[The following post was written by dating coach, Kira Sabin, a keg of dating and relationship wisdom. She's been helping people find love for years so we thought we'd tap this keg and see what sort of brilliant advice she has for the CollegeCandy readers. Drink up, ladies.]
Now you know and knowing is half the battle.”-G.I. Joe
When I was in college one of my boyfriends would always quote G. I. Joe to me. Whenever I said “Well now I know,” he would chime in with Joe’s famous line “and knowing is half the battle.” I was always thought it was cute because he was cute and it was one of “our things.”
Give me a break, I was smitten.
Now that I am a little older, I realize there was a little genius in that ’80s cartoon. Even though Joe was talking about skateboarding safety and talking to strangers, the same rule can apply to dating. As a dating coach, it my job to help my clients figure out the crap that is holding them back from a healthy and happy relationship. Many times, as they start to realize “the crap,” they can become really overwhelmed by the idea of changing it. Their crap is the behavior that is holding them back; it is a comfort zone or defense mechanism that they have been doing for years. Whether it is severe sarcasm that gets guys scratching their heads, an uncontrollable neediness that comes out of nowhere and gets them running or a ticket on the crazy train that starts with you drunk texting at 2 am, it is what you know and changing it isn’t going to happen overnight. But that doesn’t mean changing is impossible.
When a client says to me “How do I even do that?” I start by asking them to channel their inner G.I. Joe, because “knowing really IS half the battle.” Once you know what you are doing that isn’t working, you can use that awareness to slowly, but surely, make changes. You can watch for the self-defeating behavior and change it on the spot. It won’t happen all at once, but after some time, it will become your new learned behavior. No, it is not an easy process, but I think a happy and healthy relationship is worth it, don’t you?
If you are in place where you find yourself again and again saying “Why did he do that?” it may be time to step back and take a long, hard look at what you are doing. What pitfalls do you keep falling into? How do you carry yourself around people? Are you setting yourself (and your future Mr. Fantastic) up for success? Be honest with yourself – brutally honest – and figure out what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right. Creating a better awareness of what is and isn’t working in your dating life is the first step. Making changes – one by one – is the next.
Need help? That is why we are having the CollegeCandy Dating Makeover. Watch for our upcoming announcements to sign up.