Doesn’t it seem like you only understand what went wrong in a relationship months, if not years, after it ended? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew then what you know now about how that relationship would go? You would have saved yourself quite a bit of heartache. But there’s no use in lamenting the past. In fact, a little heartache is good for us. We should face some stumbling blocks in our love lives. That’s how we learn and grow. The important thing is that we don’t stumble over the same ones, over and over again. That’s a sign you aren’t learning from your mistakes.
But there’s one little issue with hoping to bring lessons learned from old relationships into new dating experiences: the excitement and hope of dating can create a fog. Humans are hopeful. It’s part of our charm. It’s also part of what makes them gloss over glaring issues and tuck away red flags. When you really want this next date or relationship to work out, you might turn a blind eye to some things. Hell, you might close your eyes and put on a blindfold. But, that’s just a way of deferring small pain now that will come back big time later. We spoke with dating coach Francesca Hogi about ways you can keep your eyes wide open during the dating process.
Know what you’re seeking, beneath the surface
“It’s important that you know what it is that you are looking for. And not just in terms of traits that you’re seeking in another person,” says Hogi. “Most people can tell you a list of the traits that they want in another person. ‘I want somebody who looks like this. I want somebody who likes things like this. Has this kind of job or this kind of education. Or I want somebody who wants to have a family.’”