I was on the phone with one of my cousins who explained to me that a guy whom she had went out on a date with had told her that he was going to call her at a certain time, but he never did.
After hearing her say this, I immediately retorted, “I don’t like him”.
I do not know him as a person but I know that I do not like him to fill the role of romantic partner in my cousin’s life.
And this is why…
At the beginning of the relationship his failure to call when he said he would signals his inability to keep his word.
Recognize that it is at the beginning of the dating process that we put our best foot forward.
Therefore, his best foot is him showing that he is not a man of his word.
If this is him on his best behavior then what in the world would he be like on his worst behavior!?!
I will be honest there was a time when I have given guys a pass who obviously didn’t deserve one.
They went out of their way to show me that they didn’t really care about me, but due to my insecurities and low sense of self-worth I would tolerate their poor behavior.
When they didn’t call when they said they would I would think well maybe something happened.
You know something? Maybe something did happen or maybe it didn’t, but I have decided that when it comes to my life I am no longer accepting excuses.
Do I believe that a freak accident could happen?
Of course I do.
But I also know that if a person doesn’t show up for a job interview on time a potential employer who is well skilled will tell the candidate that there is no need to conduct the interview as they failed to show that they have the ability to be punctual for something as important as an interview.
Does it mean that the applicant is a bad person?
No, not at all.
Should the employer give the applicant the opportunity to explain why they were late?
But, if the position is of quality a good employer will give it to the candidate who took the time to not only arrive on time but who arrived early, fully qualified and well prepared.
So if it is unwise to give a job to someone who fails to show up on time for a job interview then why do we give a second chance to someone who fails to show up or call like they say they will in the early stages of dating?
I think we do it out of fear of things such as no one better will come along, feelings of loneliness, desperation for a partner and low self-worth, which results in low standards and a lack of boundaries.
The way I see it is that many of us when we date are looking for someone to spend the rest of our lives with. We want to share our time, energy, vulnerabilities, body, money and in many cases our children with this person.
Think of it, you are going to invite a person into your home and more so your bedroom and your screening requirements are more lenient than what a hiring panel would require for someone to work at a company that may not even belong to them?!
I have hired people to work for companies before and when it came to finding an employee I would start out by reviewing the position and then I would create a job bulletin to be advertised in order to properly market the position.
However, when it came to my own life I didn’t really take the time out to figure out exactly what I was looking for in a partner.
I didn’t do any soul searching I just wanted to be wanted.
Also, before you can hire someone for a job you should make sure that you have the wherewithal to pay them.
But when I would look for a romantic partner I never took the time out to see if I had the time, energy, love or skills to maintain a healthy relationship.
Moreover, I spent a lot of time creating a well thought out job bulletin because I realized that I wanted to attract the best person for the position on behalf of my employer.
And yet when it came to something as sacred as my heart, thoughts, energy, time, space, body, love, trust and care I didn’t put much thought or detail into how I was representing myself.
I am not proud to say that my self-esteem was previously so low that if I had to describe how I advertised a position to have my heart it wasn’t a far cry from:
“Hungry for love, will love for crumbs of attention and scraps of affection”.
The type of people who are attracted to that kind of position in a person’s life are not high quality. Because the kind of person who would hold that sign doesn’t know they are quality.
It took a lot of tears and a massive broken heart but I now know better.
I now understand that just like I made the position that I was trying to fill at my place of employment attractive I have to make the position to be my romantic partner attractive.
This goes so far beyond physical appearance.
For example I wasn’t happy about what I was doing with my professional life. If I wasn’t happy with it, I wasn’t going to find a person who would be happy with it, so I had to make some changes.
I didn’t feel comfortable with my physical appearance so I was going to have to learn to accept myself as I work to become my best self.
I was depressed and so I had to take steps to lift myself up from that depression.
And moreover, I have not created a space for someone to come into my home. Before I can start back dating I have to open up that space.
For example, I am not emotionally ready to get married and move in with someone. The idea of combining my life with someone else makes me uneasy.
I am aware of that and for this reason I am not open to the idea of dating at this point in my life.
There are some changes that are going to have to be made before I could bring someone into my life at that capacity.
Once I have made those changes, then and only then can I begin the dating process.
As for me and my heart, to date before that time would be like those places that take applications for a job but aren’t hiring.
They are wasting everyone’s time.
They are not actively hiring and should simply say so.
I recall that before I would have a new employee start work I had to clean out the work space that they would be working in and remove all traces of the previous employee.
This is similar to how I have to take steps to make sure my heart is completely healed before I try to date someone new.
It would not be fair for me to expect someone new to come in and have to clean up the mess that the last gentleman made.
Before I can date I am going to have to figure out what the minimum requirements are to have my heart.
I don’t have a full list but honesty, faithfulness, shared spiritual beliefs and moral values are definitely minimum requirements.
I recall the amount of time I would spend creating a well thought out bulletin including a brief background of the company, what the job duties of the position entailed what character traits an applicant needed to be successful at the position, the minimum qualifications, the preferred requirements, the benefits and the compensation.
But when it came to my own life I didn’t spend nearly as much thought.
While I had some level of standards my subliminal advertisement for a mate most likely was equivalent to this:
Female with trust, abandonment and anger issues looking for someone to fill a void in my life because I don’t love myself enough to realize that I am the one I am seeking. I am not looking for someone to share my life with because I want to make someone else my life.
Applicant must have a high school diploma, little to no experience required, I will train you and try my best to change you because I have yet to learn that I can’t. I don’t require much, I simply don’t want you to physically abuse me. I don’t want you to cheat on me either but if you do I will forgive you because I don’t realize that I have worth, so I kind of expect to be cheated on.
I prefer someone who I am truly physically attracted to but I will settle for someone who I find mildly attractive because I don’t realize I am beautiful and I figure someone like me has to settle.
With regards to compensation I am a people pleaser so I over give $$$$. I will let you emotionally drain me. Sure, I will cry and lament telling you that I want you to give back in return but no worries, you will quickly see I am all talk as I will stick around and be your doormat.
By the way previous applicants please feel free to reapply because even though you have made it clear that you really aren’t the best fit, I am scared that no one else will take the position and I am afraid of being alone.
There I was walking around giving off this kind of energy about myself then I wondered why the only type of men who were interested in me were of low quality.
I was behaving like a low quality woman!
So of course Boo Boo the Fool filled out the application for the job.
Men of high quality felt the energy I was giving off and thought ” oh no I don’t want to work there let me see who else is hiring”.
I was so desperate for love I was making excuses for peoples poor behavior.
A person not calling when he says he will is not a quirk.
That is them showing you that they are not a person of their word.
When someone sets off alarm bells at the beginning of your interaction with them, you have to stop allowing them to proceed.
I know for myself there was a time when I would allow others to make me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to seem too harsh or overly judgmental.
I wanted people to like me and I figured being “nice” was the way to go.
But I wasn’t being nice, I was being irresponsible.
I was not taking responsibility for my life.
However, I now realize that I am the gatekeeper for my life.
And in order for a person to hold the position of romantic partner or even friend in my life they must go through a screening process and thorough background check.
Sadly, I have begged people to stay in my life who I knew in my gut did not mean me well.
I settled for poor behavior from men who treated me badly because I didn’t see myself for the greatness that I am.
My time, heart, energy, body, thoughts, emotions and space are sacred.
I wasn’t aware of that before but I am now.
I have decided that when it comes to something as special as my heart I will not be giving anyone else the benefit of the doubt.
Does this mean I might end up overlooking some great guys?
Perhaps, but no more than a company would lose out on a good applicant because they refuse to hire someone who is late for an interview, interrupts the interview to use their cell phone, doesn’t dress for the interview, doesn’t know why they want to work for the company, doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications, shows up unprepared or who isn’t a good institutional fit.
And by institutional fit I mean the person may read well on paper and they may score high during the interview but something in the interviewer’s gut tells them the person just is not the best fit for the work environment.
This is akin to when you are dating someone and you can’t put your finger on it but something isn’t quite right.
Our friends and family may tell us that we are just being too hard or operating out of fear.
But no, if you feel like something is wrong it’s because something is wrong.
After years of heartbreak due to not listening to my intuition I have decided I would rather error on the side of being overly safe when it comes to who I allow in my space than I would to error on the side of being reckless.
I have heard that one of the best ways to yield a different result is to do the opposite of what you are doing.
So when it comes to my life my previous behavior is no longer acceptable, I simply must be more protective of my space.
I have had a bad habit of giving my time, space, heart and energy to people who I knew deep down did not mean me well.
In an effort to prevent that behavior I realize that I am going to have to set some boundaries and have some standards.
We have to start seeing the position of romantic partner in our lives as a high value position that can only be filled by a high value person. And in order to do this we must recognize that we ourselves are of high value.
The reason distinguished companies can turn away applicants who fail to meet their minimum requirements and not look back is because a good company knows that while finding high quality people may take time, they themselves are in high demand and another high quality candidate will surely be in the job pool.
We have to stop being afraid to set boundaries and of having deal breakers.
Walking around in fear that if we have boundaries that it will turn people away is not the way to go.
This is because boundaries are designed to turn people away.
The wrong people.
But you want them to leave!
Boundaries and standards saves you from wasting time with people who are not the best fit for you.
Just like assessments prevent companies from wasting their time interviewing people who don’t qualify for the position.
Even though I am on dating hiatus, I do have men approach me. They often ask what I am looking for in a relationship and when I tell them I am looking to be in a mutually exclusive relationship they immediately stop inquiring. I don’t even have to get to the fact that I am currently not dating because the men who currently approach me are only looking to date casually.
Once I start back dating, mutual exclusivity is a minimum requirement for me to be in a romantic relationship with someone. If someone doesn’t want that then we need not waste one another’s time.
Doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but it does mean they are not the right person for me.
You have to have deal breakers. For me I have decided that if a guy says “I am not looking for a relationship right now” he is automatically disqualified from being a contender for my heart. I wish him the best of luck but it won’t be with me.
Am I suggesting that you should make someone feel like they are on a job interview when you date them?
Not at all.
But what I am asserting is that you are the CEO of your life and you have to properly vet people.
Do a background check and have a tough screening process on all applicants who are vying for a position in your life.
And also if everything seems above board but your gut tells you something is off then don’t proceed.
When it comes to your heart if it doesn’t feel right it’s because it isn’t right.
© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.