Too often single women dating in midlife sabotage themselves and their relationships with behavior that is immature, unproductive or actually destructive.
Here are eight mistakes to avoid when dating, starting a relationship or moving ahead with a guy you love.
- Suffering from unrealistic expectations and Fairy Tale thinking. Waiting for your Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet? No one can be Mr. Perfect for long. You’ll be disappointed with any partner, regardless of who they are. Which means you’re overlooking many fine potential dates and mates down the pike. Be realistic, understand that no one is a perfect match and that relationships take effort, compassion and skill. Do your part and learn what works and what repels when looking for a love relationship.
- Not trusting your inner warnings about red flags early on. Is he too controlling, jealous, demanding, possessive, intimidating, addicted, aloof, insincere or deceitful? These red flag behaviors should warn you that you’re with a toxic partner. Don’t let lust or love blur your senses about a guy who habitually uses or abuses women. Stand up and set your boundaries – or leave with your pride!
- Carrying too much past relationship baggage into a new relationship. Is he paying the price for issues in your former relationship that you haven’t cleared? If so, your new relationship is doomed. Do your inner work, get complete about your former relationships, cut the cord with the past and learn the lessons you need so you can move on with confidence.
- Settling because you don’t believe there’s anyone much better out there. Or perhaps you believe you don’t deserve a better partner. These are deep-seated insecurities that can sabotage your future. Never settle for someone who doesn’t treat you well. Maintain your values and keep your expectations high for finding a compatible love partner. If you believe there’s no one worthwhile out there, you’ll prove yourself right – even though that’s not the truth!
- Not honoring your personal boundaries. Giving up your life, friends, values and interests for a man – any man! If he wants to dominate your time, affection and attention, he’s too manipulative or needy. Not good relationship material. Set boundaries you can live with to honor and respect yourself – or choose to move on.
- Treating your guy like a girlfriend. Men don’t relate to talking, shopping and sharing the way women do. Don’t expect him to be your gal pal. Otherwise you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Men process the world differently than women in many ways. Enjoy special time with your girl friends and relate to your man in a way that makes him feel respected and valued.
- Being sexually intimate too soon. Men don’t run after a bus they’re already on! Let him feel you’re a special catch. Don’t be afraid to wait until you feel ready and receptive to sexual intimacy. If he threatens or cajoles you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, this may not be the guy who will make a true love partner.
- Getting a sexually transmitted disease. STDs are increasing most dramatically in middle-aged women who don’t ask questions, test and check before moving into sex. If you can’t talk about this topic freely with your partner, why move into a sexual relationship with those fears shadowing the relationship. Use protected sex and choose a partner who respects you enough to care!
If you find yourself falling into these patterns, reach out to a counselor or relationship coach for help. The sooner you recognize toxic behaviors the faster you can learn more effective skills that will support and honor you as you move into new relationships.
Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, is a Relationship Coach and Dating In Mid-Life Mentor. She’s co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! To receive a complimentary ebook, Smart Dating Advice for Women Over 40: Answers to Your Most-Asked Questions, along with a relationship Tip of the Week — from preparing for your first date to determining whether your partner is a “keeper” — visit www.womendatingafter40.com.
Read more posts by Rosalind Sedacca, Annie Jennings PR JenningsWire blogger.
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