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Quiz: Are You Making These Common Dating and Relationships Assumptions?

Posted Mar 02 2011 1:38pm
danger sign

There are a number of things that will set you up for problems and pain in your relationships, and beliefs which can hold some misguided assumptions and shady excuses in them, are at the very foundation. Looking through hundreds of comments and emails over the past few weeks, here are just 13 of the most common and dangerous. This is the tip of the iceberg, but if you’re holding onto any of these, put yourself officially on notice that change is a coming….

Which of these statements do you agree with:

1. If they’re pursuing me they’re single.

2. If they’re pursuing me they want a relationship.

3. If they say it’s not just about the sex when I ask if it is just about sex, it’s the truth.

4. All men blow hot and cold and are scared of commitment.

5. If they come back it means they’re crazy about me and want a relationship.

6. If they want to end it they’ll leave.

7. There’s a plausible, logical explanation for everything.

8. If they say sorry and that they didn’t mean it, it means they’ve learned their lesson.

9. A man will change if he feels enough for the right woman.

10. If they’re cheating there’s something wrong with the relationship.

11. If I’m putting in a lot of effort to make it work, it’s their lack of contribution that’s failing the relationship.

12. If I leave, someone else will ‘get’ them and reap the benefits of my hard work.

13. If they’re in their 30′s, 40′s, and beyond, they must want a relationship.

Read on to discover the danger of these assumptions…

1. If they’re pursuing me they’re single.

One word: cheaters.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, get past date 3 or having sexual contact or starting to feel emotionally invested (whichever comes first), without asking the question: Are you single? As in, are you married or with somebody, or even separated? If you don’t ask, you don’t pass GO. Simple.

2. If they’re pursuing me they want a relationship.

Unless there’s a neon sign on your forehead, nobody knows that you think that them pursuing you is equal to a relationship. That might be why you would pursue someone but you’re not dating yourself. You can be pursued for any number of reasons – curiosity, fun, to pass time, sex, to avoid the pain of getting over an ex, desire to own and control you, the challenge, for a job, money, for a dare, and yes, for a relationship.

3. If they say it’s not just about the sex when I ask if it is just about sex, it’s the truth.

If I treat you casually or badly but tell you I’m treating you well, would you believe me? Either you’re insecure/paranoid with no external evidence to support your concern, or there are indicators that have prompted your concern. If you’re asking, it suggests you don’t want something casual so make sure any ambiguity about the nature of your relationship is removed before you have sex – asking afterwards is like closing the door after the horse has bolted.

4. All men blow hot and cold and are scared of commitment.

If you believe that all men rubberband and go through an intimacy cycle (bollox), you’ll fail to recognise when you’re being screwed with. If you believe all men are scared, you’ll make it your vocation to force a resistant man to commit to you . Believing both of these things is to help you take a trip down Easy Street where you avoid addressing your own issues to ‘settle’ for a man that puts you through his menstrual cycle and dodges commitment and validate your self-fulfilling prophecy . Lots of men commit and don’t blow hot and cold.

5. If they come back it means they’re crazy about me and want a relationship.

Yes, some do come back because they’re crazy about you and want a relationship, but 1) you’ll know about it and t he issues that broke your relationship will have been addressed and you’ll be loving and living instead of reading this post, or 2) some people overestimate their craziness for you and believe they want a relationship because you’re no longer together, but then can’t stump up the goods.

Some people are like that nasty kid that hurts an animal and returns to poke it to see if it’s still alive. Others return to test whether the door is open, or because they got their fingers burned elsewhere, or because they think that your expectations are sufficiently managed down enough.

6. If they want to end it they’ll leave.

Total BS. Some people won’t end it until they have something else to go to. Some have long left the relationship without actually uttering the words ‘It’s over’. Others will behave like assclowns to force your hand. Others start screwing someone else and have the best of both worlds. Make sure that you don’t rely on your only cue for a relationship being over being someone else saying it…

7. There’s a plausible, logical explanation for everything.

No there isn’t. Sometimes you’ll have most of the answers but not 100%. Sometimes people do stuff for inconceivable reasons. Sometimes people are irrational so trying to rationalise their irrationality is a clash of logics and a waste of time. And yes, sometimes people do stuff just because they can. Having boundaries is about recognising what’s inappropriate and if it’s dangerous, opting out instead of playing CSI hunting out an explanation.

8. If they say sorry and that they didn’t mean it, it means they’ve learned their lesson.

If they don’t repeat it, yeah they’ve learned their lesson, but words is not learning. Application is. Also claiming not to mean something can be the start of a slide down the slippery responsibility dodging slope.

9. A man will change if he feels enough for the right woman.

A man, in fact, anyone will change, when they want to change and not a moment sooner and especially not around someone who has shown they’ll stay anyway. Relationships are not about finding someone who has been waiting around for you to make them a better person. Don’t make problems that existed before you came be about you. Don’t be a ‘florence’. ..

10. If they’re cheating there’s something wrong with the relationship or their partner.

Some people cheat because there’s nothing or very little wrong with it. The normality and lack of drama make their pants itchy and they go out and rebel. Others cheat because their relationship isn’t working and they have issues with their partner, but shagging around hardly solves that. And often, people cheat because they are the problem – involving yourself with them means you’ll become part of that.

11. If I’m putting in a lot of effort to make it work, it’s their lack of contribution that’s failing the relationship.

Contribution is a subjective thing and yes, if you’re busting your back up trying to get water from an empty well, then yeah, of course it’s going to feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort. But putting effort into a well with water in it is actual work. If you’re trying to extract a relationship from an unlikely source, you need to own that choice. You or they may be contributing but it’s not what’s needed – you may be trying to fix the wrong issue. Your relationship may also be failing because you’re both incompatible .

12. If I leave, someone else will ‘get’ them and reap the benefits of my hard work.

Maybe, maybe not, but you don’t own them or their progression. You may well have put in ‘hard work’ but the relationship isn’t working. You know this but you’re reluctant to do anything about it, in case they become a better person in a better relationship with someone else. So you’d rather stay in a bad relationship and stage a ‘sit in’ on the off chance that should they ever change, you’ll be there to reap the benefits. Does that even sound remotely healthy?

13. If they’re in their 30′s, 40′s, and beyond, they must want a relationship.

My uncle died at 78 quite the ladies man and a commitment resister all of his life – many women assumed over the years that he wanted a relationship – he didn’t. Just because a woman is over thirty doesn’t mean she wants to have a baby or get married. Just because someone is 90 doesn’t mean they’re emotionally mature. I hope you get my point…

Your thoughts?

Check out my ebooks the No Contact Rule and Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl and more in my bookshop .

Image via SXC

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