Email Shares Did you ever make a foolish mistake and screw up an otherwise good connection with someone you were attracted to? Maybe you made the mistake during your approach. You said or did the wrong thing at the wrong time and killed your chances.
Or perhaps it happened during a date. Everything was going okay up to a certain point, and then you hit a snag, and you could just tell that you made the wrong decision. Or did it happen later? Maybe things were going well for a while. Then you made that one fatal error — that moment of poor judgment — and the connection died then and there, never to recover. And of course what happens afterwards? You replay the situation in your mind again and again.
You fantasize about a different outcome. You beat yourself up for that one stupid mistake. Even if you had managed to avoid that one mistake, another equally fatal one may very well have occurred later — and if not that one, then some other one. Perhaps the mistake was that you walked into a minefield to begin with, and you were unlikely to create a strong connection no matter what you did. You were doomed at hello. I can often recall the exact moment that happened, something she or I said or did that killed it.
Initially there can be some regret about that. If only that one mistake had been avoided, then everything might have been golden. But after some time passes and I look back on those connections more objectively, I can see the minefields that I initially overlooked. It was clear that in each of those situations, the compatibility was weak from the start.
Even if we had avoided all the mines, those connections were unlikely to ever flourish. Sometimes our lifestyles were incompatible. Other times there was a major difference in values. That one exploding mine was a gift. It saved us both from going any further down the wrong path. Fault Tolerance In my experience, connections that have the potential to become very strong tend to be fault tolerant from the beginning.
If the compatibility is high, then the minefield is largely absent. When I look back on how Rachelle and I first connected, we were so compatible that I think it would have been hard for either of us to screw things up when we first got together. I could have said or done the stupidest things, and she would have forgiven me, or she would have pointed out that I was being a dork, or she would have played back at me.
And in fact, if I look back, I can see that this is exactly what happened. We each made many mistakes that would have killed less compatible connections, but for us those missteps made no difference. Without the need to be vigilant about avoiding mines, we can both be fully ourselves. But one of those same mistakes would instantly annihilate a low-compatibility connection. This saves me a lot of time. One good connection of that type is easily worth more than a hundred low quality ones.
Many are currently stuck in a relationship with a partial match, which is a huge repellant for an investment worthy connection that comes along. Instead of trying to chase someone and build a connection, I focus instead on filtering for compatibility. But if I step on a mine and that scares the other person off, then I feel confident that I just saved us both some needless disappointment down the road.
Stepping on a mine means testing the strength of your compatibility, especially when it comes to lifestyle and values. To give you a better idea, here are some of the mines I often check for: Is she the jealous type? How does she feel about non-exclusivity and open relationships? Could she handle connecting with an unrepentant sinner? Does she like to explore, travel, and try new things? Does she like to grow? Or is she stubborn and inflexible?
Is she caring and compassionate? Or does she boast about her cruel and vengeful side? Is she comfortable with lots of touch and affection?
Or does she have issues with physical intimacy? Does she enjoy light-hearted teasing? Can she have fun? Is she awake and self-aware? Is she interesting to talk to?
Or does she act like a mindless NPC? Can she play along when I want to lead? Or does she always need to be in control? Does she generally like herself? Or is she wallowing in low self-esteem? Is she ready and able to go deeper?
Or will she bolt as soon as an unresolved trauma gets triggered? Minefields in Business You may find it interesting that this is the same approach that many successful entrepreneurs recommend in business. They say to fail early, fail often, and fail faster.
Then put more time, energy, and resources into your most investment worthy ideas. I think it makes sense to do the same with relationships.
Being clingy with an incompatible match is very much like clinging to a bad business idea. A bad business idea comes with its own minefield. Yes, you can still make that kind of idea work, but it will take constant vigilance to do so.
I prefer a more fault tolerant business model. I like that blogging is a very fault tolerant medium. I can write whatever I feel inspired to write.
I can cover a wide variety of topics. I can take time off whenever I want. I can change up the income streams now and then. And it still works. This makes the business pleasant to run. I can run it largely by being myself. Who wants to run a business where one honest mistake will kill it? Who wants to be in a relationship under those conditions? It may actually open the door to greater intimacy.
How this plays out depends on how you both deal with the mine, and this depends on how investment worthy the connection is for each of you. Some people actually pride themselves on the strength of their minefields. They may even show off just how many mines they have. This repels most connections, but it also ensures that if someone does connect with them, that person is likely to be able to handle that particular minefield. Also, what looks like a minefield for one person may not seem very dangerous for another person.
I usually appreciate it when someone exposes their potential minefield upfront. It makes it easier to see if those mines might be an issue for me, and it saves me from stepping on one by accident later.
By sharing this upfront, she can save herself a lot of time by not having to invest time and energy in incompatible connections, and she can better filter for compatible connections. Some mines invite the opportunity for healing. This is especially true of mines that are rooted in fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, or past trauma.
When you see such a mine, you could choose not to deal with it. Or, if the other person seems willing, you could do some healing work together. I encounter these situations semi-regularly. Usually my willingness depends on how ready the other person is to progress.
You can beat yourself up for stepping on them. You can become hyper-vigilant at navigating minefields. You can use mines as compatibility filters and preserve your energy for the very best connections. And you can treat some mines as opportunities for healing. Whatever approach you buy into, I hope you enjoy and invest in at least one highly compatible, deeply meaningful, and richly rewarding connection in your life.