Let’s get the bitter bite out of the way. If you’ve had several episodes (or a whole series) of bad relationships, then it’s very very likely because of something YOU do. Even though your friends tell you how amazing, great, fabulous you are, and that everyone should be grateful to have you, they either don’t know the whole story, or they’re not honest.
Harsh? I know. But adding more sweet-talking won’t really help you. It also wouldn’t be the kind of coaching I do.
Here’s why it’s good news: If everyone out there were a nutter, then there wouldn’t be much you could do about it. You’d be doomed to continue gluing your broken heart together over and over again. But as soon as you accept that it’s highly likely down to something you yourself do (notice I didn’t say “who you are”), it will give you enormous power to do something about it because it’s actually within your control.
From holding thousands of consultations and coaching sessions, I’ve found that these are the main reasons why people repeatedly fail in their relationships.
1. You’re making bad choices.
If most people you dated turned out to be a bad match, abusers, emotional wrecks or pure nutcases, then you haven’t learned to recognize the early warning signs. They were there, red flags. Sometimes we want something to work so badly that we disregard these signs. Think about what the early signs could be, write them down and a NO-NO list. (Hint: If you’ve ever thought to yourself “Why do I keep dating guys/girls who are bad for me?” you probably should be listening to yourself.)
2. You’re too nice.
If this is you, hear me out: it drives people crazy! Imagine that your attentiveness and niceness is like cake. A slice of cake now and then brightens up our days (certainly does mine). But being force-fed it all the time will make you resent even the fluffiest red velvet cake in the world. People need space to breathe. Pace yourself. Sit back and let them contribute to the love tank. And if they don’t do their share, then refer back to point 1.
3. You’re boring.
Repeat after me: A relationship should never be there to have someone to complete you, but to have someone to share your completeness with. If you don’t have much going on in your life, like friends, hobbies, passions, activities, plans, then your partner will become your ONLY friend, hobby, passion, etc. They will become the center of your world, and the relationship will be out of balance. They will likely feel pressure and responsibility to be there for you, and what they’d ordinarily love to do will turn into something they instead have to do, a chore. It’s the fastest way to kill a relationship.
So get busy, have a life. Go out there, try things. One of my clients committed to buying 100 random Groupon deals because he thought he was too boring. He ended up writing a book about it. You’ll certainly have stories to tell on your dates.
4. You have some strange or off-putting habits.
While some people are super tolerant and don’t even notice others digging deep into their noses, others (like me) are super observant and notice even your tiniest micro-expressions. Now, you shouldn’t be paranoid about breathing too loudly, but you should be aware of your behavior. Even Tony Robbins tells this story about how he lost a business deal because he bit his nails during the meeting – learn from it! Learn the basics of proper social etiquette, eating habits, hygiene, etc. Ask people who you’re sure would give you honest feedback (I would), and work on what needs improvement.
5. You’re selfish.
It’s great to know what you want and what you like, and going for it. But if it’s “your way or the highway” then there are not many people who will put up with it, not for long at least. Ask yourself: “How much am I willing to compromise from what I want?” I’m not talking about changing your career or moving to another country. I’m talking about in everyday living. If you’re not one to compromise, or you throw a big fuss every time you don’t get what you want, then that’s probably it. In this case, I suggest you do some soul searching, or get a coach who will help you understand what that fuss-throwing attitude is all about and why not getting your way frustrates you so much. (Believe me, there is something at the root of it, there always is.)
6. You’re possessive and unreasonably jealous.
A bit of jealousy can be a nice way of letting your partner know that you really care. But if you’re throwing a tantrum because someone of your partner’s type crosses their visual field and they didn’t cover their eyes, then you have something to work on. If jealousy is eating you alive, you need to ask yourself why. At its core, jealousy is a lack of trust and trust is the foundation of any lasting relationship. Did you have a legitimate reason to not trust your partner, or was it your imagination running wild? This is something you need to learn how to recognize. If you have a good reason not to trust, then they’re not the right person for you. If you don’t have a good reason and still feel jealous, you need to find the core of that insecurity because it will be there until you sort it out, even if you’re dating a eunuch.
This article has been a bit of tough love, but the main point is that the ball is in your court and you can do something about it.
Just as I talked about in my last article, happiness is found in good relationships, so if you feel your relationships haven’t been what they should be, I encourage you to do what you can to improve this area in your life.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.
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