Breaking Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

Part 1: Secret Single Behaviors by Lisa K. Stephenson

Photo by lascot studio from Pexels

When does one change their Secret "Single" Behavior? Is it when you first meet that man or woman who you instantly feel a connection with? Is it after the third date and you’re headed to home base? Maybe, it is after you’ve decided to take your potential mate to meet the family. When do we as single men and women give up the bad habits that we inadvertently form during our monogamous customary lifestyle?

Many of you may be wondering, what the hell is a secret single behavior. A secret single behavior is not one bad habit that you should kick because you are now looking to entertain the thought of settling down into a partnership, no. Secret single behavior(s) are the behaviors we develop as single men and women when the people we love are not watching and judging us for doing it. Examples of this may include: using the latrine to perform a number two with the bathroom door open, missing a day to shower, spitting into the garbage, residing in an untidy habitat, snorting, obnoxious belching over dinner, loud gossiping telephone conversations at night, temper tantrums and overall bad manners.

I missed a few, please feel free to chime in your thoughts.



Now, these are all behaviors that as a single man or woman we are okay with performing, just not displaying and why is that, that is because there is no one around to judge us within the confinements of our home. But, when do we relinquish these habits for good or at least pretend to not have these bad habits while trying to court/impress the opposite sex? We have all heard the expression, “First impressions last a lifetime.” This still holds true. Are we all just our true selves hiding behind a mask of false interpretations? If so, when is the right time to remove this mask and hope that the person we have fallen madly in love with will not flee in horror? One may argue that delving right into their secret single behavior during the first encounter is the way to go. Why is this? Well, you have nothing to hide or lose at this junction in the relationship and you are saving yourself a lot of time and energy, which may end up costing you, in the long run, should the person opposite to you choose this is something he or she may not be able to handle or even accept.

After the first few dates would we be breaking the unspoken rule of dating “dishonesty” if we kept our bad habits a secret long enough to mislead the minds of our potential love interest? After the third date, you have pretty much disclosed a great deal of information about yourself-one would assume-, but did you happen to mention that you clip your toenails once a week in the center of the bed at night and then simply dust the debris onto the floor once you are done? No, I did not think so. So truthfully you’re still hiding behind that mask of a distorted reality.

I find it easy to develop bad habits, sort of like driving before you take a road test (here you are placed in a position where you will be evaluated, judged) you are taught ten-two steering and of course you follow suit, once your test is passed and you are awarded your license the mask of perfection is removed. Further down the line, you develop a level of comfort and the ten-two slowly becomes a hand on twelve and another hand lounging on the armrest. Point is, we know the right things to do, yet, we do the opposite unless placed in a position where we will be judged or evaluated. Hey, you’re single and flawed and that’s okay! But to be single and flawed with no real motivation to change, now that is where the issues begin to generate. If we are dating and the goal is marriage (i.e. lifelong commitment and of course, love) when is the right time to confess our “single” behaviors, removing our masks of deception? Can we honestly say that all lasting relationships are built on brutal honesty when truthfully we’re all just guests attending a masquerade ball hiding behind an ornate mask waiting for the right time to remove it? I say no, we can’t, I wear my mask very proudly as I am single and deeply flawed, I have my fair share of secret “single” behaviors and the truth is I find it a little easier to reveal them one step at a time. Identifying my issues or differences in nature is the first place to start.

I would like to encourage many other single men and women to do the same. Let’s not overwhelm our prospects or chase them away, let’s make our first impression be the right impression: a piece of my flaw and a plan to change it.

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