In order to not make the same mistakes in dating over and over again, it’s important to be aware of our dating patterns which speaks to the quality and nature of a couple. There’s a saying that “being aware is half the battle”. This mentality applies to how we unconsciously may pick the same type of dating patterns time after time. Breaking bad dating patterns is necessary if we want to be in a long lasting healthy relationship.
- “In it for the Kids” Relationship: Perhaps you’ve seen this with a couple. He’s not happy; she’s not happy. They disagree about most anything and constantly fight, sometimes in front of their children. Romantic love and sex probably died a long time ago. But, this couple continues to remain with each other because of the kids. Inevitably, this relationship usually ends up in a divorce after the children have left the house.
2. The Emotional Non-Sexual Relationship: Although the involved parties are not having sex, this relationship occurs when a one of the married spouse has a closer emotional connection to someone other than his spouse. In this secret affair, the couple talk about intimate things that are often shared only with the married (or committed) partner. A classic example of this relationship is the office affair between employees.
3. The Co-Dependent or Insecure Relationship: In this relationship, one party is so insecure that no matter how much the other tries to convince their partner of their loyalty, their partner always thinks they are cheating or are interested in someone else. Ultimately, this relationship results in one partner becoming too dependent on the other one.
4. The Placeholder Relationship: In this relationship pattern, one or both of the partners remain in the relationship until something better comes along. This couple is together for the sole purpose of feeling loved and needed. When it occurs after a breakup, most of us know this relationship as the “Rebound Relationship”.
5. The “Other Woman” Relationship: In this dating pattern, one partner is aware that the other is taken, or that something is not quite right, but still remains in the relationship. This type of relationship is often the classic Affair.
6. The Controlling or Abusive Relationship: One partner is too dominant which causes the other to lose her identity or to become frustrated with both resulting in a feeling of helplessness. In its worse form, the relationship could involve emotional and/or physical abuse.
7. The Toxic Relationship: To outsiders, this couple looks like the picture of romantic bliss. But, behind closed doors, neither partner is particularly happy and this dating pattern often sucks the life out of anything good in the relationship. While mostly frustrated or annoyed most of the time. the couple stays in this relationship.
8. The May-December Relationship: You’ve seen this type of couple around your neighborhood…you know the old fat balding executive with his very young pretty partner. She’s probably at least 15 years younger and she could possibly even be younger than his children. Recently, we’ve seen a growing trend in which the woman is vastly older than her male partner. You go girl!
9. The Trophy Wife or Sugar Daddy Relationship: Like a trophy that probably sits on the mantle, one partner maybe dating the other because it makes that person look good. In exchange for looking good for her partner, the other partner usually receives financial and/or expensive gifts. Either way, this relationship is based up shallow or materialistic grounds. This relationship has been sung about in songs such as Kanye West’s Golddigger. The “pretty” partner is usually called a Boy/Toy, while the rich partner is the Sugar Daddy.
10. The Complicated Relationship: Both partners know that their relationship is not perfect, either because of the involvement of a 3rd person, or incompatibility. They still stay together, but this pattern is a sign that the end is near for this relationship.
11. The Settling Relationship: In this relationship, the couple realizes that their relationship is not perfect and they’re not fully in love . But , for whatever reason, they stay in the relationship because it’s convenient or easy.
12. The “Too Good to Be True Relationship”: In this relationship, you think you’ve met Prince Charming: tall, handsome, tan, rich, and chivalrous. Debra Newell, an interior designer in Southern California, thought she met the perfect man, John Meehan, on an over-50 dating site. With his profile stating that he was anesthesiologist, divorced, and Christian, Debra fell madly in love with John. But, she soon finds out that he really was “too good to be true”. To learn what happens to Debra, listen to the highly acclaimed podcast called “Dirty John“. It will send chills up your spine and stop you from ever dating a man that is “too good to be true”. Often, this Prince Charming is actually a User/Loser who ends up cheating you of money and love.
Whether you choose any of the relationship patterns described above is your choice as an adult. But, if you are unconsciously falling into unhealthy dating patterns, please take note and run for the hills.
****Cocktail Chatterers, have you ever experienced one of the dating patterns?****
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