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We often talk about what makes us a great catch, what we won’t accept from others or the hardest part about dating certain types of people. But rarely do we exercise self-awareness to be able to acknowledge the hardest part of dating us. I asked a few men this question to see what they would reveal and their transparency spoke volumes.

I’m happiest when single, but I don’t like to be alone.”  – Dwight, 26, Software Engineer, California

In this situation, he doesn’t necessarily want to be in a relationship. It’s a function to avoid loneliness. One of the hardest things about being in a relationship is learning to accept new things. It’s really hard to stay in a relationship if you’re convinced that things are better when you’re single. He’d have to learn to be happy in a relationship and learn that it’s a different experience.

“I’m still attracted to other women.” – Daniel, 36, Mechanic, Kansas

This is a common problem for a lot of men that we delay or let it complicate our relationships. The problem is not that we’re still attracted to other women. There will always be someone younger, smarter or prettier to pursue. The real problem is when we still want to be with other women. What most men don’t realize is that they’ll probably always still be attracted other women. But the million dollar question, on some grown man sh*t, is this: it worth losing what you already have? Just because another woman is more attractive or physically appealing at the moment doesn’t mean anything is wrong with our girl. The key is knowing how to look but not stare, and to not act on what you’re seeing just because you’re attracted.

“I’m at my most focused and productive when I’m single, so occasionally I need space.” – Kenol, 30, Researcher, Delaware

As a super busy person, I totally get this. Being in a relationship is work and it’s something extra on your plate. When in a relationship– especially as a busy or hardworking person– you have to have boundaries, focus and balance because it’s very easy to get distracted in a relationship. You just have to learn a new routine that works for you and your partner.

“I get bored easily.” – Raymond, 29, Architect, New Jersey

This is probably someone that really likes casually dating, and if you really like casually dating, it’s hard to subscribe to monogamy. The other alternative to this would be to date someone who’s full of life, spontaneous and loves to have fun.

So what’s the hardest part of staying in a relationship with you? It’s an important question we need to start asking ourselves so that we can make ourselves the best partner we can be. It’s the ultimate in self–awareness and accountability. It’s something we need to know because the common denominator of all our failed relationships is us. It’s something we need to start discussing with our partners to see if they agree; we need to hear what they say so that we know where and how to improve. It’s strange that we have a commonly accepted phase of relationships called “talking” but no one likes to actually do it or ask the necessary questions of people we’re dating or interested in. We kind of just find out the red flags and things we didn’t sign up for as we go. It’s important to learn early what we’re willing to put up with and not, and what we’re willing to help someone work through. It’s easy to talk about other people’s faults and what your deal breakers are, but do you acknowledge what makes it hard to date you?

Written By: Johnny Brownlee II  

Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath

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