It's easy to lose yourself over a man but what if it happens before you even meet him?
It's easy to lose yourself over a man but what if it happens before you even meet him? Ill-fated past relationships may have already warped your dating personality and consequently sabotaged your future with someone else. In her latest book, Ms. Typed: Discover Your True Dating Personality and Rewrite Your Romantic Future, Dr. Michelle Callahan says she has the cure for women whose dating characteristics no longer accurately reflect who they truly are. The seasoned psychologist has formulated 10 dating archetypes that women fall into after too many relationships gone wrong:
1. Ms. Second Place: The accommodating, eager-to-please dater who eventually ends up playing second fiddle to her man's career, hobbies or even wife. This chronic "settler" has lost sight of her self-worth after too many relationships in which she gives way to his needs every time. As a result, she suffers from low confidence and low expectations.
How she might have got here: "Men you've dated may have tried to convince you that you should go along with whatever they wanted otherwise they wouldn't date you."
2. Ms. Sex Machine: This woman is Sex and The City's Samantha Jones in a nutshell. She uses sex for fun, control, and everything except a healthy relationship. She brings in the physical before she's ready for the emotional and ends up attracting the type of men who will only treat her like a booty call.
How she might have got here: "Your earliest dating experiences with boys were sexual. And you grew to expect that sex would be an early and required part of all dating relationships."
3. Ms. Soul Mate: She's an idealist. Ms. Soul Mate dates as if every man could be "the one" and is so determined to settle down, she insists on commitment too soon. After a failed relationship, she's often struck with dread that an ex might have been "the one."
How she might have got here: "You grew up fantasizing about the day when you'd be able to start your own family so you could get the love and affection you may have missed as a child or you could finally be the most important person in someone's life."
4. Ms. Drama Queen: This woman loves a challenge, a competition and a dramatic fall-out. She dates the wrong types of men because she gets a high out of the hard times. Ms. Drama Queen is one who doesn't mind going after a friend's man just to see if she can do it. However, afterwards she feels embarrassed for having been "that woman."
How she might have got here: "Some of the young men you dated were quick to argue or get physical and instead of turning you off, it turned you on."
5. Ms. Bag Lady: An emotional rollercoaster, Ms. Bag Lady hasn't sorted out her own personal issues before dumping it all on the new relationship. Her poor relationships in the past lead her to overreact to problems in the new one. She often feels depressed, unable to trust and unable to move on.
How she might have got here: "The men you've dated have been abusive or neglectful."
6. Ms. Mom: She takes over her man's goals as if they were her own, becoming his life coach, psychologist and mother all in one. She gives her all trying to improve him but eventually neglects her own needs. Ms. Mom gets depleted emotionally (and sometimes financially) after her "project" has flown the coop.
How she might have got here: "You were Ms. Mom around your house growing up, being told (or offering) to do things for men in your house (father, brothers, or another needy family member)."
7. Ms. Anaconda: A dater who inadvertently suffocates the men she's involved with. Paranoid that he will leave her, Ms. Anaconda holds on too tight by checking up on a man too much, manipulating him and keeping him away from his friends. When he leaves, it just confirms her suspicions and dooms the next relationship.
How she might have got here: "You trusted the men you dated to spend time apart from you only to discover later that they were cheating on you."
8. Ms. Independent: After a particularly hurtful breakup, Ms. Independent builds an emotional fortress in order to prevent any more pain. Her now-cynical outlook causes her to miss the good qualities in men she dates. Even though she would like to start over, she can't seem to lower her guard enough to depend on anyone else but herself.
How she might have got here: "The men you dated were afraid to be intimate and their defensive behavior made you feel you should keep your distance."
9. Ms. Rose-Colored Glasses: Ever the optimist, this dater refuses to see a monster even if she's sleeping in bed with it. She ignores red flags, friend's advice, even her own senses when it comes to detecting trouble. As a result, she's susceptible to being taken advantage of and cheated on.
How she might have got here: "You dated a man who became very angry and upset when you asked questions and his reaction taught you to fear asking men for more information."
10. Ms. Perfect: A woman who strives for perfection in every aspect of her life, right down to her man. Her standards are impossibly high and men get turned off by her judgmental attitude and meticulousness. She doesn't know how to relax, even on a date and comes off seeming cold.
How she might have got here: "Your parents had very high standards and you felt pressure to be successful and a high achiever, otherwise you would be criticized or punished."
"From my mom and dad, because they're happily married for a long time: Just listen. Listen to him. I'm so independent and driven and stubborn. Just let him talk. It's about not being so stubborn and having to win every argument. My parents set a great example. They love each other and take care of each other so much."
"It's kind of cheesy, but my mama, who you all have seen on the show, says to cook for your man. She's Southern, so when he comes home, be pullin' a pie out of the oven. That's always been her advice, and you know what? It works. Your man wants to see you in the kitchen, puttin' some love into some food; it works for Eric, that's for sure."
"The best advice I've ever been given is being handed a Bible. That's the blueprint for marriage that we go by, and that's what our marriage is grounded in. We also have other married couples who are examples in our lives. My parents have been married over 40 years, and both sets of grandparents for over 65 years. When you see couples in long-term relationships and you see them go through good times and bad times, you realize it's about being committed enough and loving your partner enough to hang in there regardless."
"My mom told me, "It shouldn't be that difficult." My parents had their moments for sure, but the majority of their relationship has been really great. It shouldn't be that much work to make love work."
"You've got to be good to each other … it really comes back to respect. I was raised in a very Catholic, Italian family and it was all about respect. Don't talk badly about [your partner] the second they walk out the door; really preserve your relationship and be good to each other. Treat it like gold."
"Don't lie to your partner. Ultimately the expression on your face gives you away, and they feel betrayed by the lie. If this is the person you're going to be with—forever and ever, for better or worse—they will love you for all of your good and all of your bad. They'll love you for you. So open communication is key. I have no secrets and no skeletons in my closet with my husband, and I love that. I feel comfortable and at ease with myself when I'm around him. I love the woman that I've become with him."
"I think the best love advice I've ever received is really about understanding that communication is key, of course, but also that there's not one perfect person for you. You kind of have to accept what are the things that are negotiable for you and what are not."
"My mom always told me, "Whatever happens, will happen" or 'Whatever is supposed to happen, will happen." I've learned you'll know when you find the right person. When I found the right person, I knew it immediately."
18. The Five Love Languages Author Dr. Gary Chapman
"Before I discovered the concept of the 5 love languages, a bit of advice I was given was to become a student of my wife and to take time to learn what makes her feel loved. I soon learned that what makes her feel loved may not always be the thing I want to do because it may not come natural to me. But learning to love her in the way that makes her feel loved is a greater demonstration of my love for her, because I've chosen to do it with a goal of pleasing her."
"Pay attention to the girl, instead of myself. A bunch of people [told me that]. It's terrible. I'm very into myself, so people are always like, "Pay attention to the other person. Don't ever separate yourself." It's a good lesson. I'm learning. I'm doing good."
"Don't get divorced after your first argument! I have a lot of friends that have one fight and that's it, they get divorced. I go, 'Wait a minute! Oh my gosh, you guys! Calm down! You'll forget in three days what you were fighting about. I promise. So just let it marinate a little bit—that's my best love advice."
21. The Real Housewives of Miami's Adriana de Moura
"When I was about 15, [my grandmother] said something I will always remember: 'Love comes before money.' I will never let anything like greed come between us when it comes to love. She was married to my grandfather for 70 years. It's very hard to have a long-term relationship and if you're not sure, it's not going to last. Make sure that you truly love."
"If you're looking for love, focus on something you love to do and work hard. Love will find you. Basically, love yourself before you love anyone else. A lot of girls have such insecurities nowadays that you have to be comfortable with who you are before you can really have a good relationship with someone else."
"Love advice is like life advice, so there are so many elements of that. I think humor, patience, admiration are really important love elements. Love and respect. You have to respect the person that you're going to love, and you have to be confident in yourself and love yourself."
'Think about how much you'd miss that if he were gone tomorrow.' This is my senior producer's advice in my ear during our news show if I'm grumbling about my hubby, whether about his habit of leaving dirty clothes around, or the way he goes into la la land while I'm talking with him, or that he wakes me up being loud overnight. How true! Heaven forbid, but if something ever happens to our loved ones, oh how we'd long for them to be back, and their little aggravating habits would be something cherished.
"On the other hand the best love advice I've ever given is: Gals, don't marry someone for their looks. Sooner or later we all age and start to droop. Don't marry someone for their position and don't marry someone for money. Money comes and goes, and since when is that love? Marry someone because they make you laugh. Humor is always sexy. Besides, it's awfully hard to get mad at someone while they're making you laugh."
30. The Real Housewives of New York's Heather Thomson
"Well, it's one of the oldest. It really is paradoxical, but it's true: You just can't go to bed mad. You have to make up, because there's only one alternative, and that alternative is not being together. So, my husband and I always decide we might as well make up, whether we agree to disagree or not. We understand we are individuals and that together we're unbelievably powerful and that we have a family that is the most important thing, and that I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, love is about give and take, and love is about understanding that you're individuals and together as a couple, you're the strongest there ever is ifyou're in the right couple."
"I was going to say, 'It's work, relationships take work,' but that makes it sound like relationships are hard, that they're work. Rebecca and I have always gotten along really well. We've always had a really strong connection. I'm the last guy that should be giving people advice on love, that's for sure. But I have a great marriage. I just got lucky, I guess."
"I lost my dad back in the fall, and my dad said something to me a long time ago. He said, 'Are you happy with who you are now?' because we just had a real serious talk. And I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Then you can't regret what got you to where you are. So whatever you do and whatever mistakes you make, learn from them and grow. And just always treat people with kindness,' which I've tried to do."
"My mom always used to say, "You can't say I love you before you can say I." And I think that sort of makes sense."