Have you ever looked back over your past relationships and said to yourself, “What the hell was I thinking?”
As you honestly reflect on your past, you will see that the red flags were waving all around you. There was a chance you may not have picked up on them because you were blinded by what you thought was love. But if you get real with yourself, you will see that the red flags were there, waving right in front of your eyes, almost from the very beginning. But you chose to ignore them.
So why is it when it comes to matters of the heart, it is easy for you to make the wrong decisions over and over again?
One word: emotions. You see, as human beings we are primarily driven by the emotional part of our brains. It doesn’t make a difference what our logical brain says, if we are emotionally attached to an outcome or situation, we almost always make the choice and decision based on what satisfies our immediate emotional needs.
You will do this in almost every aspect of your life. You complain about your weight and how you don’t like what you see in the mirror, yet you will eat that extra piece of cake. You say you can’t afford something but when there is something you really want (emotions are high), you break out the credit card and charge it, even though your balances are getting harder and harder to pay off.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in your dating and relationships. You continue to stay with a guy, sometimes for years, no matter how unhappy and unfulfilled you are. Your intuition is telling you to run but you continue to stay.
Because your emotions are running the show. No matter how your reality sucks, you come up with every excuse, justification, and rationalization as to why you should stay.
Because emotionally you want to stay.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give your girlfriend advice in her love life but when it comes to your own you don’t practice what you preach? It’s easy for you to see that the guy she is with isn’t treating her the way she deserves, and you have no problem pointing out what is wrong with her relationship. To you, it’s obvious what she should do.
Yet, when you are in the same situation, you do the opposite. It doesn’t make a difference how educated you are — if you don’t learn to operate from the logical part of your brain and make your choices and decisions based on what is right and best, you will continue to ride the dating and relationship rollercoaster. And please don’t pull that, “but I love him” crap. Love does not mean that you become a human doormat for a guy to walk all over you and treat you in a way less than you deserve.
Love is two people honoring each other, respecting each other, and enjoying the journey of life together in ways that make each other happy and each other’s lives better.
Here’s the deal: If you allow your emotions to dictate your choices and decisions, you are going to continue to make dumb mistakes.
You can blame all the men in the world, you can complain about how hard dating and relationships are, but if you take a good, honest look in the mirror and get real with yourself you will see that you are making things harder than they need to be. And the reason you are making things hard is because your emotions are running you.
So, here is a simple word of advice that I teach my platinum coaching clients. If you want to know what is the best choice for you pretend that your friend is going through the same experience. Then, step back and see what advice you would give her…and then follow that advice. It’s that simple.
Once you learn to control and manage your emotions and make choices and decisions which are in alignment with what it is your heart really desires, you will see that dating and making the right choices becomes much easier.
A note from the Advice editors: We love the book Emotional Intelligence, if you’d like to look further into this issue.
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