A ‘manual’ for dating (i.e. when I’m deciding about a relationship)?

Dear Brooke,
I recently listened to podcast #11 “The Manual” and really appreciated it particularly for the relationships that are already in our lives, such as a marriage or family members or friends.

But I keep thinking about it and wondering how to live my live without a manual for the relationships that I haven’t yet decided on – especially in regard to dating. There is a man in my life who I am quite attached to and generally adore, but our relationship has some fundamental problems for me, such as he has cheated, is often emotionally unavailable, he does not want to commit to me, etc. (but I keep going back to him). Sometimes I think that I am able to stay in it because when I feel pain about it or a bad gut feeling, I will think that ‘he just is who he is and I am who I am,’ and when it works for us it does and when it doesn’t. I just need to take care of myself and my own thoughts. And then I feel better and stay in it. So I seem to rationalize it, but then overall I don’t think I feel better!

I had been feeling uneasy about the relationship, but felt some peace about it when I listened to Podcast #11, which seems good, but then I think I’m letting the idea of ‘no manual’ justify a relationship that holds me back and isn’t not a good value match.

How do I reconcile that balance of ‘no manual for others’ while still holding to my own values and desires – and letting go of this bad-gut-feeling relationship that I’m super attached to, and finding someone who truly loves me back and can be a true partner in my life?

Thank you!!! xo