After it blows up, and you’re sitting there with your broken heart trying to figure out what went wrong, it pops right into your head — he said he would never get married, he said he wasn’t ready, he said he was too afraid of getting hurt. He told you these things, perhaps more than once, and you didn’t hear it.
If this is a pattern for you, you need to break it, so let’s take a look at this from the Emotional Intelligence standpoint.
First of all, many times when I use the term “emotional intelligence” to men who aren’t familiar with it, they laugh and say there’s no such thing, or that it’s an oxymoron, i.e., the two can never go together. I’ve never heard this from a woman!
Right there is a key point. Men are not as easy with emotions. They tend to confuse pure sexual attraction with “love.” When they’re ‘on point’ as I call it (you know, like a bird dog who’s found the treasure), he isn’t thinking. He’s likely to be what’s called “flooded.”
Chemicals and hormones are rushing around that preclude thinking. If you’re in the same state, who’s listening?
So prepare yourself for the dating scene. Know who you are and what you want. If a man comes along who gives you a real zing, stop and think. Take a look at who he is, and how he’s living his life at this time. Find out what you can about his history and do it early on.
One thing you can count on, in the early days of romance men are much freer about what they will tell you. The love chemicals kind of grease the brain and they say lots of lovely things, but also will “blurt out” very informative things – things you need to hear, and to keep in mind.
After her 13- month relationship with Tony broke up, my client Alison told me that early on, when they were off on a lovely vacation, Tony had told her something she should’ve paid attention to. They were dancing at a beach bar in Cancun, the sun was shining, there was laughter and music and margaritas all over the place, and a lot of beautiful woman (besides Alison), and he had laughed and said, “One woman would never be enough for me.”
It took Alison 13 months to live this out and find it was true. When she was ready for a commitment, she got nothing but stalling. Eventually she caught him dating another woman, and at that point she couldn’t ignore reality any more. He had said one woman would never be enough for him, and yes, he had meant it.
There are times when we all say things we don’t mean. In fact it comes up early in dating when we start to feel like getting serious and maybe are having a little case of the nerves. Dating at midlife, we don’t get to approach a clean slate like we do in our 20s. We step into the current of someone else’s life and there’s what we call “baggage.” But at the same time, we have the opportunity to see what the person’s history is. It’s best to keep in mind what you know will work for you, and what won’t, and to stick to it when the emotions are running high.
Let’s take the example of male fidelity. However you feel about this intellectually, you know in your heart whether you can tolerate it or not. So let’s say it’s on your list of “must haves” that you want a man who will be faithful.
When you meet someone, no matter how attractive he is, before you fall head over heels and the flowers and sweet words are warping your thinking brain, check it out. Find out his history. Ask around, look around. Then pay attention to things as they are in the present. Pay attention to how he acts when he’s with you not just what he says, or promises. Get some help doing this, because it’s important.
You need to know what you’re getting in for before you’re in deep water. In response to our extensive research and interviews with women about “the other woman,” we started a very discrete investigative and coaching service with this in mind. Most women find it’s best to do this at arm’s length, and let someone else with a clearer head and experience do the work and provide some direction. There are certain clues that can tip you off ahead of time, and “a stitch in time, saves 9.” In this case it can save your heart, time and energy, all of which are important.
Important also, is that it can save you adding negative “baggage” to your own scene. Know those women who are in to “male bashing?” Stick with the good guys and you won’t have to go there.
Intuition is a major part of EQ. If you’re hearing things, or seeing things that send off an alarm, don’t ignore them. Take action while you’re still thinking clearly. The longer you stay in a relationship, the more likely you’ll get into your own head and get confused; that’s what “love” is all about.
You don’t want to be “sadder but wiser” again, do you? Use your EQ and start dating the emotionally intelligent way – using both your head AND your heart.
Written by Sonia Evans