Run Away – Quickly

Dear Karen,

I’ve had a few dates with this guy, and I really like him.  He’s just about perfect in every way, but there have been a few signs that he’s got a bit of a temper. I’ll give you a couple of examples: one time when we were driving to dinner, and another time when there was a line at the movies, he got pretty aggressive and really impatient.  Other than those types of episodes, he’s great.  I believe he’s just needing to be loved by a good woman (that would be me!), and he’ll stop feeling so frustrated by things.  Am I right in thinking that? – Cindy

Dear Cindy,

What a juicy topic for this month!  Thanks for sending in your question.

Best Foot Forward (Initially)

Cindy, there is no subtle way to say this, so I’m just going to say it:

RUN, don’t walk, away from him.

This man is showing you his very best behavior – you’ve just started dating.  This is him putting his best foot forward, and restraining the “less-than-attractive” parts of himself.

Of course, you’re doing the same thing, because just about everyone does this as a matter of course.  You may be really insecure, or have a terrible relationship with your mother, but you’re not going to reveal that about yourself until you’re feeling surer of your relationship with a man, right?

You can pretty much bank on his aggressive and impatient behavior getting more pronounced as he gets more comfortable with you.  My strong recommendation is that you don’t stick around to find out what that will look like!

The “My Love Will Save Him” Syndrome

I can’t tell you how many women I’ve worked with over the years who’ve been attracted to men who “would be happy if the right woman loved him” (…like ME, for instance!).  My belief is that it stems from a feeling that we need to work hard for the love and acceptance we long for.

It’s SO important that we feel worthy of being loved exactly as we are so we are able to adjust our “attractor” to draw men to us who are able to love us without our having to “earn it”.

Some Dos and Don’ts

Here are some things to keep in mind, or to incorporate into your actions, so you’re able to end up with a great man who’s able to love you just as you are:

  •  Love YOURSELF just as you are (I’m not saying you won’t have dips once in a while…just  be this way consistently enough to make a positive difference in your life);
  • If your gut is saying “Wow, he may have a temper”, or “Wow, he’s pretty stingy with his affection”, or “Geez, he’s still pretty mad at his (fill in the blank here)”, or “Poor guy, he sure is struggling with letting himself have success”, or anything else your radar is picking up on, BELIEVE IT!  How many times have you ignored that quiet voice, only to see it absolutely clearly – in hindsight – and after lots of pain?
  • Although it’s true that we do grow throughout our lives, never choose a man based on who or what he could become…choose him based on who he is today.  Then you can trust you’ll be okay through the unfolding of his life’s journey, because you two are a fit at the most fundamental levels, which don’t tend to change.
  • Compromise in a relationship is essential; however, never compromise who you ARE, or what your values are – you will pay dearly for that, and so will he.
  • As Dr. Phil is known to say, “We teach people how to treat us”…  If you’re allowing something in your relationship with a man, you’re basically saying to him “I’m okay with that”.  Don’t end up doing what so often happens in relationships: you let it go and let it go, and then one day you completely explode, and he is CLUELESS about what happened.

These are some important elements to help you ensure you’ll be able to attract, enjoy and build a successful relationship with a great man for you.

In Conclusion

It’s not a mystery who we end up with, and it’s not an accident that we’re treated the way we are.  We create it all.  It’s up to you to decide what you want, to know you’re worth it, and to settle for nothing less.  Frankly, you’re better off enjoying a life as a single woman than ending up with a man who will, by just being the man he showed himself to be right from the start, break your heart.