One of my clients (I'll just call him Bob) met a woman (I'll call her Elaine) in our club at his first Social. It was instant chemistry and they started dating immediately. 8 months later, Elaine is happy in her relationship and is talking about future plans that include marriage. Bob, on the other hand…. not so much. Just to clarify: Bob is very happy in the relationship with Elaine. However, Bob is terrified at the thought of meeting another woman after marrying Elaine and falling in love (or in lust) with her. Bob reminds me of a woman who walks into a store, falls in love with a dress and does not buy it because she thinks another store may carry something better. So off she goes: from store to store, looking at all the dresses and buying none. And for my male readers — think of it as buying a car: you test-drive a BMW, and you love it. But right next door is a Mercedes Dealership. So off you go to test-drive a Mercedes. And just when you think you may love the new one, you notice a Range Rover on your way home. Six months later, you are still driving your old Chevy because each car you test drive is better than the next. So you are continuing to test drive all of them — and buying none.
In today's world of online dating, Bob is not alone in thinking that there is an endless pool of potential dates that he is yet to exhaust. All one has to do is click a button and test drive yet another shiny new toy. This one may be even better than the last — so why stop test-driving? The irony is that Bob really wants to settle down. He is in his early forties and is ready to get married and start a family. Bob is just not letting himself make a decision. Bob has the need to keep test-driving. Bob's case is severe — after a few coaching sessions, I recommended that he sees a professional therapist, which he is currently doing in the hopes of resolving his issues.
What about you? Are you letting your test-driving needs get in the way of your happiness? Let’s examine some of the signs:
- Even though you've been seeing the same girl for 4 months, you have not deleted your Match.com profile.
- You periodically text your ex-girlfriends "just to keep in touch."
- You find yourself fantasizing about life with random women you see on the street, wondering if it would be better than your current relationship.
- You avoid conversations about commitment.
- You justify your refusal to commit by saying that you would rather not have a relationship than have one you will need to break.
Sound familiar? If so, you may be talking yourself out of falling in love. If that's the case — I recommend you consult a dating coach. It may be just a matter of a few dating behaviors on which you need to work. Or it could be something more deeply rooted, in which case therapy can be helpful. Whatever the case, please allow yourself to be helped. Allow yourself a chance to fall in love. You may like it!
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