How many times have you entered a relationship believing that your dating partner will be great if only they were more like....? Or, if only they were like...?
Do you focus on the potential of your date rather than who they are?
Do you ignore all those things that "aren't okay" and only see what you want to see?
Do you dream about how your life will look?
With the potential dating trap, you see your date's "potential" and how you can mold that person to fit your image of an "perfect partner" rather than seeing them for who they are. This thinking influences your relationship choices. When you think about it, it's not a positive dating strategy to find your perfect partner.
How would you feel if you start a relationship with someone you believed is genuinely attracted to you (for "you"), only to discover your date tries to change you into someone you're not? Couples build a successful relationship from an authentic connection where both partners are loved and accepted for who they are, just as they are!
Love Conquers All??
Relationship failure can happen when your reality doesn't match with your idealized partner. You know the "rose-tinted glasses" where everything appears to be perfect in the "honeymoon period" and early stages of a relationship? Well, chemistry, lust, and love alter the way you see a person because you ignore the warning signs...or rather, you see a person's potential if they only changed this or changed that.
Have you ever seen the Skoda car commercial where a mom hears her daughter singing "Black Velvet" so beautifully, but in reality, she is not a great singer? The mom (in this instance) could not hear her daughter's true singing ability. She heard what she wanted to hear because she was "in love" with her new Skoda car.
This "love" feeling influenced and altered what the mom saw, heard, felt, thought to be true, and believed. Romantic relationships and attraction has the same effect; you see your partner differently to reality! If you haven't seen the commercial view it here.
For instance, did you see your date as someone who is strong, assertive, and charismatic, maybe just like Thor or someone similar? Or someone's body looks sexy, athletic, and slim? Did you believe you will have a perfect relationship based on how your date looked because you know you will have good sex?
Have you found a date to be attractive and you've fallen victim to their looks? After scrolling through potential matches, you may have seen their profile on an online dating site such as Tinder or social media and was instantly drawn to the person's appearance. Ignoring all the warning signs and incompatibilities when screening potential partners, you still sent your first message to the person on the dating app hoping to get a date because there is a strong physical attraction. Believing that the potential match will work out after all the person is your first choice, and incompatibilities is a minor issue that will be "sorted out" later on.
Do you know what you really want and require in a relationship? Have you made a list of all your deal breakers and relationship requirements? Having these insights "before" you start to date can prevent you from meeting people and becoming emotionally attached to someone who is a "potential" partner.
Yes, you may have fun together, but are you being intellectually stimulated in the relationship? Are your emotional and spiritual needs met? Maybe you're fed up of the single life and believe you should "expect less" in a relationship and "compromise" your sense of self hoping your unmet needs and requirements will be met later on in the relationship because you can mold your date into your ideal partner? Maybe you're trying to avoid taking responsibility for your life and your date provides you with a sense of security because of their career, money, and possessions?
Do you have the “scarcity” trap mentality and believe that the person you are on a date with is the “best” you can do? You see that your date has “potential,” for example, if they worked out at the gym more, stopped gambling, didn't drink so much, went back to school and got an education, etc., etc., etc.
You fantasize and dream about how your life will look together based on your "idealized" projected relationship. However, it does not take long before you either face resistance from your date and/or reality sets in; they are not your ideal partner and they will not change. You wanted your "happily ever after" but are left feeling disheartened, yet again!
Prevention is better than cure. Be prepared before dating and know how to date consciously rather than getting blindsided and falling for the "potential" dating trap. Remember, love is blind and you may not see you are looking at a date's potential and finding ways "why" someone will make a great partner rather than spotting the reasons "why" they wouldn't!
If you find you are the type of person who benefits from checklists, and you want a dating red flags checklist tool that is different from others that are available, click on the link below to download your copy. This tool will give you the confidence to make a decision whether or not your date is the right person for you.
A simple assessment tool to support you to make the right decision for you!
When you're dating try to stay in the “pre-committed” stage until you have experiences and knowledge of your date, which take time to test if this is the right relationship for you.
Observe your partner's behavior, not just their words. Do their actions line up with what they are saying; are they congruent? For example, if they say their communication in a relationship is important to them and they refuse to listen to you and talk over the top of you all the time, is this person a good communicator or just "saying" what sounds good?
If their behavior does not match what they say, why not?
Does it happen often? Does their behavior infringe on your boundaries? Is it a warning sign or a deal breaker for you?
Do you want to remain in a relationship with a person whose actions don't match their words? Do you want to continue dating someone who does not respect your boundaries or doesn't meet your requirements?
Is this person perfect just the way they are (without looking through "rose-tinted glasses")? Or do you see their "potential"?
As the relationship progresses, the two situations above will eventually cause unsolvable problems in the relationship.
Finding a life partner is not a race—it is a journey. Don't rush to win the booby prize and end up in another lousy relationship!
If you have already fallen for the potential dating trap, you may have to make the hard decision of whether to have a successful committed relationship or leave.
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Until next time
Coach 2 Connect
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