The Biggest Relationship Mistake-Part 3

I’ve been addressing the idea that the early commitment to a relationship that women make is a big mistake.  The question becomes, “If this is such a common practice, how do you avoid making the ‘Big Mistake’?”

First, you have to be completely honest with yourself about whether you size up every man you meet as a possible mate.  You also need to be clear about whether you are feeling pressure to be “in a relationship”.  When everyone around you seems to be part of a couple, this pressure can be very real.  You also may hear it from well-meaning relatives when you go home for the holidays.  And besides, being part of a committed pairing yourself one day may be a goal.

The Mistake happens when you stop paying attention to what is important to you and what makes you feel good.  You make the decision to sacrifice “you” to be in “a relationship”.  When you start down this path, you will minimize and make light of red flags your partner is waving like a cape in front of a bull.  You adopt the mantra that once you’re married, it will all work out because your partner will come around.  Let’s be real.  You don’t have enough love for the two of you to pull this off and you shouldn’t have to.

Unfortunately, we women are a stubborn bunch.  Because we are the caretakers of relationships, we think we know how they should work and can will them to be successful by sheer force.  We tell ourselves that once we have children or the stress from his job eases, or any of the multitudinous bargains we make will just occur, everything will be all right.  This won’t happen if the underlying foundation of the relationship is out of balance.  We can’t maintain that balance if we are dealing parts of ourselves away.

The key to avoiding the Big Mistake is to take the time to identify what you need and want from a relationship and then put your potential partner to the test while dating.  Don’t start planning your future until you have figured out just who is sitting in front of you.  The real person, not the one you think or hope he is.  Pay attention to how you are treated; how your interests are respected.

To use a poker expression, don’t go all in on a relationship until you have a pretty good understanding of what cards are on the table.  Make sure he really is, and will stay, your Prince Charming.  You, your partner, and your relationship deserve that.

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