I was having a conversation with my parents the other day, and I took pride in knowing that I was a tom-boy that had problems following directions. I began to think about all my personality traits further and the habits I’ve formed when it comes to dating.
Around the age of ten, I had three boys who liked me at the same time. I don’t recall being frazzled, but I had a plan. I had them take a written exam and do a physical match to win my love. Early on, I must have been taught something about monogamy. After some written exam in my parents back-yard, and a few physical tests I was to choose a winner.
And the winner is….
One boy had gotten the most questions about me correct and surpassed the other boys in the physical tests. However, I still found a reason to deem one of the other boys the winner, whom I had known from the beginning that I “wanted.” So after all the practical tests I had initiated, I chose to over-ride my own rules and choose a different boy.
The in the seventh grade, I dated about seven boys in my class. All of whom I initiated some interaction; some mostly lasting about a week, some as short as a day. I had been in an exclusive relationship in the sixth grade, to the most popular boy in school, but he was a mere stamp in my dating passport.
Now today, I am long out of high school and heading toward a PhD to teach people how to have successful relationships. Ironic. One of the mentors I have prides herself in teaching on marriages because she has a great sustaining marriage. I appreciate that, and I also hope that people appreciate the journey through love to marriage takes trials and time. I am on that journey with some of you. Many mentors I know have failed, much like myself, and it is what enables us to teach others about relationships, love and sex.
Last summer I began to recognize these dating patterns (yes they begin very early) and it has taken time and practice to get out of them. I began with a simple task: I would not approach a man.
Every man I had ever dated was a result of my pursuing, so I figured the easiest way not to date the same “type” was to not formally choose myself. The last two people I dated were a result of this task. They both pursued me, and although they ended, I learned very valuable lessons about dating patterns and how to address them with people I mentor. If you are in the same boat and you get into the same relationships often, there are certain ways to avoid that. Here are a few suggestions:
- Change up where you are meeting people
- Make a list of the top five things you absolutely have to have in a partner and don’t stray from that
- Take a break and be alone serial monogamist can have a hard time understanding what they want
- Be Selfish! Make sure you are mentally healthy enough to handle another person’s successes and failures along with your own. Evaluate why you want to be in a relationship in the first place. (Being lonely isn’t very valid). When we are too worried about disappointing or hurting someone else, everyone suffers from us not being selfish.
- Date around. If you can handle being in the dating game, go fish. You can still date without being in a monogamous relationship, I even openly suggest it for people with bad dating habits. This is a good way for you to track and adjust your bad dating habits.