Mistake No. 2: Dating From a Vacuum

Henry Cloud

When I have talked to women like Jill, who are not finding what they want or who are settling for what they don’t want, there is a common theme: They are trying to fill something inside them with that relationship. There is some sort of loneliness or a need to find validation of themselves — or even meaning — in a relationship with a guy.

When this happens, it makes letting go of someone, or not getting involved with someone, more difficult. The mantra seems to be that a not-so-good relationship is better than no relationship at all. But are those the only options?

The answer is that women who attract the best men, and who pick the best men, are women whose lives are complete without being in a serious relationship. But the truth is that if you need it to be happy or to be complete, then you are not ready for one. Only a person who does not need the other person to be whole is whole enough to make a relationship work and to attract a truly whole person also. So, make sure of a few things:

  • Make sure that you are in a good, close-knit group of friends, male and female, so that all your relational needs are being met.

  • Make sure that you are growing spiritually. Since romance itself is something of a transcendent experience, it can masquerade as having the ability to fill parts of your heart and soul that only God can fill. If you are growing close to Him and being fulfilled in your spirit, you will not ask a relationship to do something for you that it cannot. And you will be able to trust God to bring the right person along.

  • Make sure that you are growing as a person and doing fulfilling things. Often, someone dates poorly because life feels empty. She tries to fill an empty life with a person, trying to gain meaning from a relationship, when the real problem is a real lack of purpose and fulfillment. Find out what your talents and gifts are and develop them.

Mistake number three: Not Dating Enough People.


Dr. Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist and best-selling author or co-author of over eighteen books, including “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” and “Boundaries in Dating.” He also conducts seminars across the country and co-hosts a radio program called “New Life Live.” He’s the president of Cloud-Townsend Resources.

© 2005 Betty Blake Churchill. All rights reserved. Adapted with permission from “Fantasy - An Insatiable Desire for a Satisfying Love” (Orlando, CruPress).

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