We’re not all in it for the same reasons and as we don’t live in an ideal world, people are 1) not always honest about their reasons or 2) overestimate their interest. Some of you, are meeting someone and thinking ‘Oh please let this be it because I really fancy the arse off them’ and then putting on a blindfold, tying your arms and legs together and diving in. As everyone is not honest about their reasons, you can only discover what someone’s true intentions are by spending time around them with your eyes and ears 100% open and not letting your vagina or penis or your overactive imagination make your judgements for you. Not every person can be ‘it’ – if you’re more eager to be off the market than you are to meet a quality partner, you will project a relationship and just keep trying to slot candidates into the hole in your relationship picture, instead of meeting someone, seeing how it goes, and letting the relationship picture evolve from there. Baggage Reclaim is a guide to learning to live and love with self-esteem by breaking the patterns that stand in your way.

If someone said ‘What I’m looking for is someone to have a whirlwind romance with and yet again, fantastise about a relationship I’m never going to be around to have, and then shag you a few times and then whip the rug from under your feet and leave’, they wouldn’t have much luck with dates or they’d only be with the desperate sort. Whether it’s figuring out what’s going on in a troubling relationship, understanding you and self-care, or being more assertive, I’m here to help you guide you.

Well, I'm good at the actual dating part of the bit, but I'm not so good at sticking it out for longer than the second I realize she's not the one.

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Now I get it – many people do date because they want to find someone to share a relationship with. If you’re feeling very ‘date or die’, tough as it may be to hear, it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself and get your personal security in order.

Ideally, I’d like to think they were all looking for a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust, and respect…but a lot of people don’t know what a relationship looks like, nevermind a healthy one – they just know they want one. So badly in fact, that I hear too many tales of people going into fixing/helping/healing/arguing/crisis management mode when they hardly know their dates. Desperation and insecurity either draw in shady people or filter out decent people as it’s kind of exhausting.

Dating does require effort, but if you already have to work at dating someone, you’ve got issues. As I said in my last post on Future Faking and Fast Forwarding, if you can’t handle the emotional consequences of making mistakes or being disappointed, aside from slowing down and rolling back your level of investment, I would address these areas so that you can date with a reasonable level of confidence and not feel like it’s a ride or die situation.

I’m not saying that there might not be a hiccup here or there, but if you start dating someone and you’re already feeling like you have to ‘work’ at a relationship you don’t have, the rot will set in fast. Our job when we date, aside from hopefully enjoying ourselves, is to work out what and who we’re dealing with before we make a commitment to have an exclusive relationship and before we feel safe enough to put both feet in and invest ourselves. Manage your insecurities, address any limiting beliefs, and don’t make dating a vocation.

Sure, it's nice to have someone in your life, but having the wrong person in your life doesn't add to it — it takes from it.

I understand sometimes people lie to themselves or avoid accepting the relationship is hopeless, but most people know exactly what they're doing and do it anyway. I don't like pretending like I enjoy spending time with someone when the truth is I'd rather spend it with friends, family or with myself alone.You need more than physical and sexual attraction – you should be getting an initial sense of their values and whether they treat you with care, trust and respect, and of course match words with actions.If you’re not getting to know them or you are, and are experiencing things that are at the very least proceed with caution signals or at their worst, full on abort mission signals, this is because you’ve already decided to commit, regardless.By lying or ‘overstating’, they get to be with a better caliber of person, until their arses get turfed out. Sometimes we think we’re more interested than we are. Sometimes it’s because we’re emotionally immature, but sometimes it’s because we’re human and we change our minds or something imperceptible or very obvious turns us off. You may be in it for one reason, but some are in it for a shag, or whatever. Maybe it's because I met someone I could have married when I was young that makes me so honest and blunt.