Margarita Confessionals: Ditch relationship patterns that don’t serve you

Welcome back to Margarita Monday! Each week, we’ll be publishing a story about dating by Lauren Levine and/or Ali Washburn to go along with the latest episode of “The Margarita Confessionals,” a podcast for the jaded dater. You can find it on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Some things in life are designed to be aggravating: doing your taxes, for example. Buying a house. Dealing with anything relating to health insurance. But when it comes to dating, “total aggravation” just shouldn’t be the first phrase that comes to mind. And yet so many single people find themselves in an almost constant state of frustration when relationships are involved. If you’re trying to analyze whether the current romantic situation you’re involved in is right, remember this: dating shouldn’t cause brain damage.

When you meet someone who’s good for you it should feel exciting and maybe slightly scary, but you shouldn’t have to bring in your four best friends as relationship consultants because you honestly have no idea what’s happening. When you’re in a not-quite-right situation, you get so used to exerting precious energy pondering what’s really going on. After a while it can feel normal to be perpetually confused about your relationship, or lack thereof.

In reality, the right connection is the exact opposite of this. Strip away all of the text message analysis and insecure feelings and you’re left with the ability to relax and enjoy. It’s a simple concept, but it’s a useful tool for measuring the health of new relationships.

The problem is we’ve all been in a situation where we’re trying to justify someone’s sketchiness because you really like the sketchmaster involved. But the (often disappointing) truth is that if someone was as invested in you as they should be, sketchiness would be a non-factor. And if there actually was some circumstance that was causing the person to be a flake, they would let you know what’s up.

On this week’s episode of Margarita Confessionals, we talked with Jonathan Winn of Breathe Refuge. Jonathan is a breakthrough coach and an inspirational speaker, and he was explaining to us that so much of dating is about patterns.

Finding success as you date comes down to ditching the patterns that aren’t serving you well, and realizing that they often stem from a negative belief you have stored in your mind that you’re reiterating to yourself. Once you identify that negative thought, you can find a way to move past it and attract healthier relationships into your life.

If, for example, you keep finding yourself dating people who put in minimal effort at best, it’s time to do some analysis to understand what is leading you to these kinds of people. Why do you consciously or unconsciously believe that the bulk of the work in the relationship is yours to handle?

When you identify the reason for this notion, you can move beyond it, allowing yourself to stop inviting in relationships where the entire burden is on you. Self-reflection is an essential part of dating.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.05.33 PM

If you’re ready to stop giving yourself brain damage as you swipe through your favorite apps, make it a part of your regular routine. What’s causing you frustration as you date? What’s going well?

Be honest.

Photo: Remy Thurston