Think you’re defective in relationships? Well, it’s easy to get to feeling that way. With all the ghosting people do—maybe even you’ve done–with the unwanted stuff that even the best relationship brings up, with the fear of sex, of settling, and proving your sense of worth, it feels like there’s a lot at stake and, well, you’ve tried, but you’re worried your just not made of the right stuff.
At least that’s how you feel.
And if you feel that way it’s doubly hard to actually be in a relationship that isn’t defective.
What’re Your Expectations?
What are your expectations when you’re beginning a new relationship, or maybe just when you decide to start putting out feelers into the dating world again? Do you show up on a first date with a marriage mindset? This doesn’t give you a chance to get to know the person, you’re getting to know the hopes and dreams you have for them. It’s basically doomed before you’ve told your best funny, yet self-deprecating story.
It’s easy to say “go slow”, but it’s harder to do that in your head. You might promise yourself you’re not going to be exclusive until the third month, but in your mind, you’re bringing this person to your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah.
Play a game with yourself where you set different expectations on the first, fourth, or tenth date—this isn’t the “one” (yet!) they’re just someone that you’re going to get to know.
Know Thy Triggers
We all have things that set us off about people and we need to be aware which things are good triggers that alert us to ‘red flags’ (eg., being a jerk to the wait staff) and which are more a signal that we have some of our own work to do.
We learn a lot about ourselves in relationship to others. Some of this comes up in friendship or in work relationships, but in the intimacy of a romantic relationship, we begin to see some very primal stuff.
- Being asked to do something feels like you’re being told to do something.
- Getting a reminder to do something feels like nagging.
- Asking for affection feels needy.
All these things, taken to extreme sure, could be red flags, but usually, they are just some compromises that both parties make while being in a relationship.
If you’re feeling like you’re defective in relationships take a look at patterns in your previous dating experiences. Was there something (or a few somethings) that made you upset and may have had a part in your ending the relationship?
Allow Yourself to Be Surprised
When you can get out of your own way and reduce how overwhelming it all is it’s amazing the people you meet. You’ll meet a lot you don’t want to date, but you’ll be able to see them more fully. You won’t see them as someone who has to fit certain parameters to be a great partner and you’ll be able to see what you want to work on for yourself and feel less defective in relationships.
For a great relationship to take root you should allow yourself to be surprised.
Originally published on Park Slope Therapist
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.
While you’re at it, get connected with our social media:
However, you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Photo credit: Shutterstock ID 1062467651