> One Way I Sabotaged My Love Life (without realizing it)
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How I Sabotaged My Love Life (without realizing it)

Hi, Single Over 30 Friend. 

Perhaps, like me, you’ve heard the phrase, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

I can’t think of a time when this sentiment was more true in my life than after I married. After I said “I do,” my troubled dating life made so much sense! 

In great contrast, my 28 years of singleness from high school graduation until I finally tied the knot at 46, was anything but understandable. 

Instead it was a tangled journey, sometimes heartbreaking, often confusing, and it was always a mystery to me why I hadn’t married. (Maybe you feel the same pain and confusion.)

When someone asked me, “Shana, why are you still single?” I would just smile and say, “Because I haven’t met the right one yet.” 

I could point to particular ways that the men I dated had failed to love me or treat me well. But the ways in which I could make better relational choices eluded me. 

Like you, I was doing the best I could. And, like you, I wanted to love and be loved. And, also like you, I wanted to find a good man who shared my Christian values, who made me laugh and who was my good, good friend. 

But I had no clue that many of the decisions I was making in my love life weren’t helping me get even one, small step closer to the wedding altar.

But how could I have possibly known what I didn’t know? 

How could I have possibly known when no one taught me? 

How could I have possibly known that there are productive and non-productive ways of dating when no one told me? 

How could I have possibly known because, since I was an itty-bitty girl, the culture—and sometimes even well-meaning friends—had been feeding me lies about love. 

Now that I am married, I can look back with clarity and I can see numerous ways I got tripped up in my romantic life. 

One way I sabotaged my love life was by not knowing that healthy, happy relationships develop in stages. 

Emotions grow in stages. 
Commitment grows in stages. 
The journey to love, from the first date to “I do,” is a process. 

But that’s not the way the world makes it seem. Here’s what we’ve been taught about how love should happen: 

1)     Two people meet.
2)     They fall in love. 
3)     They get married.

And, when love “happens” within 2 hours on a movie screen, it makes a woman think she should “just know” when she meets her “soul mate.” 

It makes her believe she will know she has found love when she feels the “magic” that Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks mention in Sleepless in Seattle

It causes her to overlook red flags, and to put chemistry before character. 

It causes her to be unaware of dating patterns and habits that are sabotaging her love life. 
It makes her unaware that her journey from “Hi, my name is _________” to “I do” needs to be filled with intentionality.

I’ve got some good news. . . 

When you understand the dating stages that lead to the wedding altar (and you know what behaviors need to go in each one) you can have productive---rather than non-productive and heartbreaking—dating experiences. You can date with greater clarity and conviction when you understand how love works. 

I know. I’m living proof. It wasn’t until I dated my husband with intentionality--and in stages—that I finally married. 

This week, I’m going to share about the 5 dating stages that lead to the wedding altar. I’m also going to share some mistakes single women make in these stages so you don’t have to make them too. (Note: This is not condemnation. My hand is raised high. I have made many of these mistakes.)

To get started, the first mistake is not knowing about these 5 Stages. 

If you don’t know about and learn about them, you’re at a disadvantage in your love life, because each stage creates a productive and positive framework (rather than a non-productive and negative one) for your entire relationship from your very first meeting with a man to your wedding day. 

This week, I'm going to be sharing what I have learned so you can experience the relationship you desire. 

I so want that for you. You deserve it. 

Remember, the dream you have to love--and be loved--is possible. ​​

Your dating and relationship coach, 

Shana 

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