that we react. When we find friends or coworkers from similar backgrounds with similar personalities that we click with, we take for granted getting to know someone that thinks differently than we do. It is imperative to make your relationship your own. You both will build your own way to communicate, your own routine, your own habits, and most importantly cherish your own memories.
We all have friends and family but we don’t all have husbands or wives. Other than the relationship of parent and child, that’s one of our main unique relationships. You and your spouse have a connection like no one else and you (hopefully) won’t treat anyone else like them. Getting to a happy place where your relationship runs smoothly takes a lot of work but when you find that with someone it’s worth it. It’s also important to listen to your gut. There are times when there’s hiccups in the beginning then there’s also times where you’re just simply not compatible. Keep yourself open, make sure you’re being heard, and make sure to filter out the white noise of past relationships and meddling friends.