If you are dating, chances are you’ve been perplexed, confused, or flat out surprised by the behavior of someone you have dated. You might recall restless nights or long conversations with friends talking through how unexpected events unfolded in a relationship that went south.
It’s not uncommon at all for there to be a misalignment in what you might be experiencing versus what your partner is experiencing in the very same relationship. This can sometimes lead to an unexpected and heartbreaking break-up or ongoing, confusing dynamics. Successful dating begins with accurately decoding dating behavior, recognizing common patterns, and overcoming the confusion that often accompanies dating.
Ask yourself the following questions to take the first step at gaining clarity.
Do words match actions?
True intentions are demonstrated with actions, not words. If your partner has committed to doing things differently, like making you a priority over nights out with friends, but you aren’t seeing those words in action, it’s time to be honest with yourself about where the relationship is going. Action is the result of the truest feelings in one’s heart. If your partner honestly felt you were a priority and was committed to spending time with you, his or her actions would speak loud and clear. And, if not, he or she might just be telling you what you want to hear despite a true misalignment of actual desires. Observe carefully and objectively in order to overcome any confusion that might result in words that don’t have supporting actions. Be willing to see the red flags.
Are you making up a story?
It’s easy to make up a story with the outcome you desire or see the relationship through the lense of what you want. You might get far ahead of yourself imaging a long-term life together when your partner hasn’t even demonstrated that he or she is ready for an exclusive relationship. Especially if you have an anxious attachment system, and your partner is more avoidant, you might be prone to telling yourself a story if you aren’t confident in truly understanding the status of the relationship. As humans, we don’t like uncertainty, so it’s not uncommon to fabricate a story about the potential of a partnership when there is a not a firm understanding of where the relationship is headed.
Do you know where you stand?
In a healthy relationship, you won’t be stuck wondering whether you are in an exclusive commitment or whether your partner is going to show up for you the following day. In a healthy relationship, it’s clear where you stand and where you are going. The guessing games dissipate and a partnership with give and take is evident. When you know where you stand, you don’t have anxiety around your partner leaving or feel you are walking on eggshells to keep him or her happy. You are confident that the relationship is heading in the right direction and that you’ll be able to overcome any challenge together.
At Center for Shared Insight, we can help you decode dating behavior and also help you understand how to address inconsistencies in your relationship with your partner. Our team can serve as a neutral third party and help you better witness what is unfolding rather than be pulled into the emotions of what is occurring. Our clients begin with a free consultation where we can learn more about your challenges and understand how our team of experienced therapists can help. Contact us to schedule yours today.