Even been dating someone and you are not sure if he (or she) is into you?
We begin a relationship where our partner seems like our knight in shining armor; they listen to us about our bad day and they send flowers just to make us smile. You have that goofy smile that you can’t get rid of and you talk about them to all your friends.
Then something changes; your partner doesn’t go out of their way to do the little things they did in the beginning. They lose interest when you discuss something that is bothering you. You may have experienced this before, where the relationship changed. Unfortunately, the relationship was probably always like this. It’s time to stop pulling those petals off the flower with, he loves me, he loves me not…. It’s time to take control of the situation. Trying to understand or fix the current dating situation will likely not work and the red flags will always be present, but here is what you can do:
Self-Care. Get some exercise, good sleep, and eat nutritious meals. The emotional rollercoaster will calm down if you feel physically good.
Positive Affirmations. This experience may have you feeling less than great. Listen to positive affirmations, pick up an inspiring book, or talk to helpful friends. You need to feel good mentally as well.
You Have a Choice. You get to choose who you date. That is the best part. This can also be the hardest part. Our past experiences draw us to certain people, but our future doesn’t have to be the same.
Your Realization. If you are feeling inconsistencies with your dating partner, it is likely that they are feeling the same way. For whatever reason one or both of you are just not into the relationship. You have the realization, then you move on.
I Love Me. If the person you are dating doesn’t show up when you need them emotionally or physically, remember – you love you. Be your biggest fan and surround yourself with friends who love you and remind you how awesome you are.
Don’t Stop Dating. The unrequited love may have left a damper on your ego. However, sitting on your couch in your sweat pants is not going to help that ego dry any quicker. Get back into dating and find someone who is consistent in the way they treat you. You should never have to wonder if someone likes you.
A Message from the Author:
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern located in Huntington Beach, CA. I am supervised by Jeffrey Kullmann (L.C.S.W. LCS 13661).
I believe in helping others to develop happiness and grow emotional strength. I work with individuals and couples to navigate life goals and relationships.
Please visit: www.lauriekcounseling.com to get more information or schedule a counseling appointment.
-Laurie Kjelstrom, M.A.
The definition of jealousy is, “feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.” We describe jealousy in a relationship as the way a partner may feel towards certain situations. An example is a woman who is getting phone calls from a male co-worker. Her boyfriend may express discontent with the relationship between his girlfriend and the co-worker. However, what is the boyfriend “jealous” about? Does he envy the other man in some manner or is there something deeper that is taking place and making it uncomfortable when his girlfriend engages in friendships with others. I believe the factors are situational dependent, but it is likely that the boyfriend doesn’t like her engaging in this type of friendship because of his own insecurities.
Now, whatever those insecurities may be of the jealous party, it is important that they are able to appropriately express their feelings to their partner. If a woman is “jealous” of her man talking to another girl at the bar, there are many ways to respond. Here are some that I believe work better. It is likely that these situations solely occur when others are present thus sparking the reaction in the first place.
1. Wait until after the party. If you are at an event together and something is bothering you about the actions of your partner that are stirring up jealousy, then try to wait until you are alone together to discuss it. Waiting until you are cooled down is a good idea anyways. Talk about like this; “Hey sweetie, I saw you talking to that other guy and it made me feel sort of bad. I was wondering if you could explain to me who he is, and if we could find a good way to interact with others at events that makes us both comfortable?” Making a statement that is non-confrontational and non-judgemental will be important. Express only how it made you feel without blaming the other person’s actions. (It is completely appropriate to ask for explanations on who certain people are that you haven’t met yet. Someone willing to answer those questions or disclose information freely has nothing to hide.)
2. Develop a system. Pre-discuss situations or things that may lead to either of you being uncomfortable and have a plan. Maybe you are at a public place and your partner steps away and you get approached. Since, you pre-discussed it, the response that you both decided on may be pointing your partner out to the other party and saying, “Oh, my boyfriend is right over there.” Trying to go into a situation blind always leads to confusion. It is good to know where each partner stands on issues that can bring up jealousy. This way you can both act according to the plan.
Insecurities aside, I have been with people who have purposely tried to provoke jealousy in me by flirting in front of me. It is important that you recognize when someone is trying to make you feel jealous or insecure, and that you give them only one thing: A “don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Ah, screw it, let it knock you down!” Communication is key to overcoming insecurities, and all of us have them at one point or another. A great partner will understand what makes you uncomfortable and do everything in their power to limit your distress, not to create it. Also, it is equally important that if your partner has not given you a direct reason to not trust them, that you work on or evaluate why you have insecurities in certain areas of your life. The likelihood is that they existed long before this partner. It is not fair or good for a relationship to let something like jealousy creep in all the time.
People sometimes use the phrase, “Why you aren’t meeting Mr.Right.” I don’t necessarily like that phrase because even if you are out meeting people in the dating pool, you are the only person who gets to decide if they are right or wrong. It is about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right for You. And if we are being completely honest, you may have thought previous people who you dated were right for you the moment you met them. As the relationship goes on you begin to learn more about yourself and that other person. They might turn into Mr. or Mrs. Wrong for you. No one is objectively wrong or right, when we get into relationships we learn if we can stay together.
This article is not about whether a specific person is right or wrong for you. It is an article about why you may not be meeting anyone. In today’s culture of social media and technology, it is not often that we interact with other people as much as we used to. We don’t have to go into stores to pay our bills, because we can pay them on the internet. We don’t have to deposit in banks with direct deposit and bank apps. Online shopping allows us to spend less time as outside consumers, and you can even have your groceries delivered. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter keep us from connecting with other people conversationally. Technology is great for briefly catching up on the latest news, but not so great for your dating life.
What Can You Do
It might be that you see the same 20 people over and over again if you work for a smaller company. Even if you work for a large company, it is likely that you only see people from the same department. Think about if you leave the house (from a car in the garage) and drive to work. Then after the day at work, you get into the car and drive home to make yourself dinner and watch the latest episode of your favorite show. You have only interacted with those same 20 people from work that day. You have met zero people that day; which gives you zero chances to meet a potential partner.
Now, if you take public transit or grab a friend to go out to lunch, or go to a place to eat after work; you have just given yourself 1-3 opportunities in just one day to meet someone. That means that out of the 52 weeks in that year, you can give yourself 260-780 instances in which you can meet a partner.
Or Try These
- Change up your routine. Go to different grocery store or work out at different times. The same people at the gym at 5 pm present the same dating opportunities. Mix it up to see what the gym holds early morning or what shopping late at night might offer you.
- Forgo technology. Go to the bank, shop at the store, and even leave your phone in your pocket in public. You are unapproachable when you are walking and texting at the same time. Every time you can immerse yourself in people gives you more and more opportunities to meet someone.
- Take a class. Not in school anymore? Take a class; and make sure the ratio is to your benefit. Women take a welding or building class, men try for cooking or pottery. Sounds ridiculous, but you might be the only female in a room of 20 men; half of which statistically will be single.
- Move from the small town. Do you live in a town where “everybody knows your name” ? If you want to branch out and meet people, maybe the small town isn’t for you. If you don’t want to move, traveling 45 minutes to an hour can give you new scenery including new potential dating partners.
- Stop locking and dropping. This is locking yourself into a dating situation where the other person is waiting to meet someone else before they drop you. If you are locked into dating one person who just isn’t real or serious about the relationship, it is time to remove him or her from your dating life.
- Boys and Girls can be friends. Yes they can be, but hanging out with the opposite sex all the time will make it impossible for other people to know you are available, even if your Facebook status reads “single.” Remember that no one can read your profile when they are having a conversation with you.
You have many opportunities to meet potential partners but you may first have to embrace some change and commit to meeting new people.