It is important for us to understand where we are in life in order be in a position to date. There were times when I knew that I should not have been saying hello to a woman, let alone dating one. I came to realize that time alone was essential for growth, maturity, and healing. Some women say they “just want to be in a relationship” despite not being ready. Some men get in relationships knowing they are not invested in their partner. Self-awareness is key to the success of a partnership. Below are ten people you should avoid dating because they either hurt themselves or others. They need to be alone for some time to focus on healing themselves.
1. Mr. or Ms. Emotionally Unavailable
This dater will know how to have a good time, but will not be able to describe the emotion behind it. Asking them about their feelings towards you will be a waste of time if you hope to gain clarity on the status of the relationship. Don’t look for reassurance with this person. It will backfire. Something happened in their past that they refuse to address or has shaped their thoughts of avoiding vulnerability.
2. The Love Addict
This dater is in love with loving love, lovingly, in a lovely way. They just want to be in love and you are next. They have an idea of love and are looking to fill in the blank. This may be that social media person that is #relationshipgoals, but just so happens to be with a new person every few months. They are looking to fill a void.
3. Mr. or Ms. Too Busy
This one hits home. The saying that “people make time for what’s important” is true. There was a time when I should not have made dating important because whoever I was dating was going to suffer. I had a lot of things going on and did not know how to manage my time wisely. I worked three jobs, am a single father, was in school, and starting a business. It was not fair for anyone to date me at that time. The lady I was pursuing deserved consistency and genuine effort. It hurt me that I may have hurt her by not being available. I may have lost a great thing, but I learned a lesson at the same time. On the flip side, if this dater makes plans but never executes them, plan your exit strategy and execute it. This will save you frustration. There is a difference with being supportive versus being put on the back burner. At minimum, you should get a phone call, text message, or poke on Facebook. Something should be going down in the DM.
4. Future Faker
This dater likes to feed you bread crumbs with promise of a full loaf. They have little to no intention of making you part of their forever. You may be “Mr. or Mrs. Right Now.” When you threaten to leave, they put on a show to hold you emotionally hostage. But it is clear that is what they are doing because the show ends shortly after you express being fed up. Then you start the cycle all over again. This dater presents you with everything you want to build on but their foundation has an escape door that they use often. You noticed it but worried more about the crumbs and tried to build your own loaf from it. Once you are able to build a slice, you realize it is molded and they have left another trail for another person.
5. Heart On Their Social Media Sleeve
Pay attention to the subtle and obvious interactions of these types of daters. They will praise someone one second and attempt to destroy them the next. They will go into detail about their pain and seek vengeance on all those who may be responsible. They will be married and in love on Monday and by Saturday hate everything that has to with the notion of love. They will throw shade subliminally or overtly. There may be a direct correlation to your last discussion, last night’s dispute, or their desire. The answers lay in the suggestions and empathy of others. They may not be able to keep things in-house. The community is where they seek refuge. Social media is their stage and they don’t realize their performance damages their present and potential partnership. Just take some time to think about if you are one of these or dating one of these and put in work on yourself.
6. Mr./Ms. Single But Married
This is for those who need to take time to sort out their situations, but do not realize it or choose to ignore it. They need to have a clean break emotionally instead of using an outside person to escape what is happening inside their marriage. If you have decided you are done in your marriage for whatever reason on Monday, you should not be on a dating site on Tuesday. What happens if you engage in a relationship with someone, they get wrapped up, and then you change your mind? What happens if you really want to move on but you still have to deal with your separation/divorce/custody and there is no plan to resolve anything? It would be helpful for you and your spouse to resolve issues first in order to have a clear mind. If you choose to date quickly, at least be honest with the person you are dating so they can decide if they want to proceed with you.
7. Mr./Ms. Incomplete
I heard of people expressing the idea that they need someone to “complete them.” They are under the impression that all of their problems will be solved by someone else’s presence. They do not have an identity and think being in a relationship will define them. Issues arise from these situations because they get into relationships and say “this isn’t what I had in mind.” They are finding it hard to give and receive love because they have not learned to love themselves for who and what they are. How can someone love you for you when you are still trying to figure out who you are? Someone can only love you for what you present to them. There is a maturation process with everything. However, if you are constantly changing your presentation, it makes it hard for someone else to keep up. Some never find out who they are and go through life trying to figure it out. It may be hard for you to date because no one is ever enough or meeting standards that were never created for yourself.
Don’t let a title define you like the desire to lead with saying “I am a wife or I am a husband.” Those are roles and you will have many of them. You are “insert name here” who is also a wife or husband. Lead with who you are. This will help clear things up for you and those who are potential partners. Your desire is to be loved completely, but you still do not know what that means for you.
8. Mr./Ms. Post-Traumatic Relationship Disorder
I left a relationship that did not go well and did not give myself time to heal. I held others accountable for what happened in my last relationship and it was not fair. Any sign of what I experienced, sent me right back to a bad moment. I finally realized that I needed to take a break for restoration. I needed to sever emotional ties that were holding me hostage.
PTRD can cause you to make an innocent person feel guilty. A reminder of what broke you can resurface. Being scared to be vulnerable again. Holding up walls. Constantly comparing your present relationship with the last and talking about your past relationship to the person you are with presently. I understand most people ask “what happened in your last relationship?” I think that is a fair question. The problem occurs when it consumes you or your partner. There are times where the stories you tell now becomes the measuring stick. Be careful not to share too much information or make the decision to not let your last relationship dictate your current one. Some aspects of this are good. It prevents you from making the same mistakes you made in the last relationship. It helps you not choose the same type of person. It helps with personal reflection but these things need to be done while you are alone and rebuilding yourself.
9. Mr./Ms. Defined by Success
This dater has made it. They have put in the work needed to become successful. They are proud of it. There is nothing wrong with any of these things. This dater struggles with finding a complement to who they are as opposed to their success. An issue they may be facing or making it difficult to date is that they may feel that they are better than everyone. They feel that you are “never on their level.” This eliminates a lot of potential for them. I am not talking about the person who doesn’t work and has no plans to work at all trying to date the mogul. I am referencing the person who immediately looks at another person’s financial status instead of character. This does not mean go out and rescue everyone, just give yourself more options.
Your money should not define who you are. Neither should your success define who you are. It is the journey, your experience, and everything that you are and went through to become successful. Success is the result. You are “insert your name here” who has worked hard to become successful. This does not mean go out and date anyone available. Your partner may be on their journey, not in love with money, or have a different idea of success.
Don’t date potential! Date who they are right now and ask, “if nothing about their life changed, could you see being with them long-term.”
10. Mr./Ms. I Have a Deadline
This dater has marked on their calendar when they will get married and will let you know the day they meet you. They will tell you either directly or indirectly whether you like it or not “we will be married in six months.” They will not deviate from their goal and sometimes ignore the natural progression of relationships. My advice is to use natural relationship stages of development. Get to know the person. Build together. Learn how each other operates. Learn how each other handles adversity, money, conflict, success, and family. I understand you don’t want to waste time, but you also don’t want to rush into something and feel trapped. There is no rush. If you are one of these daters, you may want to reconsider dating until you are clear, healed, and ready to give/receive what you deserve. There are certain things needed to prepare yourself for a successful partnership. Take time to reflect.
This originally appeared on Bashea’s blog, Bashea Williams.