Most, if not all of the time, we want to make mistakes on our own. Perhaps people warn us or give us incredibly accurate advice that could save us from problems down the road, but we still stay the course no matter what.
Sometimes the warnings are accurate, and the person you are being warned about is truly bad for you. Sometimes people will warn you about your date but the warning is inaccurate. Perhaps the people warning you are jealous and don’t actually want you to be happy or to find someone who will take more of your time; perhaps the people warning you have their own romantic issues and can’t objectively gauge when another person is good or bad for you. Regardless of the reason, the whole issue of people warning you is complicated because sometimes the warnings are right and sometimes the warning are wrong. So, how do you know which is which? How do you know when you should listen to the warnings, and how do you know when you should just keep dating and have faith that things will turn out alright?
The best person to answer this question is you.
When you are trying to figure out whether to keep dating someone or whether to cut it off, I believe that you actually already know the answer without having to ask anyone. In order for you to be honest with yourself and truly answer this question correctly, you need to approach the situation with one simple reality: you can’t be too attached to the answer. In other words, whether you feel like this relationship will or won’t work out (considering that it’s a new one) isn’t crucial. Why? If you don’t feel like this is the right person for you, your mood, overall happiness in life, and future don’t all depend on it. There are always others out there you could date. If you don’t see this as a true statement, you will end up settling for relationships that are unhappy or end tumultuously.
When you meet someone new, you need to ask yourself whether this is someone you feel you can trust or whether this is someone who makes you nervous, distrusting, or insecure. If multiple people in your social orbit – good friends, trusted family members – are hesitant about the new person you’re dating, you could either use their feedback as a reason to get defensive, or you could reframe it and use their feedback as a reminder that you have people who care about and want to protect you. Most importantly, when people you know and trust warn you about someone, you should ask very specific questions so that you understand what it is about the person that seems off. Moreover, when you ask, make sure to listen closely to the feedback. Don’t just think about the feedback when they tell you; think about it while you are driving in your car later; while you take a bath; while you get ready for work. The point: truly reflect on the feedback because it might not hit you at the time they tell you. You might get it a day or even a month later.
Are you working too hard to prove everyone wrong?
Sometimes we know everyone is right but we can’t let them know it because of our own egos. Sometimes we don’t want to hear “I told you so,” but we need to remember that the people who really care about us the most don’t actually want to be right in this case. If they are truly trustworthy and loving to us, all they want is for us to be happy. So when they tell us that someone is bad for us, they aren’t trying to be right, to win, or to prove us wrong.
How long do you want to feel frustrated in relationships?
The most important point that everyone needs to remember about relationships is that they are supposed to be sources of comfort and security. When they are sources of stress, it isn’t actually complicated at all: it means that we are simply recreating unhealthy messages imparted on us or mimicking messed up relationships we saw when we were younger. As adults, we have the power to create our own lives and our own relationships. Let’s start taking more control of our future today.
Growing up is about letting go of unnecessary conflicts.
If you seek out men or women who are bad for you, you are inviting conflict into your life. If you are living your life that way, it means that you haven’t yet reached the point where you can have consistent harmony in your personal life. Isn’t that what you deserve? Isn’t that what every man and woman deserves? If you don’t have peace in your romantic relationships, you need to take responsibility and ask yourself why you keep letting drama and frustration into your life. Never forget that you deserve better!
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.