Are you beginning to sense a pattern in the potential partners you attract?

This article is dedicated to helping you identify and avoid the 14 most common Dating Traps most singles can fall prey too. Knowledge and self awareness is always the first step in breaking unhealthy relationship patterns. It certainly isn't an easy task to change one's life but with the right attitude and some loving support and guidance anyone has the potential to attract the relationship of their dreams. To feel the love that is their divine right and to share that love with their ideal pattern. David Steele, the Founder of the Relationship Coaching Institute ( the school where I have been studied to be a Dating and Relationship Coach) came up with this great way of identifying common pattern is dating and the way we approach dating. I find it so useful in my practice coaching singles to be "Conscious Daters" that I wanted to share it with you. Please let me know what you think and if you have found my lens helpful. Enjoy xx

14 Dating Traps
By David Steele

1. Marketing Trap

You believe that you need to make yourself more appealing to attract and "sell"
yourself with an attractive packaging and presentation. When you fall into the
Marketing Trap, you fear that nobody will want you as you really are. By "marketing"
yourself, you risk disappointment and relationship failure. So, when the excitement
and promise of the "sizzle" conflicts with the reality of the "steak," one or both of
you are left feeling disappointed and angry.

2. Packaging Trap

You focus on outside packaging - such as someone's body, looks, job, wealth, material possessions - and overlook the reality of the person inside. The Packaging Trap is the opposite of the Marketing Trap: instead of seeking to sell yourself with attractive packaging, you focus on the packaging of others.

3. Scarcity Trap

You believe there is a limited supply of possible partners, and therefore think that you have to take what you can get or be alone. The Scarcity Trap results in
relationship failure because there is a temptation to settle for less: you believe you can't get what really want because there is not enough to go around. Unfortunately,it's a self-fulfilling prophecy because when you expect less, you get less.

4. Compatibility Trap

Assuming that if you have fun together and get along well, you are compatible and a
committed relationship will work. Results in relationship failure when discovering the vast difference between a fun-focused, recreational "dating" relationship, and a serious long-term committed relationship. Being so different, the process and
criteria for choosing a recreational relationship needs to be very different from
choosing a Life Partner.

5. Fairytale Trap

Passively expecting your ideal partner to magically appear and live happily ever after without effort on your part. Believing that finding your soul mate will just "happen". Results in disappointment when the frogs that happen to jump into your life don't become princes.

6. Date-to-Mate Trap

Becoming an "instant couple" as if giving each person you date an extended test drive. Believing that if you develop an exclusive relationship with someone you are dating, a successful committed relationship will eventually happen. Other terms for this are "Serial Monogamy" and the "Mini-Marriage. This approach is a costly use of time and emotional energy. The inertia in this trap is pressure to make the relationship work, attempt to solve unsolvable problems, and fit the round peg in the square hole because breaking up and being single again is an undesired outcome.

7. Attraction Trap

Making relationship choices based on feelings of attraction. Interpreting a strong
attraction to someone as a sign that the relationship is a good choice and "meant to be". This approach results in relationship failure when unsolvable problems surface because you ignored the red flags while infatuated. Unconscious choices usually result in repeating unproductive past patterns. Attraction is like the radar that helps you find your target. But the Attraction Trap is blindly following this radar.

8. Love Trap

Interpreting infatuation, attraction, need, good sex, and/or attachment as Love. "If it feels good, it must be Love." "Love is all you need." "Love conquers all." You feel so in love that you believe it must be a good relationship. After the initial infatuation is gone; you spend the rest of your time together just trying to get it back.

9. Sex Trap

Focusing on the chemistry under the covers by interpreting sex as love, using sex as a kind of "compatibility test" (if the sex is good then the relationship will be good as well), or becoming emotionally attached and considering yourself in a kind of committed relationship as soon as you have sex.

10. Rescue Trap

Hoping a relationship will solve your emotional and financial difficulties and bring you happiness and fulfillment, something like winning the lottery. You avoid taking responsibility for your life challenges, expecting to be rescued from them. Results in desperation, neediness, and relationship failure when your problems multiply instead of disappear.

11. Co-dependent Trap

You expect someone to love you and give you what you want by giving the other person what he/she wants. You attempt to earn love and happiness by acquiescing, giving and helping. You really want to be in a relationship. You feel that you are not worthy as you are, and need to earn love. You pursue relationships hard because you feel incomplete when you're not in one. You want to be the hero and therefore seek someone who wants to be helped. But you learn the hard way that although it feels good to be needed, someone who needs you is not necessarily able to give you what you need. Needing to be needed often results in unconsciously attracting and choosing a relationship with a person who needs you, but - as you later discover - is unable to give you what you want.

12. Entitlement Trap

Believing you deserve to be happy and get what you want in your life without effort or changes on your part. Results in relationship failure as you rely on your partner to bring happiness and fulfillment and inevitably experience disappointment. "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got."

13. Virtual Reality Trap

Believing that "what you see is what you get." Making hasty long-term relationship
decisions based on short-term impressions and inferences instead of actual
experience and knowledge. Getting involved in a relationship focusing on "potential," hoping that some things that you really need to happen will get better or change over time. Results in seeing what you want to see, and relationship failure when later reality doesn't match.

14. Lone Ranger Trap

You live your single life focused on your goal of finding your life partner, believing that you don't need anyone else in your life. You evaluate people you meet for their relationship potential and do not take the opportunity to cultivate new friends. Results in isolation, perception of scarcity of potential partners, and risk of settling for less than what you really want because you don't want to be alone.
©2005 by David Steele. All rights reserved.

Yikes Thats a lot of Traps! No Wonder the Dating World Can Feel Treacherous at Times...

What can I do to avoid getting caught in a toxic relationship??

Well, as always, the best place to start is within your own heart. Start by being honest with yourself and recognize and acknowledge that you are allowing yourself to be lured into certain traps or actually setting them for others.

Next step is to take a breathe and forgive yourself and forgive others for the pain you have caused yourself and those you have cared about in the past. We are all human ( at least I hope so) having a human experience, learning and growing through the choices we make. Nothing is broken that can't be fixed so relax.
Stop asking yourself "what have I done to deserve this" We all get exactly what we need in any given moment to reveal the parts of ourselves we do not love. You have been you and you is perfect and the person in front of you is doing exactly what they are meant to be doing by being themselves. The alchemy your energies create together is as unique as the reasons why you have been brought together in the first place. You deserve everything you are presented with. If you don't like the mirror placed in front of you, all you can do is make a choice to change it and do something different. Well that was a bit of a mouthful - still with me?? This is where taking personal responsibility comes in.

"Put the stick down" this is not another opportunity for you to beat yourself up about what a loser you are etc etc etc. Life is about learning and growing. Every moment is a gift to learn to love yourself. Just bring your awareness to the present moment and take a breath. It's alright. You can move on from lessons when you accept them as such - just lessons.

See your pattern clearly. Begin to recognize the warning signs of stepping into old territory and realize your pattern sometimes can be dressed in some extremely alluring packages. It is easy in the beginning to lie to yourself and make excuses for someone you have the major hots for. It is much harder in the end when the cold hard facts are written on the wall.

Learn to be happy alone. Easier said than done. Date yourself for a change. Until you truly find peace and happiness inside yourself, you will never be able to share it with another. This was always the part I hated the most. I used to say "of course I love myself" what are you on about??? Loving yourself is not as easy as it sounds and of course it is ridiculously easy - life's paradox. We all have parts of ourselves that we have shut down from, it is these parts that keep us from feeling whole and complete and often what compels us into relationship in the first place. This is the work we are all here to do and granted, it is not easy sometimes.

Every moment is a new moment to be in your heart. That simple.

Everyone struggles with their inherent journey into themselves. Relationships magnify both our strengths and our weaknesses. Take them for the learning device they are and relax. You are always exactly where you need to be in any given moment. Understandable you may not to stay there for long no revisit it ever again but you are where you are meant to be in this moment. If you need help breaking free of an unhealthy relationship pattern and are ready to take responsibility for what you are attracting into your life, consider working with a Dating and Relationship Coach such as myself and see where you heart can lead you.

Author's Bio: 

Nicole Chelsea Baikie - Transformational Love Coach for Singles and Couples - is a very sensitive person, who depends on her feelings and intuition to get around in life, Nicole really does care about the hurts that other beings suffer. She has an instinctive ability to soothe those hurts, homing in on the source of the pain. It is not by accident that she has chosen to find a role in the world as a spirit- healer and nurturer in which she can address the hurts and lack of love in the lives of others. She is a natural teacher, able to convey not only information to people, but also enthusiasm for that information. With an uncanny ability to see what others miss, to sense the subtle ‘lies agreed upon”, her task is not so much to answer questions as to raise them. Where there are lies agreed upon, she has the skills and bears the burden of the truth-sayer. The hidden recesses of the mind are to Nicole no secret. She values change and transformation and has an almost reckless faith in the life process. A “free spirit” with a direct drive to get to the heart of any matter, Nicole is someone who truly lives “out loud”. A service career is a perfect choice for her for she wants very much to be of use. She has a fantastic ability to take it all in and still look for more. Willing and able to respond to almost any emergency, she is extremely responsible and always ready. She has always been one to take “the road less travelled”, her approach to any problem is always original. She serves as an excellent guide to the nether worlds of the mind and the psyche with a natural ability to grasp the unity behind what appears separate. Nicole loves to find new ways to relate, very tolerant and accepting of differences, she has good insights into all social values. She loves to facilitate compromise and otherwise show her breadth of scope –like a coat of many colors. A naturally giving person and a born psychologist, she finds herself by counseling and caring for the needs of others.

When Nicole is not coaching, she would most likely be found…

Hanging with her beautiful daughter Ebony
Spending special times with her family
Enjoying her wide array of friends
Practicing yoga
Riding her bike
Walking on the beach