Sunday, January 9, 2011


Let me just start out by saying that I'm not proud of this, ok? File this post in the "why I'm not married folder." Here's the deal-io. I'm pretty sure I sabotage myself early on in the pre-relationship stage of the relationship and here's how: over thinking. Pure and simple.

Here's what happens:

1. I meet a cute/fun guy.
2. I flirt.
3. He flirts back (if I'm lucky).
4. We go out - or not.
5. We continue to flirt.
6. I start looking way too far into the future.
7. I wonder if he'll clash with some members of my family, or if I'll clash with his.
8. I wonder if he'll still like me if when he gets to know me better.
9. I start thinking about the various ways things might end badly between us in the distant future.
10. I decide that to save us both heartache, it's best to not even go down this path.

And I mentally break up with him before we start dating. Like I said at the beginning, I'm not proud of this. But I'm coming clean to find out if any of you have this same problem and how to stop doing it.

Now, I know some pre-screening is necessary. I mean, if you notice someone is punching a puppy in the gut, it's best to trust your instincts when he asks you out. No need to say, "maybe I should just get to know him. The puppy might have been asking for it."

But most of the time things aren't that cut and dried. And once you get to be my age, you've had enough experiences with relationships ending (sometimes badly) that you get a bit more gun shy.

At times like this, I wish my blog was anonymous so any guys who thought they wanted to date me can't change their minds after reading this. But hey, I'm working on it, k? And maybe we can work through it together. ;) Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you - now that I know guys are reading this, I'm going to be a lot more flirtatious in my posts. Ladies, that might be awkward for you, but you understand.* 

But I digress. If you have found yourself following any of the steps I listed, and have found a way to break the cycle, maybe you could share your insights? Or if you're stuck in the cycle with me, we can commiserate. 

*Don't worry, I'm not really planning on flirting but people have asked me if I'm going to change anything knowing that guys are reading so I thought I'd throw that in.


Katherine said...

Stuck in the cycle! STUCK IN THE CYCLE!! I have no answers for you, only commiseration.

Sara said...

All of it sounds totally normal and understandable until #10. I'd just scratch out #10, knowing you have survived heartache before and you'll survive it again. You'll probably have heartache from not pursuing a connection with someone anyway so you might as well go for it, see if it lasts, and have a little fun in the meantime. And, I really think every relationship comes with heartache. Even in one sealed with a wedding ring because you've put your heart on the line for the rest of your life. So, go for it and put your heart on the line! In the long run, the rewards outweigh the heartache. xo

lizzie mc.- said...

I understand. I relate. I or he, whoever the he was at the moment decided we didn't fit prematurely.

1. Marry a friend. They'll fit in with your family naturally. (I liked that you brought two friends home for the holidays.)
2. I regret more when I didn't give someone an honest chance. So what some guy never gave me a chance or we didn't fit. I'd rather go on a date with a nerd I'm not interested in (and end up marrying him) than to think, maybe I should've given him the benefit of the doubt.

That having been said, or rather written, give yourself a break, it's not an audition, interview, or test you are trying to pass (although it all too often feels that way.) He and you are both human. Love everyone and before you know it you'll have the best God has to offer.

Side note: You are truly worth more than words can say and compromise makes both parties unhappy.

Stephanie Curtis said...

To start off long time reader first time commenter. As I told you today I definitely have the same problem. I think the solution is something everyone needs to work on together. If we all went out on more dates then there wouldn't be so much pressure. Also I think honest communication and having those hard discussions on what you each really are thinking. Those are the times that this hasn't been a problem for me. But maybe that is just what would work for me. Good luck, if you want to commiserate more let me know.

Amy Mauch said...

well, in the past I'd hit your step 1, then go to 8-9, and then give up on 2, although sometimes I'd try 2 before and after, and then move directly to 10.

But the now me, went out on a limb, followed my instincts, and his mom's reaction was "About time" and his brother's reaction was "I knew already". So get out of that shy shell, and never give up. Be happy with who you are and it doesn't hurt to have parents praying for you to meet the right guy, so follow those instincts when they tell you that you should get to know someone. That someone may later be the one who is seeking your hand in marriage.

Elizabeth Downie said...

I don't mean to make it sound like I'm desperate to get married. I just think I'm old enough that I should probably try to break out of this cycle. ;)

Thanks for the advice ladies - love it!

Joe D said...

Courage is knowing the dangers, those things that might make it all end badly, and leaping anyway. Love takes a LOT of courage. Maybe you'll land on your feet and be happy with someone, maybe you won't and you'll be alone again, but if you don't leap, the possibilities become limited. I for one would rather start stacking the odds in my favor by leaping.

Katherine said...

I could not figure out why I had the Beastie Boys song "Sabotage" in my head earlier-then I came back to your post an there it was in the title! Mystery solved, and you're welcome for having it in your head now, too.

Elizabeth Downie said...

I love that song. I've had it in my head all day too and that's part of the reason I wanted to name this post that. I'm tellin' y'all it's sabatoge!

Limequat said...

That puppy was TOTALLY asking for it.

violet50 said...

Funny post! We all sabotage our lives in various ways. I'm a great over-thinker! Is it "look before you leap" or "just dive in"?

Kate said...

Yep, I totally have this problem. Maybe I don't get to step 10 but I worry. I think it's just remembering to live one day at a time. (Thanks to the CES broadcast last night.) Also I try to remember that I will be able to take care of problems when you come to them.

Adam Wilson said...

This is what really sabotages my relationships:

Anne Elliot said...

I am totally the same. In fact, when I was young and stupid (19), I turned down a date because I was ABSOLUTELY certain that the first guy I went out with I would marry (I didn't date in high school) and I knew I didn't want to marry this guy. What a difference 12 years makes! My biggest problem now is getting a date - then I can worry about not sabotaging it!