Dating is the perfect opportunity to practice having a Relationship Repair Counter, especially during the time when you are dating one person exclusively. Whether you are male or female, and no matter how old you are, developing a Relationship Repair Counter to fix problems in a dating relationship is vital. People who are dating have to be able to repair problems that inevitably come up in order to continue having a fun and secure dating relationship.
Sooner or later, the person you are dating is going to do something that you do not like. Hopefully, if you think your date is super good looking and you love their personality, the first date will be perfect! But, eventually anybody that you date is going to do something to hurt your feelings.
The question is what to do about it. Should you break up with them? Some people get very freaked out as soon as the dating relationship encounters a problem. If the problem is a deal breaker for you, then you should break off the relationship but a lot of problems people encounter during dating are not deal breakers.
For example, if you have decided that someone having any kind of history of drugs or alcohol addiction is a deal breaker for you and you find out that the person you are dating is drinking excessively, then I would not suggest that you end the dating relationship so that you do not compromise your overall values.
However, if you find out that your boyfriend ignored you on a Friday night to stay home and play video games, you could try to file a complaint and see what happens. For example, in this case you could say “You know, I really do not want to be in a dating relationship with someone who values video games on Friday night over having a date night. I really would like to have an agreement that you will take me out on Friday nights, and you will save your video games for week nights. What do you think?”
I personally tried out the concept of filing pertinent relationship complaints during my dating life. Like most women, inevitably, no matter who I dated there was no shortage of ways that men could disappoint me! I remember very well on a third or fourth date with my husband, he was cursing. (Not at me of course, or that would have been a deal breaker!) My husband Brendan sells buildings to general contractors in the construction industry and the men talk like sailors. So, I very clearly remember stating something to the effect that “I am a lady, and I really don’t like you cursing around me like I am one of the guys you work with.” I clarified the resolution I was seeking was not that he would never curse, but that I reasonably felt that most of the time in conversations with me he would not curse. I do not hold myself to the standard of not cursing when I stub my toe or get stuck in traffic, so I was clearly not asking for a no cursing policy. I just wanted to not be in the construction zone!
I was pleasantly surprised that Brendan had a Relationship Repair Department! I actually do not remember exactly what he said, but I do remember that his behavior changed when we spent time together and I noticed he was not cursing except infrequently. I recall that he acknowledged that he had gotten into a bad habit, and that he understood why I wanted him to make that change.
Now, this may seem like a small change for someone to make. No big deal. But contrast that with my other reasonable requests from some of the previous men that I had dated – and the response was a refreshing change. This was someone I could work with! I felt Brendan valued me enough to make the change whereas, for example, I had asked another man I dated to slow down his driving and he instead went faster and laughed! His Relationship Repair Counter was not open for numerous complaints, so I ended the dating relationship.