Strategy: When you are ready for a Life Partnership, define your Requirements and use them to scout, sort, screen and test potential partners. Do not try to convert a recreational relationship into a committed one, unless 100% of your Requirements are met.
5. Fairytale Trap
Passively expecting your ideal partner to magically appear and live happily ever after without effort on your part. Believing that finding your soul mate will just “happen.” This results in disappointment when the frogs that happen to jump into your life don’t become princes.
Strategy: Take personal responsibility for your relationship choices and outcomes. Have effective scouting, sorting, and screening strategies. Initiate contact and be the “Chooser,” don’t simply react to people that choose you.
6. Date -To - Mate Trap
Becoming an ‘instant couple’ as if giving each person you date an extended test drive. Believing that if you develop an exclusive relationship with someone you are dating, a successful committed relationship will eventually happen. Other terms for this are ‘Serial Monogamy” and the ‘Mini- Marriage’. This approach is a costly use of time and emotional energy. The inertia in this trap is pressure to make the relationship work, attempt to resolve unsolvable problems, and fit a square peg in a round hole because breaking up and being single again is an undesired outcome.
Strategy: Date a variety of people and have fun without being exclusive. When you are ready for a committed relationship define your Requirements and use them as tools to scout, sort, and screen potential partners. Make a careful relationship choice and consciously use a “pre-commitment” period to determine if this is the right relationship for you.
7. Attraction Trap
Making relationship choices based on feelings of attraction. Interpreting a strong physical attraction to someone as a sign that the relationship is a good choice and ‘meant to be’.
This approach results in relationship failure when unsolvable problems surface because you ignored the red flags while infatuated. Unconscious choices usually result in repeating unproductive past patterns. Attraction is like the radar that helps you find your target. But the Attraction Trap occurs when you blindly follow this radar.
Strategy: Balance your attractions by defining your Requirements and use them to scout, sort, and screen potential partners.
“Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come ninety percent of your happiness or misery.”
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr. from “Life’s Little Instruction Book”
8. Love Trap
Interpreting infatuation, attraction, need, good sex, and/or attachment as love. “If it feels good, it must be love,” “Love conquers all,” “All you need is love.” You feel so in love that you believe it must be a good relationship. After the initial infatuation is gone, you spend the rest of your time together just trying to get it back.