How women sabotage potential relationships

Both parties in a budding relationship can sabotage it without knowing it. Whether it’s myriad small things or one deal breaker, these acts can make the other disengage and we may not even know what happened.

A pal shared an example of how a woman with whom he was beginning to have a relationship sabotaged his connection to her.

He said:

Seven years ago, I became friends with a woman at work who told me of her failed marriage. She’d followed a man overseas, then after he went on a 3-month assignment abroad without her, said he wanted a divorce.

Returning to the states, she soon hooked up with a guy, followed him to another state, and gave up her dreams for him. She stayed in this emotionally abuse relationship for 5 years with man with a mental disorder and drug problem.

Throughout this we emailed sporadically. After the dysfunctional relationship ended, I told her I’d been attracted to her for a while. She said she could fall for me — I was everything she wanted. It scared her.

She sabotaged the budding potentially great relationship at least five times:

  1. After canceling twice, she made a plan to came to my state to see me. She cancelled again. Flakiness — strike one.
  2. She told me, “You probably think I’m a bad person and a bad friend for cancelling.” Strike 2: Too self-deprecating showing low self-esteem and projecting what she thinks I think.
  3. She visited the next month saying she would stay with relatives. She ends up spending the night with me but we don’t have sex. Upon returning home, she texts and calls saying “I miss you so much.” We have a discussion which turns into a disagreement. She later says it was her fault for projecting her anxieties on me. Strike 3: A bit too psychoanalyzing.
  4. Before departing for a vacation, she said she wanted to see me so books the departure and return from my airport. She’ll see me on the way out and on the way back. Three days before her departure we have another discussion about the future. She says her life is too busy and concludes we are not compatible. She decides it’s better she not see me before and after her trip. She decided to come to see me for a few hours before her flight. I took her to the airport. When she returned, I picked her up and she spent the night with me. Strike 4: She can’t decide what she wants and waffles.
  5. After returning home, she said she was too busy to see me for the next month. She thinks we should take it more slowly but she doesn’t think it’s possible for me to do so. Strike 5: She’s projecting something without checking it out with me, as that was not how I felt.

There were other ways she sabotaged the relationship before it got very far. I quickly saw that she had too many issues that negated my attraction to her, so I stopped contacting her.

We could argue that some of what he counted as sabotage wouldn’t be for us. But the point is they appeared that way to him. We could be amazed he hung in as long as he did, but I’ve put up with more than five acts that sabotaged a relationship and still kept seeing the guy. The important point is that we can be doing things that are sabotaging our own relationships and have no idea we’re doing it. So we can’t stop it in future relationships.

Since it is unlikely a man will articulate our acts that undermine the relationship, we can only learn what our man considers relationship spoilers. So ask the man you’re dating what past women have done that turned him off. Then see if you do any of those are behaviors.


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7 responses to “How women sabotage potential relationships”

  1. Elena Avatar

    Yes, that woman was/is a flake but the guy has serious issues too. What on earth attracted him to this woman in the first place? Purely her physical looks? It’s clear he knew little about this woman and her way of being during the 7 years that he pined away for her. The fact that he didn’t think anything was odd about a woman who was constantly packing up her life to move across country or across oceans to follow a man, should’ve been his first signal that something wasn’t right.

    I’d wager a guess that this guy, under the surface, also waffles and is unclear about what it is that he wants as well and he merely attracted a woman who was a more outwardly obvious manifestation of his own ambiguity about being in a committed relationship.

    Good luck to them both!

  2. nysharon Avatar

    She must have been a beautiful super model for him to put up with that. Bare facts: She was using him as a “fallback guy”, she is looking for something better and wants him on hold “take things slow”, till she figures it out. If you truly want to evaluate this one, she is probably only attracted to bad boys and that is why she is unsure of this guy. Please tell him to stay away DG. This is what guys refer to in their profiles as DRAMA.

  3. Debsylee Avatar

    It’s no secret that we analyse far more than men do, but in my experience when a guy is into you he accepts that; I joke about it with my man, just as we laugh at his “going silent” moments.
    Who is perfect one hundred percent of the time? If you have had several realtionships that have failed, you are going to be wary, dubious and look at things more sceptically. My take here is that both of these guys were equally wary, why else would he be making a list of her “mistakes”?
    Sure, she sounds a little flaky, but what was he doing, if anything, to reassure her and perhaps give her the validation she was looking for?
    We can all learn from others mistakes, but really I don’t think we need another man telling us where we are going wrong; deep down, don’t we already know the answer to that?

  4. nutmeg Avatar

    Interesting… I’m going through this at this very moment. My dilemma is that a man I’ve dated twice, acted too sexually forward (on second date) without my giving the green light and I’m not sure if I should give him a second chance. He immediately realized his error, apologized,since has apologized again and asked if I would continue to date him ,as he enjoyed our time together and really likes me. My concern is do I continue to date him knowing he might always do what he wants without regard to my needs. I believe he sabatoged the beginning. I’m glad to hear that you have continued to date men who sabatoged the relationship at the beginning. I was afraid I’d be an idiot for giving him a second chance. I do like him, he had been a gentleman up to that point and I was looking forward to spending more time with him. I talked to him about it & told him to give me a few days to think about it, but that for now my answer would be ‘no I don’t want to see you’.
    Your friend with the flaky woman is admireable. He gave her a few chances but decided to call it quits after a consistent pattern of sabotage on her part & inconsistencies. I think we should afford ourselves the oppportunity to see where things will lead with someone. Whether or not we are initailly attracted to their looks. He gave her the benefit of grace, she acted badly. I think she is someone that needds to work on herself first before putting herself out in the dating scene. Anyone that gives up her dreams, not once but twice, for a man has to have some unresolved issues.
    The question is how many chances do you give someone, how much grace should we afford them?

  5. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Nutmeg: Excellent question! If you really like the guy give him another chance but be adamant if he tries to cross your stated boundaries and end it then. No more grace at this point. You could say, “I’d be willing to get together again, but I’m not willing to French kiss or (fill in the blank). We barely know each other and I feel it’s too early. If you can honor that, great. If not, we should not meet.”

    I hate to admit this, but when I’ve kept seeing a man who crossed my stated boundaries, it has never been good. He then ignored all my stated boundaries, even if I protested. I understand he could think you sent mixed messages if you stated a boundary then ignored it. So even if you’ve verbalized a boundary but then you change your mind, he’s confused and going to believe the messages he wants to believe. So you have to look at your part in the issue.

  6. The Master Avatar
    The Master

    Wow, this exact thing happened to me. I figured she was screwed up in the head, but now I KNOW for certain.

    She is history.

  7. Starry182006 Avatar

    Dear nutmeg,

    My last two dates were total disasters. The guys grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I used all my strength to keep them at arm’s length. Guys think because they’re in the mood or have bought your dinner, they get to decide ‘dessert.’

    When I want to ‘indulge’ I am upfront and direct. It has to be someone really special who first seduces my brain. I’m not interested in anyone who takes advantage with his strength.
    If he’s ‘right’ for you, he’ll respect your feelings.