THE ART OF LOVEToday’s Topic: The Minefield Theory

I’ve come up with a theory that I like to call "The Minefield Theory." I believe dating is like walking across a minefield. Here’s why:

The goal of crossing a minefield is to get to the other side with as few scars as possible.

The goal of dating is to get to the other side (committed relationship) with as few scars (emotional and physical) as possible.

Minefields are strewn with mines (literally) that aren’t visible.

Dating is strewn with mines (figuratively) that are visible. These are known as red flags.

It’s my job to point out the red flags. It’s your decision whether you will walk toward the red flag (mine) and thus be scarred in some way (abused, neglected, cheated on, unappreciated) or away from the red flag. How intact or damaged you are when you arrive at your goal will determine what type of partner you will have. As I’ve stated before, we can only attract and be attracted to someone at our level.

OK, now that I’ve given you some food for thought, here are some red flags to look out for when you first become attracted to someone:

CELL PHONE USE: There’s a new disease in town – it’s called cell phoneitis. People afflicted with this cannot tear themselves away from their cell phones. They’ll accept a call 24/7. Being out with someone like this can be annoying; it’s almost like you’re not even there. If you start dating someone and find out that they have this disease, you can point out your displeasure one time only. If they persist, forget them. It’s rude and disrespectful behavior on their part, and we don’t tolerate that, now do we?

DRIVING BEHAVIOR: If you want to know what someone is really like, be a passenger in a car with them. To quote an online traffic school:

The stronger the self-image that drivers have, the less threatened they will be by what happens around them. Identifying with one’s vehicle is a symptom of a weak ego. Insecure people imagine everything that happens on the road is a direct threat to them personally. Someone cuts them off, and they must retaliate: "Who do those people think they are to cut me off?" The irrational thoughts of insecure people can keep them constantly upset.

Gee, this sounds just like the type of person I’d like to date. Not!

ME! ME! ME!: I once met a guy that had a one track mind. That is, he was the only thing on his mind and he went on and on about all his accomplishments. I thought it was finally turning around when he said, "Enough about me, tell me about yourself." Before I could get a word out, he was back to his favorite subject! Yup, himself. It was a total turnoff. I think guys are guiltier of this than girls (sorry). Guys know that some women will be impressed by what they’ve done, who they know, etc. They go on and on thinking that they’re getting somewhere (closer to the bedroom?). Smart women don’t fall for this, we want to engage in a conversation. If we want to see a one man play, we’ll go to the theatre!

BOO-HOO-HOO: Don’t you just love hanging out with someone who is always complaining? Ah yes, the joys of seeing the glass as half empty. There’s always something wrong and there’s always someone who has done them wrong. Arrive at their pity party with some cheese for their whine if you plan to stick around. If not, run!

SHE’S A PSYCHO / HE’S A JERK: If you believe in the law of attraction (we attract and are attracted to that which we are), and the person you start to date says their ex was a psycho or a jerk, what does that make them? You guessed it. Does that mean you too are a psycho or a jerk? Only if you choose to stick around. Just remember, one day you may be the psycho or the jerk they’ll be complaining about to someone else.

There are two things that separate me from almost everyone reading this: awareness and attitude. I’m aware of the red flags and I have the attitude that I will not stick around once I see them. Now that your awareness has been raised, what will your attitude be?

Q & A

Dear Lucia,

After a year of not talking, should I try to establish contact with an ex? When we split up, I was irrational at the time and now I understand why she did it. Should I write her and tell her that she was right or leave it alone?

—Josh S.

Dear Josh,

If you have truly come to understand not only why she left, but also why you behaved that way and why you don’t want to behave that way in the future, then, yes, contact your ex. Tell her she was right, how you’ve changed and why.

Suggest a casual meeting. Tell her if you don’t hear back from her, you’ll assume she’s not interested, will respect her decision and won’t contact her again. My bet is that she’ll write back! Good luck.

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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