My friends will understand.
A common friendship-buster is constantly canceling plans with a bestie because a last-minute request came through from a guy. It’s tempting to be pulled by the lure of romance but if you don’t hold your friends in a valued and treasured place, you will soon lose them. Friendship takes work. Put in the time!
I can change him!
Remember the so-called “bad boys,” the brooding, macho Brando types? Whom I spent months, or sometimes years, trying to change? Give it up – you cannot change another human, as I learned. Find someone who makes you feel worthy of being loved; it’s so much better in the long run.
Okay, then I’ll change!
By and large, we’re the caretakers. It’s how we were raised. Part of that profile includes people-pleasing, and that can be trouble. You want to bend and shape yourself to suit him, right? A sports fanatic? You go to the game, though you hate sports. A meat eater? You take your plant-based diet to the steakhouse. Superhero movies? Bye-bye independent films. One day you’ll say, what about me? Chameleon-changes do not make a relationship work.
I’m always paying.
If one person in a couple consisting of two wage-earners is constantly picking up the check, a long trail of “you owe me” thoughts will begin to pile up. When the pile gets too big, the relationship will eventually collapse under the weight of the unpaid debt. Sharing is crucial in any partnership and even if it’s once in a while, the other party must step up and put the money down. Investing in a relationship is literal as well as metaphorical.
We never talk about sex.
Before getting into a sexual relationship, it’s healthy to find out what he’s looking for in a relationship (unless you’re going for a one-night stand, which is perfectly fine). Interestingly enough, men will, for the most part, tell the truth, particularly when directly asked. If you’re interested in a monogamous relationship, tell that person before you sleep with him. Ask him what his ultimate goals are in a relationship. Maybe he’s not monogamous, or interested in any kind of commitment, but whatever it is, he’s talking about his feelings, not about you. And believe me, it’s better to know in advance.
We have such great chemistry, I know the rest will work out.
This is the biggest mistake of all. You’re crazy about a person because you’ve been wooed by the oxytoxin spell, the love hormone released when feeling extreme attraction to another person. Although experiencing one of the most divine feelings on earth is thrilling, there’s more to a strong relationship than intense chemistry. Enjoy that remarkable feeling but remember to ask yourself regularly, “How do I feel about this person?” “Do I feel valued?” “Does he/she listen to what I have to say?” It’s often what’s not being said that speaks volumes. Listen with your heart AND your head.
Lynne Goldberg, MCC
Lynne operates Lynne Goldberg Coaching and she is available for personal, career, executive and corporate coaching and consulting.
You can reach Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org.