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The Always Something Better Syndrome (ASBS): What You Must Know

Chinyere Nkem Illo

Sept. 11, 2020

Perfect fun date. Intense chemistry.
You both feel strongly for each other. Both of you feel relaxed in each other’s company. Compatibility seems perfect, which you will know better once you meet each other more often—and now looking forward to the next meeting.
But what happens instead? One person suddenly pulls away without any warning. Does it sound familiar to you?
Well, that can happen for several reasons. Many are overlapped and inter-related.
For example, some of the reasons, among others may be:
The person who pulled away is not ready for a long-term relationship yet That person is a player That person has a fear of commitment Specifically, in men’s cases, they are born hunters (chasers, in the modern world). Getting their prize is a big boost to their ego That person has ASBS (Always Something Better Syndrome). In other words, they always feel there may be someone better out there than you and are always looking for someone better than you. They keep one foot inside the door just in case.
I will address ASBS(Always Something Better Syndrome) here in this article.
If you are the one with Always Something Better Syndrome:
What causes Always Something Better Syndrome?
Social Media
When you are constantly looking at the images of happy, love -smitten couples, their adventures, their vacations, and all of those well-curated photos, it will make you think and compare yours with others .
In this day and age, with numerous online dating sites, it is unsurprising for people to have Always Something Better Syndrome.
Technology gives people a lot of options and possibilities to find someone better, which naturally can get tempting. There is always a curiosity about a new person, a new experience. And it adds to the confusion.
Yes, there will always be someone “Better,” someone taller, someone more talented, someone more powerful, someone fitter, someone more beautiful, someone with more similar interests, someone smarter, someone wealthier, someone sexier, etc.
It is all relative to what you already have and what you can live with.
Fear of getting hurt again.
If your past experiences keep surfacing in your head, you cannot move on even though you feel you have. It stops you from making decisions.
Now you tell me, is that working for you?
If not, then you need to do something.
Because this fear leads to fear of commitment, let us say you meet someone close to everything you have ever wanted in a relationship , and who also wants you.
Feels good, right? What happens then? Why do you leave?
Your old experiences of feeling trapped re-emerge. You start to doubt and lose confidence in yourself, and all kinds of “What ifs” start playing in your head.
How to get out of the Always Something Better Syndrome?
Do you feel, “I keep looking for something more?” Here are a few tips to help you:
Learn from previous relationships
Learn from past mistakes and move on. Do not fall into scorekeeping , trying to determine who was at fault. Instead, learn what each of you could have done better.
Believe that relationships are not limited
When people are aware that long-term relationships/marriage get into a rut at some point, they make sure to add playfulness. They constantly introduce new things in their lives to keep it exciting and refreshed in addition to pursuing their own interests on separate occasions.
They commit to themselves that they can and will resolve any conflict they face as a team and stay positive.
Make realistic expectations
You can make a list of traits that you liked in your previous relationships and what traits made you leave.
Then honestly assess what you are looking for that is different from what you might have in the past?
Acknowledge and accept your own limitations and then see where you stand now. You need to be true to yourself and true to the other person also. If you don’t want to get into the long-term, then let the other person know. As long as the other person is fine with how you feel, it’s all good.
Overcome your fears
Remember, we are resilient. Open yourself to love. Let yourself feel the feeling.
Throw away your defenses. They are not constructive all the time.
Be Vulnerable
According to Dr. Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist,
“The dating world accepts and even promotes a culture of game-playing. Don’t call her for at least three days. Don’t say ‘I love you’ first. Don’t tell him how you feel. Don’t let her see how much you like her.”
Being vulnerable is a mark of strength, not weakness.
In the video below, David Goggins shares how breaking oneself down to an absolute rock bottom and telling people who you are with character flaws lets you have the power of acceptance. Listen further below:
With so many potential choices all around you, when do you feel that you have tried and sampled enough?
To overcome the Always Something Better Syndrome, be clear about your needs, wants, and deal-breakers . It makes it easier to choose and stick to your choice.
When you meet someone for the first or second time, give it a focus and chance unless it is clearly evident that this one is not for you if it involves your deal breakers. It is then very much understandable.
But other than that, every relationship will have some challenges. It will need work from both of you and how you navigate through all the difficulties together as a team and learn and grow from it.
Believe in true everlasting love
When we meet someone new, we need to make an extra effort with communication , open honesty to build trust and self-reflection to better ourselves. Relationships between two people are meant to be a beautiful thing and are meant to last for a long time, and it does.
Aim for Excellence, not Perfection
Perfectionism brings fear of failure.
Another “what if” in your head. Whereas excellence brings enthusiasm, removes the fear that makes you do your best. It gives you more confidence and self-esteem. It lets you be vulnerable and lets you share your feelings with the other person.
If you are always busy looking at other potentials out there and not investing your effort in your current relationship, ignoring what wonderful things you already have, it is going to be an endless process.
“We all question our choices— that is human— but questioning them over and over, and thinking about what else we could have, that’s what we should be concerned about,” says Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show.
Dating someone with Always Something Better Syndrome
If you have dated or dating someone always looking for the next best thing, look for some of these signs:
If they are not ready to commit and say, “Let’s see where it leads to.” That statement is something to watch out for. If they are playing a field (this is more relevant to men according to the statistics). If they are only having superficial conversations instead of in-depth and meaningful talks. Like I mentioned above, men like to chase. If you fall for him too quickly, they lose interest, and they have all the reasons in the world that you two do not fit together.
Yes, correct, you two do not belong together, but you do the same if they pull away. Focus on yourself and your personal growth because they are undoubtedly looking for something better, and you must not linger in uncertainty.
Learn from the experience and move forward. Always remember, YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE VALUABLE. TRUST THE PROCESS.
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