Have I made mistakes with women?
Oh, mercy. Where do I start?
But after two divorces, I hope I’m a little wiser about relationships. Still, I’m always open to dating advice. Doesn’t mean I’ll follow it. But I want to know what others say because I haven’t done so well on my own.
I saw an interesting book recently called The Seven Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make. I wanted to see if I’d made all the mistakes.
She’s speaking to me. To you too?
I’ll cut to the chase. Here are the seven dumbest relationship mistakes, according to Bushong, a relationship therapist.
- Forcing intimacy
- Expecting your mate to read your mind
- Playing the martyr
- Thinking you are always right
- Rescuing your mate
- Taking your mate for granted
- Letting passion die
That sounds like a pretty good list to me. Let me tackle two of them: rescuing your mate and letting passion die.
I’m guilty of both.
For some reason, I seem drawn to women with problems. Of course, everyone has problems. But I’m talking about big problems – like alcoholism, mental illness, unresolved childhood issues, difficulty with trust.
I want to rescue women, as the author says. Dumb, dumb. It doesn’t work, and it’s a stupid motivation to start a relationship.
I’ve learned my lesson – I think.
“In a healthy relationship, each partner assumes responsibility for his or her own life,” Bushong writes. “Every time you step in and make a rescue, you move your mate one step further from becoming mature and independent enough to ever be there for you.”
She says some people are attracted to weak, troubled partners because they make us feel needed.
“Our society applauds and rewards people who help others,” Bushong writes. “It says we are noble and morally right to help people who are down and out.”
OK, let’s talk about the other mistake: letting passion die.
Most married people are guilty of this. Really, it’s virtually impossible to keep the romantic flame burning bright over a long period.
Kids, work, money problems – all drain us, and the passion that brought people together wanes.
“Of all the Seven Dumbest Mistakes, letting passion die is the most insidious because it is usually the product of things we neglected, forgot, or never learned how to do,” Bushong writes.
She talks about the importance of a healthy, active sex life. It’s the key to keeping passion alive and love strong, she says.
“Reawaken your sexual consciousness,” Bushong says. “Keep sex on your mind. Begin thinking of yourself as a sexual person again.”
OK, I get the message.
I give this book thumbs up. But it also reminds me how difficult it is to maintain a relationship. It takes a ton of work – talking, analyzing, changing behavior.
Right now, I’m not ready to put in the work. That’s why I’m only dating casually. Sure, I’d like to find a soul mate. But that’s only the first step. Staying connected is the real challenge.
If you’re ready for a committed relationship, get smart first. Heed the advice of experts. Even the best relationships die without proper maintenance.