Is Your "Bad" Dating Behavior Trying To Tell You Something?

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Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes it is. It could range from never opening up to putting it ALL out there just a bit too much and then sh*t gets too real, too fast. Or you only date bad boys. Or you just spread 'em, hooking up without allowing yourself more than just sexual attention from a guy. All of these can be classified as dating defense mechanisms, and they are, but what if we delve a little deeper? What if, beyond preserving your painless—and loveless—state, your behavioral patterns are simultaneously trying to tell you something?

Story time!

I have this really amazing, smart, banging, cool (no, but like 1990s-NYC, for-real cool), stylish friend of mine who has this interesting slash entertaining problem of man A.D.D. I'm sure more than one of you exhibit this handy trick: You can be into a dude, enjoy his company, have fun, yadda yadda, and then as soon as he opens up, starts to show interest, bends over backwards for you, it's on to the next one, Jay-Z style.

She and I talk about this at length because it comes up with every single guy she dates. At first, being the relationship-y coach that I am, I was like, you're keeping these men at a distance, you don't want to let them get close so that you don't get hurt, et cetera, et cetera. (All valid points, if I do say...)

But then something happened.

She had a "breakthrough," admitted her deeply and long-held love for a man in her life, shared it, had a glorious moment of vulnerability for which she will forever receive a standing ovation from me, and released it/him because, per usual, it was the right guy at the wrong time. No biggie. We move along. She immediately found someone else—because she's wifey material, hello—and, boom, insta-connection. And then something even more interesting happened. She LIKED the guy.

And this continued for some time--she's casual and chill and not one of those stage-5, codependent chicks, ahem--her interest slowly waning until it became un-ignore-ably obvious that he wasn't ready to man-up to a relationship. But by then, she was 100% overit.com and blamed her man A.D.D. This time, though, it was different. Because, this time, she really liked him. I mean, for-real, fah-rull. Something was a-brewing in my over-analytical brain. But I let it simmer.

Then it happened again with another wonderfully engaging guy. And as she's telling me about how, despite their connection and his 99% perfection rating, her man A.D.D. has strangely kicked in and she's just not that into him, I'm thinking, WAIT A MINUTE. I GET IT NOW.

Her "man A.D.D."—her "bad" dating behavior—is actually her intuition telling her that these dudes aren't right for her.

Even though they SEEM like it (I mean, they were seriously strong options), on a very subliminal level, she knew they were not. These guys had exhibited earlier signs of being less than ideal. No red flags, but little things that should be avoided when examining what should be a real man. Yes, they were into her. All kinds of into her. But not in a way that she truly wanted, ultimately. Not in a way that would yield the relationship she was really after. Once her head (conscious) caught up with her heart (intuition), well then, cue the man A.D.D.!

It was a proud day for this dating blogger. Look, heart healing and headway starts with acknowledgement. And some of this ish runs deep. So deep that you might not even know it's there. But it is—for good reason—and it will show itself. You just gotta be paying attention. Good talk, kids. High fives all around.