It’s Summa summa summa timmmmee and after getting quite a few calls, texts and outright cries for help about men and dating issues I figured I would come out of hiding and help my ladies out. Around spring and summer men tend to totally forget their home training, morals and the fact that they have a loyal woman in their corner who helped pay off their student loans, babysat their demon kids, passed out flyers to their wack shows and drove their grandma to church on quite a few Sundays. As much as we’d like to blame the man in the situation for our dating woes nothing is possible if we do not allow it. Of course there are a few things we can’t control in our dating lives. We can’t stop a man from getting back with an ex, leaving us for someone new or cheating with his much less attractive coworker with last years wardrobe and weave. We can definitely control who we choose to give our hearts to, be vulnerable with and sleep with! So here it goes ladies, 8 ways you are self sabotaging your dating life and how to nip that ish in the bud right now.
They should call you Usain Bolt in heels. You find a man you like, invest all your time in getting to know him, pursue him, show up at his job, house, or kick it spot unannounced, constantly call, text, snap and tweet him and you can’t figure out why he doesn’t do the same for you. Call it traditonal, call it old fashioned but in my experience, in me watching friends, family members and strangers get hurt time after time, women should not chase men. It is in a mans nature to pursue women. When you take that away from them it’s leaves nothing for them to do. Regardless of how juvenille or anti feminist it may seem to you, dating is a game. Does this mean you can’t let a man know you are interested in him? No. But you should not be running after him like a tiger on the lose chasing after it’s meal. You are the prize. When you realize that, you will see no purpose in chasing men because they will be chasing after you. No amount of pop up visits, phone calls, or going out of your way to initiate contact is going to make a man love you. Men operate differently than women. Though yes, a man may sleep with or possibly even date a woman who does these things eventually and my bet is sooner than later, he is going to get bored. When you set a precedent of you always being the initiator you are going to have to keep that up and continue doing the pursuing in the relationship. Don’t expect a man you chased to suddenly start chasing you. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve already shown him how desperately you want him. He has no need to do any pursuing because you have already done all the work for him. When you chase a man even if it somehow leads to you two being together you will constantly question his true feelings for you because you didn’t give him the chance to let you know if he was interested to begin with. Do yourself and your ego a favor and don’t chase after a man, ever.
Always initiating contact
It takes a few seconds to send a text or make a phone call. When a man is interested in you, you don’t have to ask him to call you or text you. You don’t have to constantly call or text him in hopes he will answer or respond to you. When a man is interested in you he wants to know how you are doing, what you have been up to and when will he see you again. He’s curious about your day. He misses you, he wants to see you. A man who is interested in you doesn’t make excuses about how busy he is, he makes time. When you constantly initiate contact, you have no idea if he misses you, wants to see you, or couldn’t wait a second longer before he talked to you, because again, you took that away from him. You should be so busy living your life, hitting the gym, working, pursuing your dreams, that you aren’t thinking about calling him every five seconds. Sure if you like him you are going to want to talk to him but don’t you want him to feel the same? How will you know how he truly feels if you are constantly contacting him first? Always contacting a man allows you to start a one sided relationship and build feelings that he may not share – making heartbreak almost inevitable once he stops answering those calls or responding to your messages. Ease up on the calling and allow him to contact you. If he is interested in you, he will call. Simple as that.
Making him your everything
It’s so easy to want to spend every waking moment with the guy you are dating especially in the beginning stages. You love spending time with him and things are simple and fun. However, many women get so immersed in Mr. Right Now they put him in the forefront of their lives and neglect everything else. You trade in gym sessions for chinese food and Netflix with bae. Outings with the group chat becomes staying in with bae and pursuing your dreams turns into pursuing bae. You can not give up your life for a man because when or if that man leaves you will have nothing and if he stays you will have nothing but him. Giving up your girlfriends is a huge No No in dating. Giving up yourself is even worse. A man who has a life, should want you to have one as well. Think about it, would you be interested in a man who literally did nothing all day but sat on the couch and waited for you to call? Or would you want a man who lived a full life and had passions, goals and dreams and worked towards them all while making time for you? I’d say most women would choose the latter. Giving your all to a man means giving nothing to yourself. As much fun as it may be spending time with him, you have to find balance so that when things aren’t as peachy you won’t feel like your life is over.
Trying to love a man into loving you
You’ve told him and shown him on numerous occasions that you love him. You cooked and cleaned for him when his grandmother passed, you took care of him when he was sick, made him soup, tea and did his laundry. You’ve loaned him money, you are there for him whenever he needs you and still he hasn’t given you the title of wife let alone girlfriend. Loving people can be tough. You want to give them the world and show them just how much they mean to you, but unfortunately everyone does not deserve everything, especially if you are doing these things in hopes of him one day doing the same. Unless you are truly doing these things out of the kindness of your heart and could care less if another woman is laying in the bed with him on the sheets you washed, eating the leftovers you cooked for him, or laying on those newly washed sheets netflix and chilling on your account, I would say fall back a little and fast. No matter what you do for a man, how much you love him or show you love him it’s not going to make him love you. You can’t trick a person into loving you anymore than you can love someone into loving you. Think about that guy. The extremely unattractive, nerdy, weird guy who was absolutely in love with you. Did you love him back? Probably not. As sweet as he may have been, you just didn’t have feelings for him and it’s probably no amount of things he could have done for you that would have changed that. Sometimes our egos wont allow us to believe that we are that person. No we are much too fine, talented, smart to ever be such a clinger, however if you are doing all these things for someone that you know doesn’t love you, you just may be. Start giving all that love you are giving to him to yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day. Cook a delicious meal for yourself or a friend or relative. Spend some of the time you usually devote to him doing something with your parents or siblings. One thing I noticed about myself is I would always start spending a ton of time with my family after a breakup. I dont know if I had more time on my hands, I simply missed my family or was trying to feel the void of the guy I was dating no longer being around. Once I realized this pattern I broke it and started spendng more time with friends and family while in relationships and felt much happier during and even after those relationships had ended. Many relationships you go through in life will be temporary. Family is not, especially older relatives. Devote more time into loving them and yourself. Once you delegate your love properly you wont feel the need to give so much of yourself to someone so undeserving.
Ignoring telltale signs
The very first phone call you had with him he was an ass. You laughed it off. He talks to you about other women frequently, you see it as him being open and honest. He disappears for days or weeks at a time then comes back like nothing happened. He yells at you or talks down to you when you do something he doesn’t approve of. All of these are signs that should never be ignored. When you’e experienced real love rather from a partner or parent you know exactly how it is supposed to feel. When you are constantly questioning how a person feels about you, it most likely isn’t love. Take your parents for example. Did they love you? How could you tell? Did they sometimes do things that may have upset you? Did you still know they loved you? Why? Love is love. It isn’t perfect just as people are not perfect. But you don’t question it. Growing up I didn’t always agree with every tactic my parents used in raising me but I know without a doubt they loved me. I’ve been in relationships where I knew I was loved even if my partner had done something that hurt me I knew he had made a mistake but I also knew he loved me. I’ve also been in relationships where I was constantly told I was loved but I didn’t feel it. I knew in my heart he didn’t truly love me and it didn’t last because of that. Not eveything in relationships is verbal. You have to be so intune with yourself that you recognize when something or someone simply isn’t right. People don’t change over night and though yes first impressions can sometimes be a little off but when a person consistently makes you feel uneasy or something just doesn’t feel right about them, don’t ignore it.
Dating out of desperation
A man can sense a desperate woman like a shark can smell blood in the ocean. Everything about you reeks of desperation. You chase him, you put up with his bs, you constantly take him back, you allow yourself to be disrespected and you show him how little you care for yourself by staying. What is it that makes you feel like this man is the only man on planet earth? Why do you feel you are so unworthy of love? It doesn’t matter if you didn’t finish school, have children, make minimun wage, put on a few pounds or simply don’t feel attractive none of these are reasons to date out of desperation. My suggestion is to change the things about yourself that you can until you feel worthy of real love. Take classes at your community college towards your degree, start a business, start exercising, join a group, find a job that makes you happy, create a goal list and start working towards completing them. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you. When you love yourself you attract people who love you as well and if nothing else you don’t settle for less than you deserve. When you date men out of desperation you are telling them and yourself hey I’m not worthy, treat me however you want to, i’m going to stay anyway and usually they will do just that. Forget about biological clocks and who else is getting married or engaged and focus on yourself. You want a fulfilling relationship full of love and that has to start with you loving yourself first.
Confusing sex with love/ a relationship
You’ve never felt as connected sexually with anyone as much as you do with him. He knows your every spot. He gives you mind blowing, earth shattering orgasms each and every time and you crave him hours, days and weeks after you’ve been with him. Sex is powerful. Sex is emotional. Sex has the power to create and destroy life. When you open yourself up sexually to a man you are in a sense giving him power, especially when having sex without protection. Nothing is protecting you from the feelings that often come when you are having sex regularly with a man. If you are choosing to give your body to a man who is not your husband you are also choosing to accept whatever consequences come along with that. You can’t expect a man to love you, take care of you, or want to be with you simply because you are having sex with him. Where sex can be more emotional for women for men it is more physical. Doing wifely duties for a man who is sleeping with you does not give you anymore rank or make him want you anymore you are only allowing yourself to build up more anger or resentment when you see him out with another woman or when he decides your emotional attachment is too much for him and he drops you. Simply put if you choose to have sex with a man don’t expect his feelings for you to change or grow deeper simply because you are having sex with him.
Creating make believe relationships
You add one plus one and end up with three. You hear things he never said and you truly believe he is the one for you when he barely even notices you. I remember hearing a story about a woman who truly believed one of her old high school classmates was the man for her. They never dated or even had many conversations in school, he eventually got married and had children and still she felt that this was the man God himself placed on earth to be her husband. She doesn’t date much less talk to men because she is waiting on the man who is now married with children to notice her, divorce his wife and realize that she is the woman for him. Maybe your story isn’t as dramatic as this one but perhaps you too can dip a little too far into la la land when it comes to dating. You have to take things at face value when it comes to dealing with men. Go with the facts. Go with how he treats you, how you feel around him and the things he says and does. If he doesn’t act like he likes you most likely he doesn’t. He isn’t playing games or trying to play hard to get. When a man likes you, he shows you and when he doesn’t he shows you that too. It’s up to you to put your ego aside and realize that every man in your life isn’t going to like you or want to be with you and that’s fine, you only need one. Stop checking his horoscope, stop trying to read between invisible lines and take what he is saying and doing to heart.
Again, there are plenty of messed up things men can do all on their own in dating but there are ways we can protect ourselves, lower the chance of hearbreak and weed out the men who don’t truly love us. Only dating men who actually like us is a huge step in the right direction. Have you committed any of these dating donts?
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram