He’s OBVIOUSLY an idiot. You deserve better!”
…say your well-meaning friends as they try to console you after your latest breakup.*
You appreciate their concern, but you wish they’d just leave you alone. It was quite nice crying along to the breakup song playlist you made just before they came over. You’re not ready to bounce back and head to the gym so you can get the killer revenge body your ex so richly doesn’t deserve.
Why do you keep ending up in this mess?
Mourning over guys who treated you like a princess until they got distracted by the next shiny crown?
It feels like you’re stuck in a singles version of Groundhog Day…
Dating the same idiots over and over again, just in different disguises!
Spotting an Idiot
When you (or your girlfriends) say that a guy you’re dating is acting like an idiot, you’re not saying he lacks intellectual prowess.
You’re saying that his behavior is inconsiderate or inconsistent.
Like the guy who wasn’t entirely honest with you (or EVER honest with you!).
Or the guy who tried to control you and put you down.
Or the guy who made you believed that he really liked you and wanted to see you … only to let you down and cancel at the last minute or ghost you altogether.
Whatever idiotic behaviors you’ve encountered, the good news is that YOU have the power to change your dating trajectory and quit dating idiots once and for all!
That’s not to say you can make all rude and inconsiderate men disappear with a wave of your magic wand…
But once you learn how to spot idiots, you can stop wasting your time with them and concentrate on finding the REAL love you deserve.
The secret is this:
In order for someone to treat us badly, we have to allow it.
There will always be men who haven’t matured or don’t have the emotional intelligence or capacity to treat us right and love us the way we deserve to be loved…
But we don’t have to DATE those men. We can pat them nicely on their heads and send them on their way.
Here are 5 things you can do to break the pattern of dating the wrong men and start attracting the RIGHT ones.
1. Take a break.
If you’re feeling emotionally exhausted from dating a string of idiots, then give yourself permission to take a break.
The cycle of dating can feel punishing for even the most resilient among us. So if you feel like you’re flatlining, honor that feeling. Give your heart time to rest and recuperate.
You may need 30 days or 3 months or even longer than that. Dedicate your solo time to focusing on yourself and your life. Don’t go back to dating until you feel like yourself again. (Don’t worry: taking time off the dating scene won’t put you behind!)
2. Get to know yourself.
Unfortunately, many of us have grown up without the best relationship role models.
No one gave us an instruction manual on how to have fulfilling relationships or how to identify and communicate our boundaries confidently.
No wonder we end up running into relationship problems!
As we get older, we have to take responsibility for re-parenting ourselves, or being the parent we never had.
Have you noticed any patterns in your past relationships? Perhaps you consistently attract men who are emotionally unavailable. Or perhaps you date guys that need “fixing up” or saving.
Bringing conscious awareness to a problem is the first step to changing it. If we know what our patterns are, we stand a much better chance of breaking them and replacing them with healthy new strategies.
Here are some questions that can help you spot areas that may need work:
- What do you struggle with most when it comes to dating and relationships?
- How would you rate your current level of self-esteem and confidence?
- Are you good at communicating your needs effectively?
- Are you comfortable addressing and working to resolve issues that arise in a relationship?
When you take care of all that unresolved emotional baggage from the past, you won’t feel as attracted to men who trigger those old wounds.
This work isn’t easy, so consider investing in a therapist or coach who can guide you on your journey to healing.
3. Upgrade your self-worth.
We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”
– Iyanla Vanzant
One of the reasons we tolerate people who don’t treat us well is because we justify or make excuses for their behavior.
As we work to strengthen our weak spots and heal past traumas, we begin to feel better about ourselves. We set higher standards. We don’t fall so easily for crappy excuses and even crappier behavior. We finally get what it means to love and accept ourselves just as we are.
When we get to a place of healthy self-esteem and self-worth, we won’t let people treat us in a way that demeans us. We stop tolerating and overlooking red flags, because we see them for what they really are: deal breakers.
As Samantha in Sex and the City said:
I love you, but I love me more.”
Here are some questions to help you gauge your sense of self-worth:
- How do you currently see yourself?
- How do you need to see yourself in order to attract the healthy and fulfilling relationship you desire?
- What do you need to do to bridge the gap between these two versions of yourself?
4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
In order to have what we’ve never had, we often have to do what we’ve never done.
For some of us, that includes having difficult conversations about what we will and won’t tolerate. It includes saying no to people and being prepared to walk away from anything or anyone that is not good for us.
When you do start dating again, you will need to exercise your newfound confidence.
Be clear on what you want to experience in a relationship and what qualities you are seeking.
Confidently say, “No, thank you,” to anything that is not a match to what you truly desire and deserve.
5. Don’t settle.
From time to time, you will be tested.
You’ll meet someone who, at first glance, appears to be everything you’ve been searching for.
It’s only once you start dating that you notice red flags or behavior that’s not consistent with what they’ve told you.
Don’t be afraid to cut them loose. Don’t fall in love with someone’s potential. Don’t waste time trying to fix and save people; that’s not your job.
Your job is to enjoy yourself, make your life as fabulous as possible, and find a partner who is worthy of joining you for that journey.
It’s better to be alone than with an idiot!
Want more of Laura’s awesome advice?
Then watch our interview with her on how to spot dating red flags…
And read a real-life love story about one of Laura’s friends who found the courage to quit dating idiots!
* Idiots can come in all shapes and sizes, and idiocy is not gender specific!!