When a woman feels desperate to find the man of her dreams, she forgets the basic rule of dating: testing and selection. When you are looking for your soulmate, the most important things are to define what you want, screen your dates and discard unsuitable ones so that your soulmate can find a place in your life.
Careful selection and testing could save a lot of women from the heartaches. It is the rule of nature, woman tests men, and man wins or loses her interest. If you turn this around, you experience lots of problems since men are chasers by nature. The problem is that some men, especially narcissistic and abusive types, can be very charming at the beginning and woo you till they are sure that they won your heart and/or bed. When they finally take you for granted, they show their true colors, they become mean and extremely critical. It is a tough experience.
You wake up from your fairy tale, and find out your handsome prince turned out to be a frog. It comes with a big price for women: low self-esteem, disillusionment and frustration. Plus, you find yourself stuck in an abusive relationship. More you tolerate, the worse he becomes. When you finally got the courage to stand up against his abusive behaviour, he would start to accommodate and try to please you for a while, until he gets your heart back. When he's sure that he won you back, the vicious cycle begins again.
I know I have painted a very bleak picture, nevertheless, lots of women have experienced this before and some of them are still experiencing. Some women, like me, tend to attract these narcissistic, abusive, unavailable and critical types due to their past experiences and repeat this cycle over and over. It can be very exhausting. Women like me, should be extremely careful when they select their partners and test them before they get involved. I figured out some ground rules when it comes to selecting a man, since selecting is the most important phase of dating.
- First and foremost, define your criteria and don't be superficial when you set your standards. Looks, money, career and intelligence are not sufficient for long-term partnerships. He can be smart, rich, handsome, but he can also be mean and callous. Depending on your personality, you can make a list or if you want to be more romantic you can write a love letter to him. But make sure that, compassion comes at the top of your list. No matter how handsome, rich etc. he is, if he does not have any compassion for fellow beings, he would treat other people and you badly, as much as he can. If he cannot feel other people's pain, he can easily hurt other people and even blame them for being "oversensitive". You can be flexible with your list, but make sure that you have one and make sure that it is not superficial (looks and power are not substantial qualities).
- If he seems too good to be true, then he is too good to be true. If he's coming on too strong, then he would back off too strong. If he's showering you with his attention without knowing you, then you can bet that he would soon lose interest without any apparent reason. He loves his fantasy-dream girl, not real you and projects that love onto you, even your slightest imperfection shatters his fantasy and he backs off. He is a perfectionist and would never and cannot love you for who you are. If a man tells you that he loves you too soon, then you can be sure that he loves his fantasy girl, not real you; and his pseudo-love would vanish as soon as he detects a minor and in the most cases non-existent flaws. He tells you that you are the greatest cook at the beginning, then you become the worst one at the end, while your cooking skills are all the same.
- Be careful; abusive and narcissistic types always have a tendency to exaggerate, both their love and hate. And you can detect them from their speed and the amount of exaggeration. They are always in a hurry to get into your bed, win your love. Because they know instinctively that, if they are not fast, you could see them for who they are, and it frightens the hell out of them. If a guy is coming on too strong, make them slow down, he would soon lose his interest and you would be free from a devastating heartbreak and free to find a decent guy, who won't promise you the moon but offers a good, solid and supporting companionship. So don't jump into a relationship and don't let him make you jump.
- Always ask your dates, what they think about people in general. It seems like an innocent question, and they will tell you the truth. Most of the times, people project their faults onto other people. If he thinks that all people are liars, you probably found a liar. If he thinks that all people cheat, then probably he is himself a cheater. If he thinks that people are parasitic, then your date is probably an abusive one. If he thinks that everybody has both good and bad qualities and imperfections that make them human, then he's a keeper and keep him close. Observe his generalizations, they reflect him.
- Don't forget that if he does not love humanity and human beings in general, he cannot love you either. People tell that if you don't love yourself, you cannot love another. I disagree; I think if you don't love other people, you cannot love yourself either. I think, people who don't like other people are selfish ones. Make sure he loves other people and humanity in general, before you get involved with him.
- Ask your dates about their bad qualities. If he says that he has none, he is either a liar or a perfectionist who rejects his own flaws or he's not aware of himself at all. If he is a decent and self-loving guy, he would provide you a realistic picture of himself, all good and bad.
- Scare your dates with your talk about commitment in general (before you have sex); if they are scared, jackpot, you just find yourself a commitment-phoebe, you can dismiss him and be free to find a man who wants to commit. if he's not scared, jackpot, you find yourself a courageous man, who is not afraid of the idea of the commitment. Most women are afraid to ask some important questions to their dates, because they don't want to scare them away. It is called honesty, be clear with your intentions, if you want a family and kids in future tell them straight away. Of course, let him know that you won't marry any guy, but looking for a long-term companion who is ready to meet your standards and if he's open to the idea of commitment, check it if he meets your criteria in the long run. If he is scared, you can try to understand him and show compassion, but don't waste your precious time with him. You cannot live with a man, who is afraid of commitments. if you are still worried about scaring him away with your open talk, try to feel him out, ask more subtle questions like where he sees himself in ten years. Check if he mentions children and family, if this is what you want. A lots of men also do that, if they are serious, they feel out if their date is interested in children etc. You don't have to feel him out on your first date, but feel him out before you had sex, if you are looking for a serious relationship.
- Don't ever make assumptions. Men are honest in general; they will tell you the truth if you ask them the right & specific questions. But if you don't ask questions and make assumptions instead, you set yourself for a disappointment. Well, it may sound it's not fair that when men hide their intentions, but it is also not fair when you hide your intentions either.
- Check if he's asking questions and trying to get to know you. If he does all the talk and never asks questions about you, then he is not interested in any kind of relationship except the casual ones. If he's serious, he would ask lots of questions in order to find out if you are suitable for him in the long term.
- Don't have sex with him, until you are sure that he loves other people and treats them with respect and he's open to long-term commitments. Some women tend to get emotional after sex, and it is difficult for them to make a rational choice afterwards. Make your rational choice beforehand. Even if you tell yourself that you are looking for a just casual fling, make sure that you are not deceiving yourself.
- Lastly, don't ever think that you can change a man. It is true that people evolve in relationships, but you cannot make him change. Plus, if you want to change him, it means that you don't love him for who he is. Respect him and his choices and look for a more suitable mate for yourself.
I'm not a relationship expert, in fact, most of my relationships had failed, but I’m trying to learn from my mistakes and share it with women like me.I think selection is the most important part, when it comes to dating. Nevertheless, if you are hungry for love, you attract guys who are ready to offer their fast-food fantasy-love, but later on you find out that you had a junk love, instead of a nutrient one, and you had taken whatever they offer just because of your hunger.
Take your time to love and cherish yourselves, when the time is right, take your time and make sure he is not offering you a piece of fast-junk-love. When you can discard the wrong ones and stop wasting your time with unsuitable and unavailable partners, your soulmate would finally be knocking on your door!
Berta on December 30, 2016:
This post is a perfect brief summary of my past relationships, mistakes, weaknesses and my very precious conclusions. All is so correct i cant believe someone else came to this point same as i did. I hope people will love their children so much that in future when they grow up, those kids wont be desperate lonely adults who are hungry for love so bad... I was so many times manipulated by commitment phobic narcistic people who has neither compassion nor emphaty... Yet i was allways loving and caring them so much, and always being abused. It took my 10 years to realise they dont deserve me even a little bit... Now my basic rule is this: I am a princess. I should threat myself as a princess, and he should threat me as if i am a queen... When I meet a guy and he suddenly is so interested in me, I examine his behaviours and always keep it in mind, that I AM A PRINCESS.
Thanks for the great post, you are a princess too :) take care of yourself!
Ann on December 12, 2016:
I learned these lessons the hard way. I'm glad you shared them. Many women will benefit and they won't be burned by parasitic men.
KB on March 05, 2015:
Thank you for the valuable advice. I can really relate to most of the things you say and have experienced the same. Thank you for being caring and thoughtful enough to write it down to help your sisters :) hope all goes well.
whisperingwind on October 02, 2012:
another great blog, agree with it all except the bit about not liking liars & perhaps being one. I don't like liars, not because I am one actually the opposite I'm sometimes too honest and admit mistakes but have had people use that against me and not admit their own faults whilst lying so that's why I don't like liars lol :)
Ashley Usher (author) on November 22, 2011:
Thank you for your comments. I agree with you, it's the very imperfection what makes us unique and creative human beings. Sometimes our best qualities are our worst qualities as well...
hailei from Romania on November 22, 2011:
These advices are not bad at all... You pointed out some really interesting things. And I just loved the "if he's too good to be true, he is too good to be true" :)) People, both men and women, just seem to forget sometimes, victims to their humanly passions, the basic rule that fairy tales are just that... fairy tales. That's because people are never perfect and that's just great, cause perfection is boring. We just have to check that the imperfection fits what we want from life..