Let’s start this with a story from my friend.
So a friend was traveling in a very exotic country and she had a (male) guide to accompany her friend group and show them around the country. Throughout the 2-week trip, she received many incredibly creepy and uncomfortable comments from this man that “grossed” her out.
He’d get close to her and smell her hair, wiped her scarf on his face, “jokingly” asked her to rub her hands on his face, talked about her in a lewd manner with other male strangers and so on. She said all of these antics made her feel weirded out, unsafe and uncomfortable.
Now this is where things started to get puzzling for me.
When she came back to her home country she… continued to keep in touch with this man. Constantly texting him, trying to have a “normal” conversation, with a person who has already shown multiple times by the way he treated her that he was not capable of a “normal” conversation. Remember, this is also a guy that made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
The texting continued, although she felt weirded out at some points, she allowed it to continue, until one fine day, she received a picture from him. Guess what it was? Yup a d*ck pic. She was horrified and that was only when she completely blocked him. And you know what the guy’s reason for sending the pic was? He was drunk and honry.
Yup, alrighty! So what can we learn from my friend’s experience?
What are your values?
This is something that so many of us don’t really have figured out, so we struggle with love and dating. Or even people we are hanging out with.
We don’t really go about life really knowing who we are or what our own values are, especially in the context of relationships. Let’s do a little exericse, ask yourself
- Do you know what you’re looking for in a partner?
- Do you know what qualities you value in a relationship – kindness, care, affection, love, humour?
- How would you deal with conflict with others?
- How do you like to give and receive love?
When you do not know or have a set of values that are core to your character and guide how you navigate through life, dating would be very tricky and difficult. Especially in this day and age of online dating where everyone isn’t very honest about who they are.
But when you know your values and who you are, it can define your decisions better. You are clearer on what constitutes red flags or green flags in a relationship and on dates.
Does the other person share your values?
Another question you have to then ask yourself once you’ve figured out your own values is, does the man or woman I’m seeing fit my values?
Take the man in my friend’s example – he clearly had no respect for my friend and had no qualms making women feel unsafe. My friend on the other hand is looking for a solid marriage partner who is caring, affectionate, loving. Would a caring, affectionate, loving man behave in that manner to someone he likes? I don’t think so.
And when you find out that someone does not share the same values as you as a romantic partner, what do you do? The logical thing to do would be to stop interacting with them. Logically, there is no point, you want something else, they want something else, and the both of you aren’t compatible. But sometimes, we continue the interaction. So…
You gotta ask yourself why you are interacting with him?
Key question. Because if the person has revealed himself to be a certain way, on top of not aligning with your values, you don’t work with him and are not obligated to continue the conversation otherwise, the important question is, why are we willingly continuing this interaction?
Here is where we need to be honest with ourselves. Was it because you liked the attention? You wanted to be entertained, you were bored? Also – were you trying to be nice? Just a BTW – being nice to someone who doesn’t share the same intentions as you romantically (i.e. one of you wants friendship and the other doesn’t), isn’t actually a nice act at all. It’s akin to leading someone on.
This is a post for another day but the nicest thing you can do when you are not into someone is to leave them alone. “Staying friends” isn’t as easy especially when someone felt very strongly about the romantic/sexual connection.
So how does remaining in such an interaction affect you negatively?
#1 It affects your energy and dims your availability to someone you might be into
Firstly when you constantly intertwine yourself with people who are not available to you (i.e. they are attached or do not want anything romantic to do with you), or you constantly keep around people whose vibe you don’t like?
You end up dimming your own vibration and energy and make yourself less available for people who are actually available and who may be a great romantic fit with you. Many people don’t really realise this, but we leak emotions and energy wherever we go. Have you met someone with a great “vibe”? and you can’t explain why? That’s an energy they are giving off.
Take my friend for example, she’s looking for a good marriage partner. But instead, she’s spending time and energy on a person who not only doesn’t treat her well, but isn’t aligned with her values AND she is caught up analysing his behaviour. It’s akin to hate-following a celeb or staying friends with someone you dislike.
It gives off mixed energy and mixed signals to everyone – including people who want to be with you and through your own actions, you are also confusing YOURSELF. Our actions feed our thoughts.
So if you are hanging around someone who isn’t making you feel good, you are inadvertently allowing those not-so-good energies integrate with your own. We all carry our own energy and vibe, so if we are allowing someone who doesn’t have a truly pleasant vibe into our lives, we will end up doing ourselves a disservice.
#2 It will negatively affect the way you see love
When you give attention to someone and allow them into your life experience although you do not like them and don’t feel good around them… do it too frequently over time and it will start to affect the way you view love and relationships.
People can only come into our life experience only if we pay attention to them long enough and “nurture” the interaction long enough for them to remain. Someone can’t be a part of your life experience if you aren’t letting them in.
So, if you are constantly giving people who bother you in a negative way – your attention, time and space, you will find yourself feeling incredibly pessismistic and frustrated with your dating life after awhile. You will be wondering why is everyone you meet just so disappointing.
And these experiences and thoughts shape your thoughts on love and dating. Would you expect to have pleasant thoughts about love and dating if you are constantly meeting people who disappoint you in some way? No.
Most humans aren’t able to see past their reality – the reality shapes our beliefs and thoughts and experiences.
The next thing is okay especially if you are dating or you’re looking for a relationship and you are looking for marriage you know my friend is and you are constantly hanging out with men like that who actually make you feel unsafe make you feel uncomfortable whose values don’t match yours who are constantly propositioning you for sex or you know treating you a certain way it affects how you see love because then you whenever you give your attention to people to someone they are able to you know, they affect the way you see love.
Have you been spending too much of time and energy on the “wrong” people on dates? How has it affected your life?