How many times have you put up with Bad Dating Behavior or "BDB"?
Sometimes you’re so eager to finally find the right partner that you ignore the signs that your date is far from the perfect match.
Maybe you overlook that he’s always late without calling, that he waits till the last minute to make a date or that he uses subtle put downs in conversation. Perhaps you find yourself making excuses for him, pretending poor behavior didn’t occur or holding onto false hope that he’ll change.
Trouble is, if you notice BDB in the very beginning of a romance, chances are, it’ll get worse- not better. If he’s not putting his best foot forward at the start, you can be sure his bad habits run deep.
You’re always training people how to treat you. So if you put up with BDB once, it will probably happen again. In essence, you’ve told him it’s ok to treat you like a doormat. So guess what? He will, while losing respect for you at the same time and effectively dampening any potential for lasting love.
To boost a healthy budding bond, you’ve got to nip BDB in the bud, before it has a chance to blossom. Thankfully, it’s easy to notice when it’s time to take action.
Bad Dating Behavior Solution 1: Use the Compass Question
A sure-fire way to make sure you catch BDB is to pay attention to your feelings. Your feelings tell you right away whether someone’s behavior is good or bad for you.
When you are with someone who is a good match, you’ll feel good almost all of the time. When you are with someone who isn’t right for you, you’ll notice bad feelings, often right from the beginning. So use the Compass Question after every date by asking yourself:
- How do I feel around this person?
It’s called the Compass Question, because if you answer it honestly, you’ll always know what direction to move in: closer to him or further away.
If you frequently experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, confusion, guilt, irritation, or boredom, take it as a red flag to slow down and re-evaluate your relationship. Negative emotions are a sign that something has to shift, in either you or them. So try the next step to see what might change.
Bad Dating Behavior Solution 2: Try an “I Noticed” Statement
Once you recognize a negative emotion crop up in response to BDB, don’t ignore it. That’s how BDB grows. Instead, take a moment to address it with your new beau, using an “I noticed” statement.
An “I noticed” statement is easy to use, simply say, “I noticed…,” followed by a factual description of the behavior. Then, and this is important- pause and allow them to reply before you say anything more. Some examples:
- “I noticed you said you’d call last night, but I didn’t hear from you….” Pause.
- “I noticed you are often late when you come to pick me up…” Pause.
- “I noticed you weren’t very kind to our waitress just then.” Pause.
By pausing, you are allowing your date the best opportunity to explain their behavior to you. If you like the explanation, that’s a positive sign. If you don’t, consider it another red flag warning that this might not be a great match for you.
Whatever they say, give them an opportunity to impress you by improving their behavior. Let them know what you’d like for them to do instead.
- “It would mean a lot to me if you’d always call when you say you will.”
- “Punctuality is important to me. If you’re going to be late, please call.”
- “I value politeness. Would you mind apologizing to the waitress when she comes back?”
Then see if something shifts!
By paying attention to how you really feel around a new partner, you can notice BDB in the beginning, address it, and decide if this new match is really made in heaven. If not, you’ll be more prepared to move on to find someone who treats you like the gem you are.