Tired of the wrong dating tips? Try learning to evaluate your partners so you don’t get stuck with the wrong one.

Dating tips are a dime a dozen on the internet. After over 20 years of working with clients on dating issues, I have identified one strategy that most people need help with. The thought of evaluating a partner before committing to a relationship seems like an obvious idea, but doing it is not as easy as it may seem.

Although most people know that not evaluating a partner properly can be a costly mistake that may lead to wasted time, emotional upheaval, loss of resources, reduced options in your life or even physical harm, the evaluation system they use is often unproductive.

It is common for us to evaluate partners based on the qualities we are looking for. After all, that is what we all want to have a partner who is full of positive traits. But think about it: Have you ever broken up with a partner because he or she was missing an important quality? In reality, you probably broke up with that person because you encountered traits or behaviors that were intolerable and made your life miserable.

So based on that way of thinking, here is the most important of all dating tips you could ever receive: Evaluate negative traits instead of positive ones.

It is easy to argue that positive traits are the opposite of negative ones and, therefore, by looking for positive attributes in a person, you end up uncovering what he or she is lacking. However, looking at the positive aspects of a person does not always lead you to the same conclusions that you would have come to had you looked at the negative aspects.

Consider idealization and fear:

Idealization. When you find a positive trait in a partner, it automatically triggers wishful thinking. You notice that positive trait, and since it is what you always hoped for, you make the person out to be what you want him or her to be. As soon as you feel some relief that the person has what you are looking for, you may automatically cast aside any negative trait you may observe and stop evaluating.

Fear. When we fear being alone and not finding the love of our lives, we will search for the person who can make our fears go away. This way of thinking is dangerous and can lead to choosing the wrong partner. In wanting to appease our fears, we often overlook, minimize and dismiss important information that is in front of us. In looking for relief from what we fear, we don’t see people as they really are, but just as a solution to our struggles.

So what does a partner evaluation system based on negative traits look like?

It is impossible to describe a full system in a single blog, but just to get you started, here is a list of nine unhealthy traits in a partner to look for:

  1. low level of maturity
  2. selfishness and low capacity to share
  3. difficulty in recognizing and managing emotions
  4. difficulty in controlling impulses
  5. difficulty in handling and resolving conflict
  6. difficulty in recognizing and admitting fault
  7. lack of empathy
  8. inability to forgive
  9. insecurity and need for control

There are many dating tips for evaluating partners, but give this one a try. The next time you are on a date, write down what you hear and observe using the nine categories above. By doing it, I believe you will be one step closer to having the relationship of your dreams.

Your comments are very important to me and help me guide future article choices. Please share your thoughts with me! You can comment below or on my Facebook page. I will read all of your comments and make every effort to address your questions, struggles, and concerns in future articles.

Author Georgiana Spradling, Ph.D., MFT, CDVC, is a multicultural and multilingual (English, Spanish, French) Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Coach with over 20 years of experience helping people choose the right partners and avoid the wrong ones, manage emotions and behaviors in self and others, leave unhealthy partnerships and move past old relationships. She is a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor and has a Certificate as an Anger Management Facilitator.

Her e-book: Don’t Get Stuck With the Wrong Partner: Learn to detect unhealthy traits and behaviors in others is available on Amazon Kindle. In it you will find more dating tips:

  • 60 questions that will help you determine who your current or potential partner may be.
  • 10 dimensions that may reveal inconsistent, unhealthy or harmful patterns of behavior in another person.
  • Suggestions on how to interpret inconsistencies in behavior in the person that you are considering committing to.
  • Advice on what to do when you find traits and behaviors that make you uncomfortable or that suggest deeply rooted physical or psychological issues that are hard to manage and live with.

You can subscribe to her YouTube Channel and to her online news bulletin “Relationships On Fire” on her website at www.drgeorgiana.com.

Dr. Georgiana coaches on the telephone, online or in her office in San Francisco (USA) and offers a FREE 25-minute consultation. She can be reached through her website: www.drgeorgiana.com, by e-mail: gs@drgeorgiana.com or phone: 1-650-731-5105.