4 Date Traits to Avoid



If you’re feeling desperate and lonely, you might fall for the wrong person.

Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine ?

So you dread those “bummer” dates. Who doesn’t? But after your last relationship ended in heartache, you’re loopy, lonely and you mindlessly forfeit your standards for the possibility of being loved. Silly romantic saps, aren’t we? Face it: from time to time all of us let the desire to be adored upstage the truth about our romantic prospects. Then, when reality hits, we’re even more bummed out!

Fret not: Now you can have your epiphany before your meltdown. Review this list of 4 date traits to avoid and you’ll glide through the “getting to know you” process with confidence.

#1 Date Trait to Avoid: Cheap & Chintzy Behavior
While my ex-boyfriend was courting me, he seduced my heart by cooing that, if we ever lived together, he would draw me a bath upon my arrival home after a tough day. “Ahhh,” I thought. “What a delicious guy!” As he and I progressed, we often visited his country home on weekends with his kids. The first time we were all together, I noticed his reluctance to turn on the hot water when we entered his freezing house. It was the dead of winter and we needed hot water — if only to wash our hands. Despite my pleading, my ex insisted we wait until the following day. I wondered where this apparently chintzy trait was heading. I got my answer the next morning.

Upon waking, we discovered that Boyfriend’s little daughter had been playing in mud since sunrise. Now my man had no choice but to heat some bath water to clean her up — and I was jubilant. By this time I craved a nice, hot soak myself. I patiently waited my turn while his daughter used the tub first. As my guy toweled her dry, he called out to let me know the bathroom was available. I excitedly entered the steamy room only to find that the child’s dirty bath water remained, creating a scummy ring. “YUK!” I said, gagging, as Boyfriend directed me towards the grimy, cooling tub. He said defensively, “The water is fine to use. She’s only a little girl.” “Ahh,” I replied, “so your courting promise earlier was really to draw me a ‘used’ bath.” I had no intention of bathing in secondhand bath water to save this man a few pennies. I left the relationship, but learned this Gilda-Gram: “Cheap with money, cheap with love.”

#2 Date Trait to Avoid: Having a “Victim” Mentality
When Kristin began dating Robbie, she was delighted to meet his two sons, 20 and 21, who lived with him in his expensive apartment. Both boys were bright, strapping young men, and the older one was a computer genius. But neither son worked or attended school. Instead they ate like vacuum cleaners, partied until dawn, slept all day and enjoyed taking recreational drugs. Robbie enabled their lifestyle by passively accepting it. When Kristin asked why, he explained that the boys had a tough childhood with a drunken mother who abandoned them and he wanted to provide them with a better life. Kristin disagreed that this lifestyle was any better for Robbie’s sons.

As the couple grew closer, Robbie complained daily about his financial and emotional stress. Some days he cried, fearing he wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. He even asked Kristin to loan him money. But Robbie never asked anything of his sons. Then Robbie admitted he had never lived alone. Kristin’s epiphany was that this grown man was really a “victim” terrified of being alone. In fact, Robbie was more dependent on his freeloading sons than they were on him! Kristin decided she wanted a whole man — not someone stuck playing victim in his adult life. So, she said “sayonara” to Robbie. Heed my Gilda-Gram: “The test of a worthy mate is his/her ability to be happy ALONE.” Only when someone has self-love can he live with dignity and happiness alone. Only then is there the potential of sharing that life with, and loving, another person.

#3 Date Trait to Avoid: Being Married (or Otherwise Involved)
Oh, the rationalizations people use when they meet someone already taken! “He’s not happy,” “She’s almost out of the house,” “They’re separated, although not yet legally,” and so on. The truth is, someone who is still
involved in a relationship on any level is really unavailable because of being emotionally connected elsewhere.

Margie began dating someone she shouldn’t have. She used this rationalizing mentality and ended up acting as the “bridge relationship” for her new lover. After she licked the wounds inflicted on her new man from his allegedly nasty former fiancé, he found his wings again and off he flew — right back into his ex’s arms! Margie was devastated. Someone who is married or otherwise involved is capable of being in a relationship… just not with YOU. If you insist on moving into an occupied address, you’re the one who will eventually get moved out. Remember this Gilda-Gram: “Beware the date who projects, ‘Desperate and looking for temporary lodging.’” Someone in transition is capable only of transitioning.

#4 Date Trait to Avoid: Lazy Loser Syndrome
Before he and Kara were married, Bill didn’t know which career he wanted, so he tended bar. Kara, a massage therapist, noticed that Bill had problems getting along with many people. But she married him anyway, believing he would change if SHE were successful. Who was she kidding?

Kara’s business took off, but Bartender Bill bounced from one pub to another, always blaming others when he got fired. Finally, he stopped looking for any work altogether and chose to play golf all day instead. Kara kept building her business and made excuses for Bill’s laziness — until she finally had enough. After their divorce, Kara had to pay him so much alimony she ended up declaring bankruptcy. Kara subsequently moved on to another lazy loser she supported… and another, and another. I asked if these excuse-laden losers made her feel like a personal savior. She cried, admitting her insecurities. That was the breakthrough Kara needed to bump up her self-esteem and break the pattern! As my Gilda-Gram warns: “Giving without receiving is a power trip to nowhere.”

If you’ve been ignoring these troublesome date traits, step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Exploring different options will free you from previous limitations that hindered your search for love. If you heed the warnings of impending heartache BEFORE plunging into purgatory, you can avoid needing relationship advice in the future!

Author's Bio: 

GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) at www.DrGilda.com is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on MSN.com. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit her website and get Instant Advice!