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The Biggest Dating Mistake You'll Ever Make

Feb 17, 2008
We're human. We err. It's unavoidable. But some mistakes count more than others. Some have the power to mess things up for you, big time.

So what dating mistake do you think is the most powerful mistake you could possibly make?

I polled some of my newest love-seeking clients, newbies barely introduced to my latest attraction techniques, to find out what they thought pre-training.

Here are their top 10 answers:

- Not dating enough people before settling on one. (Hmmm, the "settling" word makes me more nervous than the reply.)

- Lying about where you come from, what you do, and other important details.

- Pretending you're looking for a serious relationship when you're not. Or vice versa.

- Being an un-fun date.

- Not talking enough on a date.

- Talking too much on a date and not listening.

- Having sex on the first date.

- Not using deodorant or using too much cologne.

- Not being a lady or a gentleman.

- Being rude by: staring at others while out with a date; asking for someone else's phone number; not making sure your date (female) gets safely to her car; not calling when you specifically said you would.

All ten answers have merit. Some make important points. I notice that the do's and don'ts both lean heavily toward being kind, polite and not hurting the feelings of the one you're out with--on the first date or later.
Others make a related case for not leading someone on only to disappoint. The one about not having sex on the first date was interesting. I tend to agree, but wonder what the responder's intention was, to protect the date or oneself? Either way it's good advice for many reasons.

But none of these quite hit on it, although a few gently tapped.

So what is the biggest mistake you could make? (Drum roll, please.)

Getting yourself into a situation where you'll likely choose the wrong person for a long, even permanent, relationship.

No surprise there, with divorce statistics as high as they are, and the break-ups of other long-term relationships, right? But more significant is how it happens and, crucially, how you can guard against it.

People choose the wrong partner to get serious about, commit to, have children with, and marry for one specific reason: When they realize the relationship is becoming serious, they don't take the time or effort, or worse, muster up the courage to ask themselves one particular question and then to press themselves for the true answer.

Here's the question:

"Can I truly imagine being with this person for the rest of my life?"

And if the answer is yes, here's the other question: "What thing about him or her would need to change?"

If the second answer is anything other than "There's nothing that really needs to change," proceed very, very carefully.

Because, that thing that does need to change, uh, how minor is it? If it's very minor, simply dismiss it now. That's right, you. You dismiss it.

If you won't dismiss it, well, then it's not minor to you.

If it's not minor to you, don't suppose it's minor to him/her (i.e., she smokes, you hate smoke; not minor to either of you). This is the seed of breakups and divorces, planted when tiny, but watered over the years, until it's a hefty oak--even a forest of oaks.

Find the seed now, work with it while it's young, ask your mate point-blank, right now, if s/he will change it--or consider TRULY changing your own point-of-view about it. Otherwise, think seriously about letting the relationship go.

Most of these seeds, the life-wrenching and the life-affirming, are present on day one.
Be brave enough to look for them, and find out what you can do about them before they become firmly planted, growing and establishing roots throughout the length and breadth of your forest. Or learn to live in the tangle. 2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz is a mind coach who uses hypnosis and other techniques to help people break unproductive habits of thought and action, and create productive new ones. Based in Chicago and an expert at phone sessions, she specializes in smoking-cessation and issues of love and relationship. For more info on her programs visit http://www.nonsmoker4life.com and http://www.hypno-attraction.com or call 312-640-1584 for a brief consultation during business hours, Central time.
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