Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Do you find yourself getting repeatedly disappointed with the quality of the people you date?

Are you wondering if you will ever find a person who not only looks hot on the outside, but has their act together on the inside?

Is dating becoming more of a chore than an experience to look forward to?

Before giving up or settling for someone who isn’t quite what you hoped for, here are some questions to ask yourself.

What kind of feeling do you want to get when you are with a date that is a good fit for you? Is it joy and excitement or is it security and safety?

Or are different parts of you wanting different things?

When different parts of you want different things, you may not be aware of them simultaneously. The part that gets the attractive date may get satisfied, but the part that wants a mature evolved individual may not be the one doing the selection, and protests in disappointment later in the relationship.

Gaynor had just come out of a relationship feeling bruised and devalued. She had been generous to her boyfriend, taking him in when he was out of a job and helped him back on his feet. The sex was good, but he made digs about her and towards the end of their time together, Donald was out and about with friends and other women, resenting Gaynor’s wish for accountability and exclusive intimacy. He did not turn out to be the anchor and rock Gaynor hoped he would be after setting him back on his feet.

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photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Loneliness and a strong wish for a normal companionable relationship with a man, made Gaynor try out the dating scene again. She found a cute guy, with a good job who loved wind surfing as much as she did. They enjoyed it together immensely but when the activity was over and Ramon began to open up after a few drinks, her heart sank. He was dealing with a lot of trouble left over from his ex-girlfriend that was an on and off again relationship. He had problems with an ex-wife and child custody battles that were never ending. All of a sudden Gaynor’s elation at finding a soul mate disappeared. The fun of wind surfing with Ramon dissolved into the beer glass she drank out of, taking away all her cherished hope for a solid problem free connection.

Gaynor’s disappointment stopped her from getting attached. She tried to think of Ramon as just a wind surfing buddy, but that didn’t help her with her loneliness or wish for a partner to walk life’s path with. She went out on other dates and found the same pattern repeating. She met good looking guys that were fun to be with and that she was physically attracted to. But as soon as they dropped the façade and became real ordinary people, something in Gaynor felt hugely let down and alone. These men were needy and struggling with broken relationships, mother issues, addictions of one sort or another and appeared weak and still far from sorting themselves out. Not the kind of guy she could trust to be there for her.

Gaynor wondered whether she should give up the dating scene altogether. There didn’t seem to be any nice regular guys around who were ‘clean’ and free from baggage. She had enough of her own and didn’t want to be taking on more burdens.

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photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Why is Gaynor meeting what seems to be all the wrong guys?

Where are the good guys in her world who have their act together and are available just for her?

The answer is complicated. The good guys are all around her but they aren’t pure and they aren’t trouble free. They are human and come with baggage just like everyone else. The trouble is that Gaynor yearns to be able to rely on someone who doesn’t have anything that gets in the way of them being a stable and consistent figure in her life.

It’s a throwback in time to when she was younger and sought the reassurance and comfort from adults who didn’t make excuses or show that they had their own issues to grapple with. The inner lives of the adults were not transparent to her at that time. It seemed as if they had no issues and were able to take care of her concerns. Now that Gaynor interacts adult to adult, everything is transparent and she is heartbroken that her illusion of strength and purity in the other person is shattered. When Gaynor dates guys she relives this disillusionment over and over again, making her stressed and insecure.

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photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Gaynor’s heart is set on security and safety but her head wants a companion to enjoy life with.

Her head wants a companion and a more equal relationship. Her heart selected the guys with it’s long held wish for a pure connection with no baggage from the guy getting in the way. So she kept getting disappointed and ruined the parts of the relationship that her head knew and felt was right – the joint activities and companionship that they shared. Her heart dismissed the latter making her lonely and let down.

But, if Gaynor can accept the fact everyone has stuff to deal with, without it precluding their ability to be there for her, she may appreciate the joy of being with dates that share her hobbies and interests. There is enough room for both and she can and will find a place for herself in their hearts and minds, so long as she doesn’t mind sharing that space.

It is the mutuality of comfort and care that makes relationships work, not one person having no issues and taking care of another with all the problems. Sharing of problems and sharing of joyful experiences form a stable and reliable dating experience that has the potential to become a serious committed relationship.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

You might also like:

How to behave when you start dating after a break

Do you have to chose between a romance and a good friend?

How your dating rules make sure you never find the partner you want

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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