Fatal Dating Mistakes

March 4th, 2015 by Steve Pavlina

Did you ever make a foolish mistake and screw up an otherwise good connection with someone you were attracted to?

Maybe you made the mistake during your approach. You said or did the wrong thing at the wrong time and killed your chances.

Or perhaps it happened during a date. Everything was going okay up to a certain point, and then you hit a snag, and you could just tell that you made the wrong decision. Game over.

Or did it happen later? Maybe things were going well for a while. Then you made that one fatal error — that moment of poor judgment — and the connection died then and there, never to recover.

This applies not only to errors of commission but also to errors of omission — the action you didn’t take, the golden opportunity you missed, the hesitation that caused everything to fizzle.

And of course what happens afterwards? You replay the situation in your mind again and again. You fantasize about a different outcome. You beat yourself up for that one stupid mistake.

If you’re looking for a contrived list of the top 10 mistakes and how to avoid or remedy each one, you won’t find that here. I don’t think that type of advice is particularly helpful for such situations, so let me give you a different — and significantly more empowering — perspective.

Vulnerability to Mistakes

Consider that if a connection you’re exploring with someone is so vulnerable to mistakes, even at the very beginning of your connection, then maybe the other person wasn’t so compatible with you to begin with.

Even if you had managed to avoid that one mistake, another equally fatal one may very well have occurred later — and if not that one, then some other one.

If stepping on a single landmine could kill the connection so abruptly, perhaps the mistake wasn’t that you stepped on a mine. Perhaps the mistake was that you walked into a minefield to begin with, and you were unlikely to create a strong connection no matter what you did. You were doomed at hello.

Even if you succeed in creating a decent connection under such circumstances, you’ll always be dodging mines to preserve it. If you drop your guard and stop being so vigilant, you’ll accidentally step on a mine and kill or seriously damage the connection. You’ll never feel free to be yourself. You’ll never feel relaxed in such a relationship.

I’ve had several experiences of connecting with a woman where things were going well for a while and then the connection took a wrong turn and died. I can often recall the exact moment that happened, something she or I said or did that killed it. Initially there can be some regret about that. If only that one mistake had been avoided, then everything might have been golden.

But after some time passes and I look back on those connections more objectively, I can see the minefields that I initially overlooked. It was clear that in each of those situations, the compatibility was weak from the start. Even if we had avoided all the mines, those connections were unlikely to ever flourish. Sometimes our lifestyles were incompatible. Other times there was a major difference in values. And still other times, the attraction just wasn’t there.

That one exploding mine was a gift. It saved us both from going any further down the wrong path.

Fault Tolerance

In my experience, connections that have the potential to become very strong tend to be fault tolerant from the beginning. If the compatibility is high, then the minefield is largely absent. You could still kill such a connection deliberately if you chose to, but if you actually want to make it work and the other person does too, then there’s little chance of stepping on a fatal mine.

When I meet someone with whom I share some deep compatibility, especially on lifestyle and values, it’s hard to screw it up. I can make all sorts of mistakes, and the other person won’t hold it against me. She might not notice, or she’ll brush it off, or she’ll be bothered briefly and quickly forgive me. And I’ll do the same with her.

We tend to sense early on when the compatibility is strong, and so we’re more likely to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. We see such connections as being investment worthy, so we’re very willing to cut the other person some slack.

When I’ve found myself in situations where the compatibility was weak, I have to admit that I probably stepped on a mine or two deliberately, knowing that it would bring things to a close. But if I were to take the same action with a high-compatibility connection, it wouldn’t have the same effect.

When I look back on how Rachelle and I first connected, we were so compatible that I think it would have been hard for either of us to screw things up when we first got together. I could have said or done the stupidest things, and she would have forgiven me, or she would have pointed out that I was being a dork, or she would have played back at me. And I’d have done the same with her. And in fact, if I look back, I can see that this is exactly what happened. We each made many mistakes that would have killed less compatible connections, but for us those missteps made no difference. Since the connection was investment worthy for both of us, it wasn’t so vulnerable to mistakes.

Without the need to be vigilant about avoiding mines, we can both be fully ourselves. We can make mistakes, and they don’t even matter. We don’t have to worry about stepping on any mines because there’s no minefield.

Other good connections I’ve had, including friendships, followed a similar pattern. When the compatibility was there, I didn’t have to be vigilant about saying or doing the right things and avoiding mistakes. Mistakes didn’t matter.

But one of those same mistakes would instantly annihilate a low-compatibility connection.

Investment Worthiness

As I’ve gotten older (and hopefully wiser), I’ve lost interest in chasing low-compatibility connections. I have no desire to learn someone’s minefield and try to maneuver through it cautiously. I’d rather just be fully myself, knowing that my normal behaviors will be enough to repel connections that wouldn’t have worked out anyway. This saves me a lot of time.

Investment worthy connections are less common, but they’re ridiculously rewarding. One good connection of that type is easily worth more than a hundred low quality ones.

One of the main reasons people don’t enjoy more investment worthy connections is that they’re wasting time on partial matches. Many are currently stuck in a relationship with a partial match, which is a huge repellant for an investment worthy connection that comes along. Because you appear to be unavailable, you won’t even notice the golden opportunities you’re missing; they won’t present themselves while you’re entrenched in a partial match.

Look for Mines Early

Because investment worthy connections are so much more empowering than partial matches, it makes sense to filter out partial matches early, so you don’t get bogged down in their minefields.

Instead of trying to chase someone and build a connection, I focus instead on filtering for compatibility. If the compatibility is there and if I can see that there’s no minefield, that’s when I’ll get excited and pour my heart into a connection.

But if I step on a mine and that scares the other person off, then I feel confident that I just saved us both some needless disappointment down the road.

Stepping on a mine doesn’t mean being rude or obnoxious and seeing if the other person will tolerate you. That’s not at all what I’m referring to here.

Stepping on a mine means testing the strength of your compatibility, especially when it comes to lifestyle and values.

To give you a better idea, here are some of the mines I often check for:

  • Is she the jealous type? How does she feel about non-exclusivity and open relationships?
  • Is she religious? Could she handle connecting with an unrepentant sinner?
  • Does she like to explore, travel, and try new things? Does she like to grow? Or is she stubborn and inflexible?
  • Is she caring and compassionate? Or does she boast about her cruel and vengeful side?
  • Is she comfortable with lots of touch and affection? Or does she have issues with physical intimacy?
  • Is she playful? Does she enjoy light-hearted teasing? Can she have fun?
  • Is she awake and self-aware? Is she interesting to talk to? Or does she act like a mindless NPC?
  • Can she play along when I want to lead? Or does she always need to be in control?
  • Does she generally like herself? Or is she wallowing in low self-esteem?
  • Is she ready and able to go deeper? Or will she bolt as soon as an unresolved trauma gets triggered?

Most of the time when I meet someone new, I’ll find one or more mines in the first conversation.

Finding a mine doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll drop this person from my life, but I’m unlikely to invest in a deeper connection if the core compatibility isn’t there. I’d rather save my energy to go deeper with someone who seems like a better match for me.

Minefields in Business

You may find it interesting that this is the same approach that many successful entrepreneurs recommend in business. They say to fail early, fail often, and fail faster. Make more mistakes. Try lots of ideas, especially early on, and kill the ones that don’t perform. Then put more time, energy, and resources into your most investment worthy ideas. The advantage of this approach is that it lets you map out the nearby minefields, so you don’t keep stepping on mines by accident.

I think it makes sense to do the same with relationships. Being clingy with an incompatible match is very much like clinging to a bad business idea. A bad business idea comes with it’s own minefield. It’s very vulnerable to mistakes. Yes, you can still make that kind of idea work, but it will take constant vigilance to do so. It’s your choice if that type of business — or relationship — appeals to you.

I prefer a more fault tolerant business model. I like that blogging is a very fault tolerant medium. I don’t have to worry about being perfect. I can write whatever I feel inspired to write. I can cover a wide variety of topics. I can take time off whenever I want. I can change up the income streams now and then. And it still works. My best readers stick with me because they can see we’re compatible in the ways that matter. I don’t worry about chasing incompatible readers.

This makes the business pleasant to run. I can run it largely by being myself. I don’t have to feel paranoid that one mistake could kill the whole thing.

Who wants to run a business where one honest mistake will kill it? Who wants to be in a relationship under those conditions?

Respecting the Mines

Sometimes you can step on another person’s mine, and it won’t kill the connection. It may actually open the door to greater intimacy. How this plays out depends on how you both deal with the mine, and this depends on how investment worthy the connection is for each of you.

Some people actually pride themselves on the strength of their minefields. They may even show off just how many mines they have. This repels most connections, but it also ensures that if someone does connect with them, that person is likely to be able to handle that particular minefield.

Also, what looks like a minefield for one person may not seem very dangerous for another person.

I usually appreciate it when someone exposes their potential minefield upfront. It makes it easier to see if those mines might be an issue for me, and it saves me from stepping on one by accident later. For instance, if a woman tells me she’s in an open relationship and has a couple kids, that may be a huge minefield for someone, but to me those aren’t even mines. By sharing this upfront, she can save herself a lot of time by not having to invest time and energy in incompatible connections, and she can better filter for compatible connections.

Some mines invite the opportunity for healing. This is especially true of mines that are rooted in fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, or past trauma. When you see such a mine, you could choose not to deal with it. Or, if the other person seems willing, you could do some healing work together. I encounter these situations semi-regularly. Sometimes I just don’t feel like investing, and I pull back and save my energy. Other times I’m up for doing some healing work with the person. Usually my willingness depends on how ready the other person is to progress.

It’s up to you to decide how you’ll deal with future mines you encounter in your social connections. You can beat yourself up for stepping on them. You can become hyper-vigilant at navigating minefields. You can use mines as compatibility filters and preserve your energy for the very best connections. And you can treat some mines as opportunities for healing.

Whatever approach you buy into, I hope you enjoy and invest in at least one highly compatible, deeply meaningful, and richly rewarding connection in your life. <3



Steve Recommends
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Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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Make People Feel Good

March 2nd, 2015 by Steve Pavlina

A simple way to enjoy a happier and more abundant social life is to put some effort into making people feel good.

Many people get so caught up thinking they have to rack up some accomplishments, get into better shape, become a person of high value, and more — just to give themselves permission to reach out and connect with others. None of that is necessary. That’s putting the focus on yourself, where you’ll only swirl around in endless circles of self-doubt. You’ll never feel prepared with that approach. You’ll never be done. You’ll just keep coming up with more reasons why you aren’t ready. Your goal will always be six more months away.

If a woman wants me to like her, all she needs to do is ask me, “What can I do to make you feel good right now?” I’ll tell her. Suppose I say, “Well, I’d love a good head-scratching.” And she says okay and starts giving me a head-scratching. Now I’m blissing out, and I have her to thank for it. She’s instantly promoted to my A-list.

Do I care if she does yoga for two hours a day to stay in shape? Does it matter how much traffic she gets to her website? Do I care what color her skin is? None of those things matter to me. If she makes me feel good when I’m with her, of course I’m going to like her.

Alternatively, she can try to impress me instead. She can talk about her education and career ambitions. She can talk about her previous boyfriends and how much they worshipped her. She can tell me about her decade of yoga practice.

And I may very well be impressed. I’ll think, Wow… this woman really has her life on track.

Then I’ll excuse myself and go sit with the woman who gives great head-scratchings… or the one who tells funny stories and makes me laugh… or the one who loves to cuddle.

Why do I love my girlfriend so much? It’s very simple. She makes me feel good.

She smiles at me. She gives me lots of affection. She travels with me. She plays with me. She cuddles with me. She makes me yummy vegan food.

She learned what makes me feel good, and she does those things regularly.

I also make her feel good. I know what she likes, and I do those things often.

Does It Feel Good to Stay?

Why ever leave a relationship? You and/or your partner stop making each other feel good. Either you stop learning what makes each other feel good, or you stop doing what you know.

How could you reignite a broken relationship? Ask your partner what you can do to make him/her feel good, and start doing those things every day. Tell your partner how to make you feel good, and ask him/her to start doing some of those things every day. If either of you doesn’t honor this commitment, let go and find someone else who will synergize with you.

You may encounter people who want you to do things that don’t feel good to you. There’s no need to make sacrifices. Find something you’re willing to give, and then look for people who will appreciate what you enjoy giving.

Some people love buying gifts for each other. Some love to verbally express encouragement and appreciation. Some love touch and affection.

Don’t force yourself to give in ways that don’t feel good to you. Instead, seek out people who enjoy and appreciate a style of giving and receiving that’s compatible with yours.

I love making people feel good through touch, affection, and sharing laughs. It also feels good to receive this. My favorite connections normally include lots of touch as well as plenty of laughter and joking around.

What Makes You Feel Good?

Do the people in your life know what makes you feel good? Have you made it obvious to them?

If you’re currently in a relationship, go to your partner and ask him/her: What do you think makes me feel good? See how accurate the answer is. If it’s not accurate, enlighten your partner. Then switch roles, and tell your partner what you believe makes him/her feel good.

Now review with your partner how often you actually do the things that make each other feel good. Have you been doing well or slacking off? Is someone not pulling their weight? Has some resentment been building? Are you out of alignment between what you’re each willing to give vs. what you each desire to receive?

Get the basics right. Make each other feel good. Do those simple actions every day, multiple times per day.

If you aren’t making your partner feel good, then you’re more likely to feel jealous and possessive since there’s a chance your partner will eventually meet someone else who does make him/her feel good. And where will that leave you? Why should someone remain loyal to a partner who doesn’t make them feel good?

But if you know how to make your partner feel good, and you do those things regularly, then what is there to worry about? You know that your partner has good reason to keep returning to you.

If you make people feel good when they’re with you, they’ll likely want to keep connecting with you. You don’t always have to make this investment though. You may frequently meet with people where such an investment doesn’t seem worthwhile. But when you see other signs of compatibility and you’d like to explore a deeper connection with someone, then making someone feel good is an easy way to open the door.



Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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