Even if you’ve never fallen for a sexy priest before, it’s hard not to relate to Phoebe Waller–Bridge’s character in the BBC hit series Fleabag. The titular Fleabag constantly falls for the wrong type of person (such as, say, someone who has taken a vow of celibacy), and yet she can’t seem to break the pattern. Her self-destructive dating cycle has even inspired a new dating trend, fleabagging, which happens when someone makes the same mistakes in their love life again and again without learning their lesson. The worst part: While some dating trends are done to you, fleabagging is something you do to yourself.
Unfortunately, it’s far easier to fleabag yourself than it is to change your ways. As the hot priest so eloquently said, "It takes strength to know what’s right," because "love isn’t something that weak people do." If you’re afraid of taking risks and potentially getting hurt, you could be fleabagging yourself and not even realize it. After all, dating someone who’s wrong for you is pretty low-risk, since you know from the start that things probably won’t work out (even if you don’t admit it). It takes strength, but ultimately, there is a way you can resist this dating dilemma.
If you suspect you may be fleabagging yourself, it’s high time to identify what’s been missing from your past relationships. You may think you know your "type," but it’s possible that the type of person you usually pursue is totally wrong for you. As dating coach Frank Kermit previously explained to Elite Daily, "Sometimes, the type of person we are attracted to is the kind of person that we can function well in a relationship with. But other times, the very type of person we are most attracted to is exactly the type of person that is simply incompatible as a long-term partner." If dating the same type of person is giving you the same disappointing results, then you probably want to reevaluate your type.
And here’s the best way to do that: go against your instincts. The next time you find yourself drawn to your type, try to remember why things didn’t pan out with that same type of person last time, or the time before that. Once you start to recognize patterns, it’s easier to break them. "The number-one mistake people make when dating is continuing to go after their so-called ‘type,’" relationship coach and psychic medium Cindi Sansone-Braff previously told Bustle. "Try entertaining the thought of dating a person who isn’t your type, per se, but who actually seems like an interesting, kind, fun, successful human being." Dating someone who isn’t your usual cup of tea might actually be the best thing you can do for yourself.
Fleabag may be hilarious, but fleabagging yourself is just straight-up sad. Keep an open mind to the insight you might gain by dating a person who doesn’t fit your usual type. Even if it doesn’t turn into a relationship, it might just bring you one step closer to figuring out what you actually want in a relationship. Sexy priests may be your thing, but please do yourself a favor and try diving into a new dating pool.
Frank Kermit, dating coach
Cindi Sansone-Braff, relationship coach and psychic medium
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