It was my great privilege as a marriage counselor and as the customer of marriage counselors on more than a few occasions*, to get to look behind closed doors of relationships and learn a thing or two about what goes right and what goes wrong.
During this "month of love" I will share with you some of the best advice I ever received or figured out. What's below was adapted from Dennis R. Tesdell, author of "Self Care Weekly" newsletter and numerous lists and articles on self care.
These are ten of the most common things men & women do when they are searching for love or for a relationship where they want to be loved. In each case, it will inevitably *NOT* meet their needs:
1. Forcing your desire for a relationship onto the other person, and because the other person doesn't know how to say "no," they stay with you. (A sick “sixth” sense.)
2. Everything about the other person tells your head and "gut" they are NOT the one, but you ignore your intuition and mind and go ahead anyhow. (“Who do you trust?”)
3. You mix up someone being nice or friendly with you with romance. (Approval-seeking)
4. You fear or hate being alone, so you latch onto the first person who comes by and is available. (Lonely vs. alone. Your own best friend.)
5. You look only at the person's looks and outside "wrappings & trappings" and do not investigate or pay attention to what they are really like as a *person*. (Superficialism projection. Self respect.)
6. Even though you know this person has done bad things to other people in past relationships, you choose to believe that he/she will not do the same to you. (That leopard is a snake!)
7. You mistake your great sexual adventures and fun with this person for love. (“This must be love!”)
8. You are in a relationship, but you don't express your feelings and needs to your partner for fear you will hurt their feelings or make them angry. (Authenticity deficiency.)
9. You know your partner is deceiving you but you refuse to believe it, even though you know the truth. You stay in denial about it all. (Red-flag Syndrome.)
10. The other person shows a lot of interest in you and you respond quickly and passionately, without really finding out if this person is who or what you really want in a relationship partner. (Be authentically free. “Trust, but verify.”)
* I summarized a whole lot of my best advice in "Toilet Paper, Toothpaste, and Tuna-Noodle Casserole: Observations and Advice on Love, Marriage, and Authentic Intimacy From a Psychologist Who's On The Practice-Makes-Perfect Program." Click here to buy this incredible book now.