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|Lisa Kaplin • 9/25/14|
“If it’s a red flag while you are dating, it turns into a billboard sign after you get married.” These wise words are from one of my clients who just got divorced.
My work puts me into the unique position of 20/20 hindsight on dating mistakes that may lead you right into divorce court.
So many of the women I work with tell me there were signs that they were with the wrong guy, but they ignored the signs in either the hopes of changing the guy or changing themselves.
Dating is the absolute right time to address the red flags so you don’t end up trying to ignore the painful billboards that take over your life once you’re married.
You know that old piece of advice, “Never discuss religion and politics in polite company”? Don’t listen to that.
By all means, discuss your religious views and preferences, your political party, your values, beliefs and dreams with any man you have dated more than a handful of times.
You don’t necessarily have to have all of the same viewpoints, but you certainly need to know if you can live with his and he yours.
Marriage is hard work anyway and being diametrically opposed on issues that are important to you will make your marriage even more difficult.
Do you truly love to watch every minute of mixed martial arts? If so, tell that to your man and enjoy. If not, don’t pretend you do.
So many women tell me they wanted to be closer to their man, so they pretended to love all of the things he is interested in.
“The happiest marriages are when two
people add to each other’s already happy lives.”
You’re pretending you are someone you’re not.
It’s perfectly reasonable to show interest in some of his hobbies and invite him to show an interest in yours, but if you only focus on his likes, then your relationship is already on shaky ground.
Healthy marriages have two people with some common interests and some individual interests. Don’t try to turn yourself into someone he wants. Instead, be yourself and find someone who wants you.
One of my clients told me she put one of her least flattering pictures on her online dating profile in order to attract men who weren’t completely focused on her appearance.
If you are continually presenting yourself as a walking sexual bombshell with a face full of makeup and revealing clothes, don’t be surprised when you attract a man who is interested in you for just those qualities.
One of the first things I ask my dating clients to do is to hold off on plastic surgery, particularly breast enhancements.
I do this because I want them to understand that if you are enlarging your breasts to attract a man, then you are essentially looking to attract a man who is focused on your breasts.
If you are looking for a man by trying to be what he wants, then the likelihood of the two of you having a long life together is slim at best.
The best way to find a good partner in life is to find yourself first, get confident and clear about who you are and what you want out of your own life and look to share that with someone else.
The happiest and healthiest of marriages are when two people who respect themselves, live their values and want to give to others come together and add to each other’s already happy lives.
The time to figure that out is while you are dating and not any later than that.
Ladies, what mistakes have you made in your dating past? How did those mistakes affect a relationship?
Photo source: theblackwarrior.wordpress.com.