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How Women Can Overcome Self-Sabotage in Dating

Dating is complicated, and it's undeniable that dating apps, social media, and instant communication have taken a toll on daters. It's not uncommon to hear clients say they're done with dating or that it's too exhausting to continue the lifestyle that preparing for and going out on a date requires. Their dating woes are valid, but some of their dating mishaps stem from self-sabotaging behaviors. Unless we're constantly aware of what we're saying and doing, we can fall into the traps of social expectations and what society deems appropriate for women.


Below is a list of self-sabotaging actions that hurt women most when dating:

  1. Undervaluing Yourself: When you feel that you aren't worthy or good enough, it shows in your behavior. You accept and tolerate bad behavior from your boyfriend or repeatedly go out with someone who doesn't have your best interests in mind. Guys notice this and will treat you according to the behavior you accept from others. If you want a guy with strong moral characteristics, hold yourself to a standard of not tolerating disrespect.

  2. Overdoing for a Guy What They Can Do for Themselves: Smothering a guy by doing everything for him and the relationship breeds laziness and boredom. Wanting to be liked and fearing rejection turns into going along with anything. When a guy is interested in you and is emotionally mature, he will have a plan, arrange dates, and his concern will be to please you. Emotionally mature men like and respect boundaries; advocate for yourself and your needs while showing compassion for theirs as well.

  3. Using Physical Affection as a Form of Punishment: Using passive-aggressive techniques to express your anger or hurt is a terrible form of communication. It looks immature and resembles mind games to your partner if they feel manipulated because you cannot use your words when you are upset.

  4. Wanting Your Relationship to Complete You: A relationship is not an award, an accomplishment, nor does it make you more worthy. It is a lifestyle choice. The more emotionally mature and stable you are, the better your chances of enduring a close, loving relationship. However, it isn't the end-all or be-all of existence. A relationship is not a goal; therefore, expecting it to “complete you” will put undue pressure on you and your partner and squeeze out any true joy found within it. Complement your relationship by continuing your interests and hobbies in life so you’ll have other sources of happiness besides your partner to count on.

  5. Having Unrealistic Expectations: Life is not a fairytale, and believing you will find someone whose sole purpose is to make you happy will lead to a frustrating and disappointing dating experience. Make your own happiness and be willing to share it with another. Talk about your expectations with your date and see how well you match before investing deeply into a romance that may not survive.

  6. Comparing Your Partner and Trying to Change Them: The only person you can change is yourself. When you use others as a standard of comparison, you are setting yourself up for feelings of failure, frustration, and envy. If you want someone to change in a more loving way, model loving actions towards them and appreciate their efforts to make you feel loved. We are all different, and comparing your partner to a social media post, friend, or anyone else is not fair.

  7. Not Saying What You Mean: Hinting or manipulating instead of direct communication leads to a breakdown of intimacy. Sometimes, to be kind, you buffer what you feel, making you come across as wishy-washy or vague. This makes your date feel like you aren’t self-confident, or they may take it personally, believing they failed in some way. If a guy feels as though you aren’t being honest or are holding back, it makes him build walls, blocking his ability to be vulnerable and trusting of you. If he won’t open up to you, ask him if there are behaviors you are exhibiting that make him feel as though you aren’t a safe person.

There is no doubt that dating is more complicated now than ever before, highlighting the need for partners to be aware of the behaviors that may work against them in relationships. Most of the change comes about when we have insight into what we’re doing that works against us and make the necessary changes to advocate for the best parts of ourselves. You can’t change everyone, but you can change yourself.


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