This weekend I was speaking to old college friends about what else – dating! One friend Allison complained that the biggest obstacle to her getting back out there to find a man or date is the fact that she has not chosen well in the past. "I have a history of picking the wrong men!" complained Allison.
Do you ever feel like this? It can be a problem.
We talked about why her previous beaus were not right for her. Mostly it hinged on the fact that she heard what the men had told her about themselves and she managed to just not think about that. For example, one man who she spent 8 years with told her on the day they met that he never wanted to marry or have children.
But Allison was lonely and VERY attracted to him. She put away his specific comments and launched into the relationship any way. Maybe she thought his desires would change. Maybe she was only thinking for the moment. Now at 45, she looks back at this string of men and wishes she had paid attention.
Allison bemoaned the fact that she wasted time with these men and wished she had listened, had been smarter, had picked better. And looking forward, that is exactly what keeps her from trying again. "With such a bad history, why do I want more?"
This is an excellent question. However, it makes sense that no one wants more of THE SAME. No. Who would go for more disappointment?
I suggested something revolutionary to Allison. What if she made a list of the red flags that she have chosen to ignore in the past? Would that be helpful? She laughed and asked sarcastically, "What would I do with the list? Stick it on the refrigerator?" I responded with a resounding, "Yes!"
The best thing to do is make a short list of the 5-10 things you never want again in a relationship. Then copy the list and put one on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, in your purse, at your desk and maybe even on your night stand. For people who have ignored red flags and not may have some regrets, this reminder is imperative as well as enormously helpful.
Second, remember that your past has made you who you are today. It has formed you shaped you and made you the rich character and personality that is you. Your relationships are part of your life experience which hopefully has made you smarter and wiser. It certainly can do that if you chose to look at things this way. I strongly advise it. Regret won’t help you move forward. But learning from possible missteps will.
The past does not dictate the future. Please that has got to be true on ALL LEVELS. From your personal love life to world politics. We cannot let the past dictate our future. But we can LEARN FROM IT! If you still want a loving relationship with a great man, please make your list of red flags and then get back out there to find the love you want and deserve.