Mixed Signals in Dating: Drawing Conclusions in a Vacuum

Unilateral decision making is a huge mistake in relationships. What does that mean? In dating, it means trying to draw conclusions about someone’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions minus feedback. Carry this habit forward into marriage and one day someone comes home from work to find the furniture moved and a divorce petition in the front hallway. Relationships are a two-way street and that means constant feedback. While you can create certain theories based on behavior and life history, it’s impossible to really know another person’s mindset without asking them. In healthy relationships, there’s an ongoing exchange of mindsets, an ongoing dialog […]

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Mixed Signals in Dating: No Life Context

Another common dating mistake is trying to read someone’s behavior with no context to refer to. The context I’m talking about is “life context,” meaning the person’s personal relationship history. How do you find out someone’s “life context”? By asking lots of personal, even intrusive, questions. Dating is personal. Sometimes people say, “but that’s so personal! How can I ask that on a second or third date?” My answer is: dating is personal! Dating is about deciding who to bond with, invest with emotionally, and ultimately, who to marry. It doesn’t get any more personal than that. Making powerful decisions […]

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Mixed Signals in Dating: Overanalyzing the Clues

Viv’s question in the last post highlights another common dating mistake: overanalyzing others’ behavior to try to figure out what they’re thinking and feeling. Carrie and friends in Sex and the City did this constantly. First, the long descriptors of his every action, word, facial expression, and body language. Then, the dissecting. What does it mean? What does he mean? What does it mean for our future? Do we have a future? Overanalyzing is a way to stay emotionally safe. In the comfort of the company of good friends, it’s safe to examine his behavior. There’s no emotional risk in […]

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Mixed Signals in Dating: Many lessons to learn!

Dear SinglesCoach:  If a man treats you like a queen but has a “friend” ( he never calls her a girl friend) that he says he is not committed to should I run?  He seems wonderful and has helped me tremendously in the last 2 years but his signals are very confusing. When I am around him, he is attentive, affectionate (hugs and brief lip kisses) has done a lot of nice things for me in the last year. All things I was missing in my marriage. I feel like he is a soulmate. He invited me and my brother and sister who were […]

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What Is “Emotional Connection”?

As a middle-aged male, I feel we men are at a distinct gender disadvantage with respect to establishing and developing a strong emotional connection with a woman. For one, we don’t talk as much and therefore don’t get as much practice! To be honest, I don’t really have a good sense of what an “emotional connection” is. Could you please define this important term and suggest some ways to help create it between women and men so that it meets both their needs. - Robert Defining emotional connection is somewhat like defining love. Like love, it is a subjective experience that […]

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Settle-For Relationships Part II

Note: This article is a follow-up to “Am I In a Settle-For Relationship?” Settling for less is a sign of giving up – on yourself, on your romance, and on the possibility of having a great relationship. Sometimes it is a symptom of underlying problems that haven’t been addressed in the relationship. Sometimes it is the sign of a false beginning – choosing someone because of loneliness or emotional desperation, rather than waiting for a truly right partner. If you think you may be settling for less than a healthy relationship with someone you deeply love, there are several things […]

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Settle-For Relationships and Guilt

I am currently in a Settle-For Relationship. My problem is I always get into these and don’t have the courage to back out of them so I always get to the commitment part and continue on. I have been with my girlfriend for 5 months now and I am not happy and I want to end it with her but I can’t do it due to guilt. I feel as though she won’t be able to find anyone else or she’ll be completely heart broken about it. I got up the courage once to break up with her but after […]

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