Kicking Dating Drama To The CurbHere are 3 ways I refocused on myself and reduced dating drama.

I am with friends one Friday happy hour sharing how uninteresting we feel in our 40s– staying in and watching Scandal rather than going to Rich’s and drinking tequila until clothes fall off.

“I tried to reduce the drama in my life,” I tell them. “And now,” I continue, “I wonder if I’m boring.” We all laugh. But the truth is, it wasn’t that long ago that I would have done anything for boring.

I was living with my girlfriend at the time for about a year and had myself convinced that while our relationship wasn’t perfect, it was worth continuing.  Then out of nowhere, she punched me in the arm. And at that moment it was if all of the years of dating, all my mistakes, all my girlfriends’ mistakes, every bit of drama with every woman I ever cared about came straight up against the realization that I had enough. I made a promise to myself: No more unhealthy relationships. At that moment I knew there had to be a better way.

Months later, after moving out and putting Humpty back together again, I wondered how I could reduce the drama in my life if there was a better way to date. What if I stopped looking for the right girl and tried to be the right girl? The one who didn’t get into relationships so fraught with drama that they ended literally with a punch.


Here I share 3 changes that helped reduce the drama in my life and in dating.

  1. I set better boundaries

A boundary is a mental line that delineates where I end and someone else begins. In dating, it’s the mental line of what I will and won’t tolerate. After a friend betrayed my trust, I realized I had poor boundaries with my friends – I kept dating them! And then I was shocked when my dating relationship didn’t work out and my exes dated my friends! I felt silly when I realized that I was my own problem. The good news – by holding better boundaries myself, I am more likely to draw people in who have good boundaries.

  1. I committed to taking extraordinary care of myself

Having better boundaries freed up time and space for me to focus on my own goals. I promised myself that I would take care of myself in all the ways possible: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial. I started pitching article ideas to local publications, paying off credit card debt, and taking care of a medical condition that was plaguing me for years. Taking good care of ourselves puts us in a position of strength when dating rather than one of desperation. By focusing on self-care, I was more able to be present and responsible in my own life, and be more open to connection.

  1. I began to take responsibility for my part in past relationships

Once I was in the habit of holding my boundaries and focusing my energy on taking care of myself, I was able to reflect on my past relationships with a clearer head.

In our culture, we love to demonize. We love to watch as a celebrity rises to stardom and then falls apart all over her life.  I became aware that in my most destructive relationship, I actually was equally as responsible for the dynamic as my ex. I realized that I was attracted to her because I had this habit of being drawn to people who were only mildly interested in me. The challenge was compelling to me in some way. I had to accept that my draw towards vaguely disinterested girls is my responsibility. Demonizing past girlfriends is a convenient way to ignore our own issues. It takes a far more emotionally savvy person to evaluate past relationships and own up to our part.

In the end, I evolved much of the drama right out of my life. For that, I am grateful. And every once in a while, I find myself spontaneously staying out too late, dancing too long, drinking too much tequila, and smiling at the memory of adventure, sans drama.