Stop Relying on Others to Do the Right Things for You

Many dating and relationship struggles result from mismatched expectations and failed communication.

People go along with relationships that don’t work for them, vent their frustration when they should have enacted their standards and boundaries, and wonder where it all went wrong.

Worse, they blamed themselves for everything that went wrong.

Want a real-life example?

Here’s a post I came across on Reddit.

It’s clear that the guy had no manner, but I’ll focus on the original poster to highlight things that are in her control and how she could have done differently. I’ll comment as we go along:

Two months ago, I (30F) met this guy (28M) on Tinder.We texted for a bit and we even FaceTimed. After about 2 weeks, we decided to meet up for some drinks. We met up, and he seemed great. No obvious red flags.We continued to text, and for our second date he asked me out for dinner. He suggested we order and eat in at his place. I offered to split the bill and he told me to Venmo him, which I did later that night.

→ She shouldn’t have accepted “eating in and splitting the bill” on the second date, which required no effort from him even though he was the one to ask her out.

We talked about going out again and I suggested going to a bar with outdoor seating. He said he would rather not as he did not feel comfortable going out due to COVID. I understood, so I didn’t push.

→ She should have stepped back and not agreed to go on another date until he felt comfortable having an outdoor date.

He asked if we could order dinner and hang out at my place. I said, sure, since I had gone over to his place last time. I ordered and fully paid for dinner. Not a big deal as I prefer to swap out on who pays. I don’t expect the guy to always pay.

→ She had the expectation to “swap out on who pays” but didn’t communicate this with him and fully paid for dinner instead. To him, he had the impression that she was happy with indoor dates and paying for them.

On the next two dates, he came over and I once again ordered and paid for the dinners. On the following date, I had to ask him to order so that he would have to pay. Then on the following date, he asked to come over again.At this point, I did ask why he was avoiding going out or me going over to his. He said hosting was a lot of pressure on him, and I agreed. I told him that I felt the same way when he came over. He came over that night, and we agreed the next time he would host. Also, I ordered and paid for dinner this night too.

→ She continued to accept these indoor dates and pay for everything while being very unhappy about it. Meanwhile, he got exactly what he wanted.

By this point, I was kinda annoyed that all of our “dates” were having dinner at my place. I don’t believe he was concerned with covid has he had gone out to dinner with a friend and bar hopping another time, all while we were dating.I did message him to let him know that I wasn’t feeling it as I felt we weren’t really dating. He asked for another chance.

→ She took him back while knowing that her needs weren’t met and having no real evidence that her needs would be met.

We were both free the following Saturday. I planned our “date” out because he’s not familiar with our city. We went on a sunset scenic walk and went to dinner that night. When the check came he offered to split it. I paid and he never sent me any money as he said he would.

→ He asked for another chance, so he should’ve been the one who went out of his way to regain the relationship’s momentum. Yet, she planned another date and paid for everything again. He did nothing.

At this point, I mentioned how he never offered to pay. I mentioned that I didn’t expect him to pay every time, but that it would be nice to have him pay for dinner once in a while. He offered to pay for the next 2 dinners.We talked for about another week or so. During that time I realized that I was wasting my time. He would message me saying he missed me and wanted to hang out but never once even asked me out or suggested a place to go to.I finally told him I wasn’t interested and ended it there. Is it wrong to want a guy to plan out a date or take interest in wanting to do something more than just hang out??”

→ When she called him out, he made an empty promise then bailed. She was left feeling frustrated and doubting herself.

In summary…

What she wanted: Going on dates outdoors and taking turns with her new partner to pay for these dates.

What she got: Ordering takeaways at her house and paying for everything + wasted time + self-doubt.

Don’t make this person’s mistake!

The early stage of dating is very important for communicating your boundaries and standards and setting the relationship dynamic.

When someone does something and you go along with it even once, you teach them that it’s okay to do that something. People learn fast what they can get away with.

So, if you don’t like something, either you point it out to them the first time it happens and see how they respond, or you decide it’s not working for you and stop it there.

Check out this article I wrote about communicating your boundaries and needs.

Remember this:

Don’t enter a relationship with someone THEN expect them to change.

You agree on the terms then you sign the contract; you don’t sign a contract then try to negotiate the terms — it’s not going to work that way.

If you have a standard, for example going on effortful outdoor dates, then don’t accept a date until it is what you want.

It’s absolutely normal to “want a guy to plan out a date or take interest in wanting to do something more than just hang out.” You just need to stop giving the time of day to people that don’t make any effort.

Bad relationships happen when you ignore your needs and rely on others to do the right things for yourself.

You know you best. You’re in control.

You do not have to be with someone who doesn’t make you happy.

You can say NO.

It might not feel comfortable at first to call people out, but avoiding that discomfort would eventually cost you a lot more. Get used to it; you’ll feel much better afterward.

Take time with the dating process and find the relationship you want!

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