Has Enabling Ruined Your Dating Life?


We’ve always been taught to “treat others as we’d like to be treated” … but is that hurting, and not helping us, especially in our dating life? Of course we have to be good and kind people but to what extent? We know that what we allow will continue, but many continue to enable bad behavior in dating, and this bad behavior seems to have given many singles a sense of entitlement. It’s a vicious cycle, but why does it happen? Where is it coming from? You deserve the very best in love and life … you deserve to be happy. But, has enabling ruined YOUR dating life? Sometimes we need a little adjusting to get us back on track and I’m here to help!

Has Enabling Ruined Your Dating Life?

So what does enabling in dating actually mean? It means encouraging and accepting bad behavior by others towards you. This includes making excuses for someone, believing them time and again when it’s clear they’re lying, as well as hiding someone’s bad behavior from your friends and family. But why do we do it? There are many reasons such as our fear of being alone or perhaps misguided affection or maybe because we think there aren’t any better options.

Enabling is a real problem in the modern dating world. Because dating has become increasingly more challenging,  many are settling for bad behavior and enabling it further. In turn, the people they date are getting a sense of entitlement because they know they can get what they want even if they behave badly because, well, they always find someone who will give it to them and so the cycle continues. Sound familiar?

Everyone is responsible for their own actions, yes, they will push whatever boundaries they can to see what they can get away with and many of you are letting them. As a result of this enabling / entitlement cycle, we have a great number of singles…

  • with dating attention deficit disorders who can’t stay in one spot and commit,
  • who are serial daters and time wasters,
  • who have unrealistically high dating expectations,
  • who have become narcissistic and lead with their ego,
  • who feel entitled to sex with anyone they want (even without consent),
  • who use others physically, financially and drain them emotionally, and
  • who lead others on by telling them what they want to hear.

So how do you stop this enabling / entitlement in your dating life? Read on…

Are You Enabling in Your Dating Life?

Ask yourself, do you:

  • make excuses for others?
  • ignore/turn a blind eye to bad behavior?
  • feel uncomfortable expressing how you’re feeling and then resent/blame the other person?
  • let others use you?
  • let others emotionally, verbally or physically abuse you?
  • give people opportunities and opening doors for them to treat you badly?
  • have sex with someone because you feel that’s the only way they will date you or stay with you?
  • end up in unsafe situations that make you uncomfortable just to make someone else happy?
  • always give of yourself without getting anything in return?
  • support someone emotionally or financially at your own risk or detriment?
  • turn your back on your friends, family, values or morals for someone?

We all can say yes to at least one of these. I was guilty of enabling some of those I dated and ended up with at least one long-term “non-relationship” as a result. We joke that “it’s complicated” and continue to enable and become the author of our own dating misery. In a crazy way enabling made me feel like I had things under control and I created an imaginary happy place for myself, but really I was being controlled and, dare I say, abused, and it needed to stop. So I stopped. Many of my readers, both women, and men, who contact me daily are right in the middle of this same vicious cycle as well.

Sometimes we have to sit down and think about our actions and their consequences. That is what I did and difficult as it was, I let go of all my unhealthy attachments and became more confident in my self-worth. I also challenge my readers and clients to do the same. Ask yourself WHY you allow people to treat you less than with basic respect.

My result when I let go? I found and attracted the love I’ve always wanted and now I’m living my happily ever after. When I was enabling, I was putting out the wrong message to the universe and was getting all the garbage and the more I accepted it, the more I got! It was also true of my friendships. It was time to clean house. So I did.

How To Stop Enabling in Your Dating Life

Like with everything else, the first step is recognizing and admitting your enabling behavior, and, then making a conscious decision to stop enabling. Take baby steps because it’s not going to be easy, it’s especially hard if you’re emotionally attached, so forgive yourself if you slip up, just pick yourself up and keep trying. The important thing is to keep trying until you succeed.

This means you stop making excuses for someone, you also need to express yourself clearly with others (especially when it comes to consent), you need to think of your well-being and safety (mentally, emotionally and physically) above all things and don’t let others make you feel like you have to be a certain way so that they will be with you.

Singles (and people in general) will continue to behave badly as long as we allow them to. Do yourself and other singles like you a favor and put a stop to this bad behavior from people you meet.

Let them realize there are consequences for their actions:

  • that if they ghost you and zombie back you won’t respond,
  • that if you want a relationship and they continue to call you for sex in the middle of the night you won’t answer,
  • that if they only seem to want to chat but never meet you in person don’t continue chatting yourself into a textationship,
  • that if they always cancel dates or show up very late you don’t keep forgiving them,
  • that if they seem to be hiding your relationship from other people you question it,
  • that if you feel bad for saying no – don’t,
  • that if something feels off you listen to your gut.

Even if your intentions come from a good place, people will treat you how you let them treat you, so stop letting enabling ruin your dating life. Detach from unhealthy emotional attachments when dating, let dating processes take their course by not being overly eager or anxious to seal the deal with someone you like and open yourself up to more positive connections. The result? A healthier, happier, dating life.

READERS: Have you ever enabled or been enabled in your dating life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

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  1. I admit I was an enabler and allowed men to abuse me emotionally when I was younger. Even now, I sometimes give someone an excuse sometimes, for example a friend has a drinking problem and I used to make excuses. Now though I’ve gotten to the point where I refuse to waste time with these men.

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