As women, we are naturally blessed with something that helps protect us against heartache and keeps us on our toes when dealing with our sometimes not-so-transparent counterparts. It's called intuition.
Our intuition helps guide us when things feel a little shady. And if we are truly in-tune with ourselves and our intuition, we are able to maneuver through the craziest situations unscathed.
Unfortunately, we don't always listen to our intuition and we end up hurt, heartbroken and left to put the pieces back together while stroking our ego and trying to figure out what exactly went wrong with the man we thought was going to be the one.
Here are five mistakes I have made that many of you may have too in dating, and how to stop making them.
Changing Your Appearance To Get A Man
I once dated someone who literally asked me if I would ever get plastic surgery. I was heartbroken. Not only that, but he sent me workout plans, urged me to lose weight (I'm 5'5 and was 137 lbs), and preferred me to look different than I preferred in general.
After losing 20 lbs in two months, getting color and heat damage to my hair, and totally losing my self-esteem, I was still unhappy and still not the woman he wanted me to be. The thing was, he felt we had a great connection but deep down, we both knew I wasn't his type physically and instead of me saying, "Hey, if you don't like it, someone else will," my young mind figured it was better for me to change who I was to appease him than to lose him and not have anyone.
Don't get me wrong, in marriage and dating, you should always want to look your best for yourself and your partner but your partner should love you at your worst and not be any less attracted to you because you gain or lose ten pounds. My husband has known me since I was a teenager and thinks I'm beautiful with or without makeup, kisses me before I've brushed my teeth, and has never once told me I needed to physically change for him in any way.
The person you are with should love you, naked flaws and all.
The moment a man feels he needs to change you or mold you into who he wants you to be, is the moment a lightbulb should go off that this may not be the man for you.
Changing Who You Are As A Person
Aside from physical appearance, have you ever dated someone and your friends and family pointed out that you simply were not the same around your partner? Maybe your normal loud and outgoing self was more subdued and quiet because he liked shy girls. Maybe you found yourself forcing yourself to be the life of the party when you would have preferred to be the wallflower. Or maybe you might have even changed in more serious ways like your religion, political views, or core beliefs.
When I dated my suicidal ex at 17, he wanted me to be angry. He verbally stated that to me and purposely did things to make me angry. Since I am an extremely nice and for the most part happy person, I denied his request at first, but the longer I stayed with him, the angrier I became. But that's not to say that nothing positive can come from change. In fact, some people can change you for the better.
A good rule of thumb in figuring out if the change is for the better or worse is following your intuition.
How does it make you feel? How does he make you feel? Do you feel like this change is beneficial to you or life at all? Will changing make you a better person? Do you really want to make this change? If all roads lead to "no," and your gut tells you something isn't right, most likely he is trying to change you for his own selfish reasons and you should probably get out of dodge.
Loving Them Into Loving You
Have you ever tried to convince a man to love you? Perhaps you made a game out of it to get him to actually say he loved you. You did everything in your power to try and catch this man and make him yours and the harder you tried to get him to love you, the more YOU actually fell in love with HIM, and the more HE grew distant until you were left alone wondering what the hell happened? Orrr, is it just me?
I definitely have played that game and man, did I learn my lesson. The truth is, no matter how hard you try, how good of a woman you are, how amazing your macaroni and cheese tastes, you can't love a man into loving you or convince him into loving you. One of my guy friends was dating a woman he absolutely loved. She ended up breaking up with him due to some immature mistakes he had made. During his time being single, he found a slight form of happiness in a few women he dated.
These were college educated, attractive, and caring women. They literally catered to him while he had recently lost his job and was going through his heartbreak. They cooked for him, took him out, stayed over his place, and basically did everything a great girlfriend would do in a relationship in hopes of convincing him that each of them was the one. In the end, he ended up reconciling with his ex-girlfriend and getting back together. It didn't matter how much any of the women he was dating did for him if his heart and mind were somewhere else.
You can't convince a man to love you, ladies. He will choose, pursue, and ultimately be with the woman he truly loves each and every time.
No amount of convincing on your end is going to get him to realize you are the one for him. He has to recognize that on his own and if he can't or refuses to see it, you have to love yourself enough to walk away and continue being the amazing beautiful woman you are without him.
Ignoring Your Intuition
How often have all of the signs pointed to "no" and you still looked at it and somehow got a "yes"? All of your friends told you to stop talking to him, your grandma rolled her eyes when you brought him to the family cookout, and everything in your right mind told you this man was wrong, but you still tried to make it work. Why do we do this?
When I dated my ex, he showed me tons of signs that we were not meant to be together. He would constantly try to manipulate me to get me to do what he wanted and then if I did it, he would make me feel bad for folding. If I did not meet whatever his demand was, he would make me feel guilty for not doing it. I knew he was not good for me but my fear of him harming himself made me stay much longer than I should have. Even as a teenager, in dating I would always ask myself, Can I see myself being with this person for a lifetime? Can I picture myself marrying this person? And aside from my now-husband, the answer was always "no."
I think deep down inside we always know when a situation is not ideal for us, we either choose to ignore the signs or attempt to change him or ourselves to make things work.
We were blessed with intuition for a reason. It's a form of protection and a way for us to navigate through this thing called life while staying as safe as possible. Perhaps your intuition was slightly off before so you figured it was ok to give this man a shot. Cool. But when you know in your heart of hearts something isn't right with him, why continue to ignore signs that he is not the one? You know when someone is right just like you know when they are wrong. The problem comes along when you decide to ignore that gut feeling and keep going after what doesn't serve you.
Pursuing A Man Who Doesn't Want You
I have a very traditional way of thinking when it comes to dating and pursuing. I don't believe a woman should ever chase after or pursue a man. Literally, every circumstance I've ever been in or heard of when a woman has done this has went horribly wrong and left her heartbroken.
Even in rare cases where she actually ended up in a relationship with the man SHE pursued, she never really felt like he loved her, constantly felt insecure, and never reaped the benefits of being with a man who was afraid to lose her. If you feel differently, that's fine, but please at the very least don't pursue a man who clearly doesn't want you. How do you know he doesn't want you? Well, if you can check off the seven indicators below, there's a huge chance he is not interested:
- He doesn't contact you frequently
- He doesn't ask you out on dates
- He doesn't show that he is thinking about you
- He talks to you about other women he's dating
- He's inconsistent
- He disappears
- He doesn't ask questions to get to know you
When you pursue a man, you are constantly left with the question: Is this man really interested in me?
You search for signs of whether or not he cares about you and your heart and mind are not aligned. Pursuing a man puts him in the position to be chased as opposed to chasing you.
If a man truly wants you, you will not have to question, you won't have to chase him, you will never be left wondering his feelings because even if he doesn't come out and say it right away, you will feel it through his actions. A man who is interested in a woman lets her know. While you are wasting your time chasing after him, he is busy chasing and pursuing the woman he really wants. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it is true. You are every bit worthy to be pursued and when you treat yourself as such, the right man will pursue you.
Unfortunately, every man that you want won't always be the man who wants you, but when you are busy living your best life, loving yourself fiercely, and dating with purpose, the right one will find you and you won't have to chase him or try to convince him why you are worthy to be loved, he will see it because you exude it.
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