How To Handle Your Weaknesses

by Caitlin Rondino

When we were children, our parents placed us in a variety of extracurricular activities to open us up to new experiences and help determine what we might enjoy doing in life. Maybe you played sports or had piano lessons after school. My parents enrolled me in ballet and tap dance when I was around four years old.  I sat in the front and cried from the minute they dropped me off until they picked me up.  Needless to say, I am not a ballet or tap dancer, but ironically enough, would love to be.

We get older and we start branching out on our own. We float through social groups, we experiment with drugs, we have sex and then we pursue a partner.  All of the above mentioned preferably without the help of our parents.

We all eventually find what we’re good at and benefit from it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find what we’re not so good at and run from it. We all have weaknesses because after all, there is no perfect human being. There is no single individual who was born with all the right gifts and well-balanced genetics that got them however far in life. Although we all have them, we tend not to focus on them. We just keep doing what we’re great at because that’s more comfortable, and who doesn't want to be recognized for what they’re good at?

So, we continue to ignore those weaknesses. We avoid our weaknesses at all costs and hope to a higher power that the person we’re dating doesn't notice them.

As I mentioned before, there is no such thing as “perfect.” You’re not perfect and the person you find won’t be either. Being perfect for each other is a completely different concept; that’s a matter of perception. If you've found your perfect match, congratulations, and I hope to be in that same boat one day. Until then, nobody likes failing at anything, let alone a relationship.

We may all have to embrace failures, but that doesn't mean it’s enjoyable. The only inexcusable aspect of having weaknesses is continuously making the same mistakes because of them. This is also known as being in denial.  All your relationships will end the same way. Don’t even think about pointing the finger at the other person. You could sit there claiming that all men are pigs or all girls are the same, but it really isn't true.

It’s actually a sh*tty thing to say to someone.  Maybe it's you who is going about things the wrong way. Maybe you’re the “pig that refuses to change.”

Although there may be a slight variation in repeating the same mistakes over and over again, for the most part, things won’t end up too differently. So think long and hard about how much time you want to allot to living with your head up your ass.  Time is a precious commodity that can’t be replaced.

Your strengths and weaknesses will determine your compatibility with someone.  So, if it hasn't worked the first five times, you think the sixth is going to be any different?  The only person you can change is yourself and that’s the only person you should be striving to change.

I've come to witness and experience many repetitive weaknesses in the dating world.  In no particular order, these are the five, which I find to be most common, but at the end of the day, are equally important.

1.    Insecurities

Much like our weaknesses, we all have our insecurities.  They may even be interchangeable terms when it comes to dating.  It could be body image or lack of trust in your partner (warranted or not).  Everyone is different, views things differently and handles them differently.  Your partner shouldn't be paying for your insecurities. If you have them, the least you can do is be upfront about them.

Don’t badger anyone with a million questions, don’t go through their personal belongings or invade their privacy, and don’t probe their friends for information.  It’s annoying, unnecessary, and you’re on a one-way road to being single.

2.    Tolerating, not accepting

It may take some time to fully get to know someone, but when you do, don’t get by on toleration.  You need to accept and appreciate them for who they are and if you can’t do that, then move on.    Don’t sit around waiting for someone to conform to what you’re looking for.

Sure, compromises can be made, but the thing about compromises is that each party involved sacrifices something.  You don’t want your entire relationship to be a series of compromises.  Eventually, you are going to have to learn how to detect when you’re about to engage in a relationship with the wrong person.

3.   Conforming

Don’t conform to what you think that person wants in you. Don’t lose yourself just because you’re in a relationship.   That isn't you.  One day, you’ll get tired of pretending to be someone else and most likely resent that your partner doesn't love you for you. One day they’ll get sick of the resentment for something you inflicted on yourself.

You don’t want your partner pretending to be someone they aren't.  You’ll feel just as deceived as they would - ain’t nobody got time for that.

4.   Communication

I never shut up about my feelings.  They fly out of my mouth before I have any time to process them and put them forward in a meaningful and organized manner.  Why anyone holds in feelings absolutely bewilders me.

If something is bothering you, say it.  Express your feelings because weeks or months from now, when the bomb is no longer ticking, your partner won’t know what the hell you’re talking about.  It is no longer relevant; it makes no sense because if you didn't say anything then, why are you saying it now?  Chances are, on top of the confusion as to why you've waited so long to say something, your partner probably won’t even remember what you’re referring too.

5.    Complaining, not complimenting

As much as it is important to express your negative feelings, you should express your positive ones.  If all you do is complain, you lose sight of what’s going well.  Nobody wants to be incessantly criticized.  Nobody does everything so terribly that they need to be put down all the time, and if they do, then why are you even in the relationship?

If you feel that you can’t say anything because you’re being a nag or a pain, take a step back to think about what exactly is bothering you.  If you’re bothered by virtually everything this person does, you’re not a good match for each other.  Make the executive decision to sever ties and cut your losses before any more time and energy is given.