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16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face

16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face

Modern dating is complicated. It can be everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s a revolving door of people with expectations. You’re running on empty if you don’t keep up. Here are some harsh truths about modern dating that will help you deal with reality and prepare you for the unexpected.

People lie.

Face it. No matter how “honest” someone appears there is more reward through lying when you first meet. If you don’t accept everything you hear as the truth, you will give yourself some time. Down the line, you may see the truth for yourself, which is far better than words.

You lie.

Big lies. White lies. You do it. Beware, however, the bigger your lie, the more likely you are to date someone hiding an even bigger lie. To avoid this, date less, and establish intimacy with a few chosen people you want to get to know. That level of comfort will make you more open and honest.

Texting means you’re low on the priority list.

Texting has possibly changed modern dating for the worse. It builds fantasies, false hope, and misunderstandings that complicate communication. It’s meaningful to hear your lover’s voice on the other line. The ebbs, flows and hesitations tell you much more about his mood, personality and what’s really on his mind.

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People got issues.

No one is going to come cookie cutter clean. Everyone has a bad or dark side whether they admit it or not. Just hope you meet the person who knows what her dark side is because she will most likely have compassion when you show yours. Every one you date is a teacher. If you think this way, no relationship is wasted.

There are a lot of options.

From online dating to speed dating, it’s easy to feel like modern dating is a full-time job. Don’t do everything. Find what best suits your personality. An extrovert may love the nightlife and meeting people out on the town. An introvert may prefer online dating or a structured, timed format like speed dating.

You will pay dearly for someone else’s childhood trauma.

If there is unresolved childhood trauma, be prepared for dating to be quite tumultuous. If you experience an adult-child who is acting as if they are stuck on six, instead of 36, because he has not progressed emotionally from what happened, take a step back. Establish boundaries early. It is your job to protect yourself.

You will be disappointed.

Again, and again. You disappoint yourself often, how do you expect someone else not to disappoint you? Learn to live with frustration. If you dump everyone who disappoints you, you’ll never find anyone.

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You will have to change.

You will find someone you’re dating who is going to dig up all your bad qualities. Consider this a good thing. It will help you grow, shift and accept parts of your personality you discarded. If you meet someone who suddenly has you interested in running sprints on Friday nights instead of binging on alcohol that is a huge improvement for your quality of life.

You are not the only one they are dating.

There is less pressure to perform when you keep this in mind. Be comfortable with the fact the person you are dating may be interested in others. It’s all fair game until you become exclusive.

Your “issues” will magnify and scare people away (eventually).

People will dump you when you stop being nice. Eventually, they will see parts of you that are not what they want. Accept this. Stop taking on the choices other people make. This rarely has anything to do with you. We are all on our own journeys and must find the people who will get us there.

Stop being “perfect.”

Being a doormat or a yes man is not going to make dating easier. In fact, it puts you on a pedestal. Sitting on someone’s pedestal is pretty lonely. You can’t be yourself, or share your deepest needs. Express your needs whether he or she likes it or not.

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Unconditional love is earned, not automatic.

No one is going to love or accept you unconditionally out of the gate. If he says he does, you haven’t given him a reason yet. You eventually will. Unconditional love is earned through time and problem-solving. You need to feel confident in someone’s loyalty to you, and that is rare. However, you can always trick yourself into it, by ignoring everything he or she does.

You will never fully know someone.

There is always a side to someone he or she keeps from the world. There are parents who have raised honorable children, and still don’t know why little Johnny is stuck in Mexico on a drug charge. Dating is not the place to “get to know someone.” Get to know yourself first, and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Leave other people to account for themselves.

If you aren’t a top priority, your invitation to spend time together will be a “maybe.”

You will know if you are a priority by where you fall on the list. If you want to be #1 don’t take “maybe” for an answer. Let the other person make the effort to set up the dates. That is a good indication of his interest in you.

The person who cares less has all the power.

This is difficult when you are head over heels for someone. After a few months of dating, you care a lot. You want the other person to know. Forget it. It makes you appear less valuable.

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People want people other people want.

It’s human nature; the whole law of scarcity thing. Don’t make yourself too available or an over-sharer. Let the other person set the pace until you both find balance. It’s only natural for her to feel you slipping away, and want back in.

Give up on relationships. Improve yourself first to attract better dating prospects. Once you feel whole and complete with your good and bad parts, people will stick to you like butter on toast. Men and women are attracted to partners who are most comfortable with who they are. That’s why “bad boys” and “bad girls” seem to have all the fun.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3275748024/ via flickr.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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