Amber Grubenmann

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How to Avoid Regret in Dating

Uncategorized Jan 11, 2024

I’ve noticed that for my clients there are two main causes of regret in dating: not seeing things through, and seeing things through past the point that you saw what you needed to see.

When I talk about seeing things through, I'm mainly referring to checking the five elements of relationship material: friendship connection, physical chemistry, respect, growth mindedness, and similar vision and values.

A lot of times my clients don't want to make a decision about moving forward with their connections because they're afraid they’ll regret their decision.  

We create all of these stories about how we might be letting go of a really amazing person, even though we actually feel like part of the connection isn't there.

Sometimes we make a rash decision in dating by letting go of a connection before we know whether the five elements are failing, passing, or succeeding.

It's not the time to let go of a connection if one element is just passing and you're not quite sure about it yet. Instead, that's the time to think about how you can explore that element a little bit more on your next date and see if it is growing or waning as you move forward.

Let's imagine that you went on a date with someone who is so funny, so intelligent, so wonderful, so kind, so consistent. He has an amazing vision about the future that you really admire. He seems to be growth oriented. You're just not sure if you're attracted to him.

If you ended it right there, you would very likely experience regret and doubt about your decision.

Rather than immediately ending it, you can go on one more date and really tune into how you feel around this person physically.

If you go on one more date with the intention to explore that element and then you notice you just don't feel the attraction, you will have no regret after making your decision to let the connection go.

You’ll know you can't create the relationship that you want with them because that element is missing or failing.

The second way that we create regret in dating is by confidently knowing that an element is not passing and moving forward anyway.

For example, there might be someone who is so funny and so wonderful to hang out with, but the respect element isn't there. They are not investing in the connection in a way that creates a safe space to be vulnerable. They're not doing any of the things that would lead toward a healthy, loving relationship.

You know that they don't fundamentally show up for the connection, but because you are overvaluing some of the other elements, you continue to date this person. It can go on for two weeks, six months, or ten years.

We always end up regretting these connections because we knew that something was missing and we kept going anyway.

One thing that keeps us in this situation is the hope that the element will change.

You might notice an element is passing but not quite where you want it to be, and deciding to see if you can improve it on the next date.

However, it doesn't involve continuing to show up to a connection, date after date, with that element failing.

If you're noticing that an element is at a standstill or becoming worse, that would mean that it's time to let go of the connection.

And again, you won't regret that decision if you can confidently say you did see if there was room for growth and there wasn't.


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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify


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