Have you ever been told by any former partners that you act like a child? If yes, you will no doubt find it annoying and unfounded but what if there is an element of truth in this statement? What if somehow you are using the same ruses that you used to pull through childhood so that you can get your own way or manipulate your partner? Okay, this might sound like you are having massive tantrum after massive tantrum and this is far from the truth hopefully.
Think about your dating history since being single. You spend ages flirting and securing a hot date with someone and then, you completely blow it by acting unnaturally or being aloof. Why do you do that? It’s almost as if you don’t know who you are or how to act? Or maybe you are scared to let someone get close? If that sounds familiar, then read on because your childhood experiences could be ruling your love –life without you even knowing it.
As a child, you would have learned a lot of your behaviours from your parents. That might be great for many people but if your own parents were subject to a divorce or certainly endured an unhappy relationship you would no doubt have picked up on these elements subconsciously. Think about how you acted as a child. Did you pout, whine and moan, until you got some attention? Did you cry at the drop of a hat or did you stomp off and spend some alone time until your bad mood passed? We all developed childhood strategies for survival even if the family environments were fairly normal. We still had to learn how to cope and let’s be honest; children are known for pushing boundaries and exploring how to get what they want.
Your survival strategies may have worked really well as a child but can you and should you bring them into the dating arena as an adult? You may find that they get you into more trouble than you bargain for. They could certainly be the cause of a few relationship break-ups.
Perhaps you are still not convinced that you have brought those childish elements with you?
Are you consistent with your partners? Do you find yourself edging towards being moody or sarcastic without realising? Do you tease and want to control by being provocatively pouty? Do you like to feel looked after when poorly? Do you expect to be loved and cherished at all times and be waited on? Do you sometimes act like the victim to enable you to get sympathy and not get your partner angry over something you have done? Do you sometimes want to run away and hide or do you find yourself, playing the innocent?
Let’s be honest. It’s unlikely that you would have deliberately been using these tactics to manipulate but now that you have seen them in black and white, can you recognise any of those elements? If your dates are often disasters and unpredictable through your own behaviour, maybe it’s worth looking at why you act the way you do sometimes. Childhood behaviours may have worked beautifully but they don’t belong in love and romance so it really is time to sever the connection between your old ways and the new ways that can bring you honest and rewarding love.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and recognise elements of yourself here, don’t give yourself a hard time about it. You are certainly not alone in your behaviours and both men and women can tap into their childhood behaviours instinctively at times. Who knew all those times when you were desperate to grow up and become an adult, that your inner child was holding on for all it was worth?
All you need to do is to identify which behaviours represent the way you are currently and resolve to embrace romantic life as an adult and to learn to trust your instinct and not rely on pre-learned behaviours. So on your next date, go out and be truly you, completely natural, relaxed and happy in your own skin. Don’t try to fake it, you owe it to your date and yourself to simply sit back and enjoy your time out for what it is.