Jeannine Lee Apr 8, 2020

Think Before You Date

I hear a lot of relationship stories. Dating stories. Love stories. Divorce stories.

The ones that surprise me the most are the many crazy dating practices I hear. But then I guess those shouldn’t surprise me. The heart has a mind of its own and it is sometimes like an unruly child. Some daters have done their homework to learn good relationship practices and really try to implement them. Yay for them. Other daters are hyper aware of behaviors that don’t work and are actively trying to eliminate them. Yay for them, too. And some poor souls just don’t get it. Poor dears. This article is for those on both sides of a dating relationship with someone who doesn’t get it. Offering a little help here. We’re all doing the best we can, and sometimes it’s good to know how to protect ourselves and others.

Let’s start with a joke.

An older, white haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.

The old man said, “No, I’d like to see something more special.” The jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. “Here’s a stunning ring at only $40,000, the jeweler said.

The young lady’s eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man said, “We’ll take it.”

The jeweler asked how payment would be made. “By check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I’ll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I’ll pick the ring up Monday afternoon.”

Monday morning, the jeweler phoned the old man. “There’s no money in that account!”

“I know,” said the old man, “But let me tell you about my weekend!”

Ok. So it’s a bad joke, probably outdated, maybe a little rude….but somehow it speaks.

Big Red X

When I read that joke I thought to myself: “Those two should both have a big Red X on their foreheads.” In lieu of that type of blatant social labeling, which would protect us all from such relational idiocy, it behooves us to sniff out crazy relationship behaviors, and take those vulnerable hearts of ours, and run far and fast in the other direction. Being aware of motivation is the best way to sniff out  crazy, and by crazy I mostly mean harmful, behaviors.

So you can ask these questions about someone you are dating, or about your own motivations.

Are you dating…

  • out of a fear of being alone
  • a desire to have children
  • for glamour or sex (as our couple above)
  • out of loneliness or horniness
  • for financial security
  • because you like the idea of being in a relationship
  • to feel desirable again
  • for spite
  • for fame?

Some less sinister motivations might be to help out someone you consider a friend. You don’t want to say no and hurt this person you care about. Or you want to be nice to the wall flower.  But remember,  any version of using or being used gets a Big Red X.  The only thing that really works in a relationship is gut level honesty. That level of honesty can save a relationship on the brink and bring passion back to a relationship gone cold.

Save yourself some heartache. Check in with yourself to make sure you have the motivations you want since we tend to attract people who energetically match us, and keep a keen eye on the motivation of others.

Are You Being Told What You Want to Hear?

Determining why someone is seeking a relationship with you is good practice. “I want to know you.” is the right answer. To know and be known is where a relationship of any substance will begin. I’ll talk about the importance of friendship to a relationship in another post.