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The Benefit of the Doubt

Benefit of the doubt, second chances, being understanding, making allowances — they sound like such wonderful, caring things. In truth they're toxic phrases designed to prevent you from dating someone who's actually worthwhile.

Like "potential," all of these sound positive. If you're dating someone who's really cool except (he's unemployed, he lives with him parents, he has kids, etc.), but you're giving the "benefit of the doubt" then you are dating someone who you need to make excuses for. You're dating someone who you don't really respect. You're preventing yourself from finding someone who is honestly worthwhile.

And most importantly, you're hurting yourself in a number of ways:

  1. You're giving up self-respect. You can't date someone you don't respect without losing respect for yourself.

  2. You're programming yourself to look for a particular "type" and to have specific expectations of what is involved in a relationship. Or in your next relationship you'll look for the exact opposite which will probably be just as bad. ("Hmm, my last boyfriend was unemployed, hey! This guy's a workaholic! Great!")

If you're busy dating Mr. BOTD (and dealing with his issues), then you're not spending that time finding Mr. Right.

Along these lines is the idea that many (extremely naive) women have of dating a man because they can "change him." If you're going to date someone and attempt to change them it's much more likely that any change will be for the worst as a reaction to your behavior.

Just a thought.

Good Luck!!!

- "Mr. Nice Guy"