A recent story out of caught my eye this week. The author likens dating to dieting, saying her cravings for a candy bar were similar to her attraction to “bad boys” and commitmentphobes—basically running her on the proverbial hamster wheel of yo-yo diets and unhealthy relationships.

This is one metaphor that makes total sense to me. So many of my clients tell me that they want to be in a long, committed relationship, but they have a hard time breaking their usual bad habits such as staying with a person who has the complete opposite values of their own or being with someone who treats them poorly.  What we should be doing when it comes to looking for a healthy, loving relationship, is the same that we should do with our diets: Seek out the organic apple, the healthy salad, the colorful plate of veggies—even though we really want a gooey molten lava chocolate cake.

This metaphor doesn’t mean your next relationship has to be bland or tasteless or boring and unexciting. If you look at your dating career in terms of your diet you can see patterns that become easier to break. The guy who was nice but you weren’t attracted to: brussel sprouts; the hot mechanic with a go-nowhere job: rum raisin Haagen Dazs; the woman who looks great but talks about (and to) her tiny dog way too much: a rare Kobe steak.

Your next potential mate should be somewhere in the middle of what you crave and what is good for you. A person who listens to you, treats you well and that you’re attracted to. If they aren’t healthy for your heart, they aren’t healthy for you. Just like the stuff you eat on a diet.  I hate to compare people to food, but when you scrutinize your relationships like you calorie-check your meals, you just may lose the excess baggage of unhealthy relationship pounds you’ve been looking to shed.

You can read the original story here.

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