Dating Don’t: The Guilt Game

May 11, 2011

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guilt game 300x300 Dating Dont: The Guilt GameThe same wise woman who told me about taking action to get a man’s attention also recited this gem to me: “Unless a judge and jury convict you, you shouldn’t feel guilty.” Translation — don’t feel guilty unless you have actually done something wrong. I remind myself of this all the time!

Naturally, this topic applies to so many of our dating situations and relationships. I just read a user’s story on the Advice boards, where she talked about wanting to leave a man but was feeling guilty as she worried it was going to crush him. This guy was unstable, so her fears were completely understandable. She was wracked with guilt over the possibility that he might completely fall apart. But should she let this guilt hold her back from ultimately saying goodbye to him? Absolutely not.

We’ve all been there, allowing guilt to rule our lives. Whether it’s remaining in relationships because we place the other person’s needs in front of our own, or allowing friends to guilt us into doing things we don’t want to do, it’s always better to trust that internal voice that says, “I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to do this!”

It really is kind of simple, but we make it so much more complicated because of our emotions, insecurities and fears (sigh).

Here are some gentle reminders:

1. Don’t allow another person to have power over you.

2. Find the inner courage to get up and walk away (even if that means relying on your best friends to carry you out!).

3. Don’t feel guilty for doing what is best for you or saying, “No, thanks.” If they get upset? Oh well. If they don’t want to see you anymore? Their loss!!

3. Finally, don’t feel guilty unless that judge has thrown down the gauntlet on you!

What instances has guilt held you back — in dating/relationships or in life? How did you work through it?

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