3. Calling him when he stopped calling.
This is one I always agonized over. When someone I had been dating suddenly wasn’t calling as often or as regularly as he had been, instead of talking to him directly about it, or deciding to back off myself and start living my life more so that I wasn’t sitting around waiting for him to call, I would get scared and call him. I’d typically come up with some excuse and then call him with something I thought seemed important (which, in hindsight, I’m sure he saw right through).
I’m also sure that I could have saved myself so much heartbreak from dragging the relationship on this way rather than either confronting him with the change, or just accepting that something had changed in the relationship for him and moving on with my own life. The reality is if he's interested, and this applies to whatever stage of the relationship you’re in, he’ll find a way to contact you and won’t leave you wondering where you stand.
And the truth is, where you absolutely do stand is beautifully in your own place, with or without him!
4. Putting him up on a pedestal.
Hear me loud and clear here - He needs to prove he’s worthy and deserving of your love. If he wasn't pursuing me, if he could take me or leave me, that meant that he was more confident, more secure, more everything than I was. And to me, that translated into he was a real catch, he was someone worth proving myself to that I was worthy of his love.
It didn’t matter if I barely knew him, if I knew very little about his character, his values, his integrity, or even him. I would automatically assume he was so much more than me and I was thrilled that he was paying so much attention to me. What I finally figured out was that this really was about me. And my own lack of self-esteem and confidence that came from deep inside me.
Make sure that you are looking for an equal, a partner in a relationship, not a father figure or role model.
5. Not being direct.
When I think about all the times I skirted around the issues that would come up, the number of occasions where I remained silent, waiting, watching, hoping and waiting some more to see what he was thinking, where this was all going, wondering whether he would choose me for keeps in the end, I can clearly see now just how much I contributed to my own relationship failures. Instead of wasting weeks and months and even years of energy, time and oh so many tears, I could have found out the answers to my unspoken questions that eventually would come out in the end, right away.
If I had been direct from the outset about what I was looking for, about what he was looking for and about just how much our plans and dreams had in common, I would have known these answers in time to save my heart from the heartbreak that comes from waiting too long, from getting too attached to the wrong person in the name of a dream, and from forgetting that I had just as much say in the relationship and where it was going as he did.
While I was concerned about being too forward, what I had missed was that I could be assertive without being aggressive, if I had only realized that being assertive is much more attractive than being so passive. If I had only realized just how much healthier a relationship is when two people are both able to communicate directly, I would have understood one of the true tenets of the type of relationship I longed for, yet had no idea of how to get there.
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it's like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at www.gettingtotruelove.com. To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want...and Deserve"