If you are wondering why you are still single despite being a good catch, and why everyone else seems to have a partner in a long term relationship, you may already have exactly what you are looking for but not see it.
Arabella, a thirty-nine year old art dealer went through four or five guys a week and found each lacking in some essential quality until she followed the four L O V E steps.
Arabella had three criteria that she used to decide whether her date was worth her time and energy.
First the guy had to be attentive and focused on her feelings and needs – ask about her experiences, wants, tastes, bug bears and act accordingly. That proved she was wanted.
If it didn’t happen immediately, the guy was burned out from her emotional list. Trust was broken and the relationship ended before it fully formed.
Second the guy had to take the initiative and make plans to be together based on their mutual interests – arrange to go out for meals, movies, weekend trips, skating, bowling etc.
If Arabella’s date failed to make a plan one week, he was removed from her emotional list. Trust was violated and the relationship ended before it took root.
Third the man had to follow through on the plans – call to confirm, call to check in with her about the plans, or call in advance if plans had to change.
If the man didn’t call on a single occasion to plan a meeting, he was eradicated from her emotional list. Trust was not consummated and the relationship ended before it took shape.
Why can’t Arabella find a regular guy who treats her well and settle into a caring relationship?
Arabella’s criteria are reasonable, common to most other people in dating relationships and make sense within the context of a caring connection. She was an attractive, good, loyal person, yet she seemed stuck in a negative spiral of opening up with hope and very quickly shutting down with disappointment and fury.
after a short while she grew hungry for a close, reliable and predictable relationship
Arabella went back into the dating scene, felt let down and retreated into her safe but alone mode – until the hunger started up again.
Each time Arabella threw a guy away when he failed to meet one of her three criteria exactly as she expected, she was reliving an older bad relationship and confusing the two situations.
Blurring past and present let downs prevented Arabella from giving life to a loving relationship
Arabella’s father had broken many promises and made her feel as if she didn’t matter.
When her current date didn’t follow through with a promise to call, Arabela felt the same rejection, hurt and uncaring attitude. As a child she couldn’t do anything about her situation, but now as an adult she has power and control.
As a child she would have wanted to cut her dad out of her life in protest at his lack of regard. Now as a grown woman she cuts the date who acted like her dad out of her life. Chop, he’s gone and she is vindicated. She has prevented another man from treating her as badly as her father did.
But Arabella ended up alone
Arabella ended up never knowing that great feeling of being head over heels in love. No matter how much she tried to ‘get into the guy’ she was on the lookout for the slightest sign that he would act like her father. Since guys are human, he’s going to mess up some time, and then the axe falls. Another man takes the fall for Arabella’s father and she ends up miserable but in control.
Taking the four L O V E steps to a safe trusting relationship
L — Listen, before ending the relationship. If Arabella checked in with her guy she may discover that he is thinking of her, he hasn’t forgotten her and cares about her. He isn’t her dad who loves her one minute and disappears the next.
O— open your heart and mind. If Arabella was open to other possibilities as explanations for the guy not calling on time, she might discover that he had a work emergency, or that he was scared she may not like his ideas. Perhaps he feels inadequate and imagines that she isn’t thinking about him. He isn’t like her dad who wipes her out of his mind and has a good time leaving her alone to suffer and worry.
V —value what you have been given and shown. If Arabella took notice of and valued all the ways the guy has shown care, called, planned, followed through and been attentive, she would get a sense of the weight of evidence falling on the plus side. Perhaps she could allow him to be human once in a while. He won’t be like her dad who constantly breaks the trust and security of the relationship, but a loving committed person who occasionally has too much to juggle and has to let a ball fall down.
E — empathize with him and connect. If Arabella allowed the guy to be a mortal with the same feelings as herself, she would not be the judge and jury finding him guilty of being her dad with circumstantial evidence. If Arabella examined the evidence and did the relationship DNA tests, she would discover that the guy is genuine, caring and trustworthy, and can keep showing it if given the chance to be who he is rather than trying to prove that he isn’t a recent version of her father.
Arabella’s odds of finding a good guy and entering into a lasting, loving and long term relationship are sky high if and when she follows the LOVE steps.
copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
This article was originally published at
. Reprinted with permission from the author.