What’s up with this idea of losing yourself in a relationship somehow being romantic?
We hear it in song lyrics, see it on television shows, and even read about it in magazines and on dating websites. For some reason, the idea is romanticized, but this really bothers me.
I mean, I understand how it happens… You get so comfortable with another person, feel so safe with them, it can be consuming. I get it.
Sometimes, even, we can become so concerned with the other person that we forget about ourselves. And as a result, we stop voicing our opinions, become excessively agreeable, and ultimately, as a person, we disappear.
But that’s not romantic. That’s lazy.
We have to keep in mind that our partner initially chose us because of who we are, what we bring to the table, and how we add to the relationship/his or her life.
The bottom line is that a relationship takes two people and if we don’t show up, we’re undermining the very purpose of it.
I’ve always been fascinated by the phrase, “You train people how to treat you.” While I understand it’s base concept (people will do to you what you allow), I’ve always wished for someone to delve deeper into this topic and to really hash out the details of it with me.
Today, that’s what I’m going to do for you, after having an epiphany about the subject last night while playing with my dog. (Dogs are great examples of the base line of emotions and thought processes from which we operate, by the way… 🙂
For such complicated subject matter, it’s really quite simple.
Reward behavior that you like and don’t reward behavior that you don’t like it.
Got it? Good.
Just kidding… I told you I would dive deeper…
Reward behavior that you like. Reward it with what I call “The Three A’s”: attention, affection, and appreciation.
Behavior that you don’t like, don’t reward. I.e. Don’t pay any particular attention to it. This goes for negative or positive attention. The key here is no attention at all. Just let it lie and see how the other person responds. Perhaps, they’ll bring it up on their own volition.
If the behavior which you don’t like continues despite your lack of reward, then distance yourself. Remember, you’re not trying to prove to this person that you’re lovable. You already know this to be true and so do they, as they’ve clearly chosen to spend their time with you. Instead, your main goal early on is to determine whether or not this person is worthy of your heart. I can assure you, you won’t be able to change them.
The reason this is key early on, is because everyone puts their best foot forward in the beginning. And if behavior that you don’t like is happening in the beginning, it’s likely to continue later on as things progress. And don’t fool yourself, honey, you can’t change people.
So to break it down…
Observe the other person’s behavior, provide feedback (i.e. reward vs no reward), and then make your choice from a rational place (before said place becomes too muddled by emotions).
That’s it! Wham!
Keep these things in mind and surely you’ll be on your way to making wiser relationship choices in no time!
Contrary to popular belief, I actually think that our generation takes dating too seriously. I mean, think about the purpose of dating. We date someone to figure out if he/she is “The One”. This is everyone’s end goal, right?
I think the problem with today’s relationships comes when we begin assuming that our partner is “The One”. This is when “love is blind” and a whole myriad of other problems come into play. Some people have developed a fear of commitment because the pressure on today’s relationships is so high. Other people will stay in relationships they don’t like just because they’ve spent such and such amount of years together. Too many people miss out on great opportunities and too many others hang on long after they should let go.
If we meet someone we’re interested in, start dating, and decide we want a relationship with that person, perhaps we shouldn’t look at it as though we’re committing to that person but rather that we’re committing to find out if that person is the one. And if weeks, months, or even years down the road, we figure out that he/she is not, we shouldn’t be ashamed to leave.
Our breakups aren’t failures, they’re stepping stones. Our exes aren’t wastes of time, they’re teachers. And every person you don’t end up with brings you that much closer to the one with whom you will.
I think if we went into relationships with this mindset, things would go a lot smoother. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not married, you’re single. And while right now, it’s not that serious, one day it might be…so date wisely 🙂
You’re born alone and you die alone. You can’t bring anyone into this world with you as well as you can’t take anyone out of it when you go. It is your journey alone.
Yes we meet people along the way but it is only two lives running parallel, not intertwining. Enjoy these experiences but never believe you were born for someone or meant to be with one individual person you’re whole life because quite frankly, you will be sorely upset when reality comes to light.
A close friend once told me that finding someone you love is like finding a beautiful wild flower. We want to pick it and take it home with us to keep, but it soon looses it’s glow. It wilts and becomes unhealthy and eventually dies. To truly appreciate someone we love, we must allow them to flourish and grow in their environment. Visit them in their beauty but not displace them…”
I think it’s important that we define what we are looking for in a life partner. As with most things in life, if we don’t know what we’re looking for than how can we expect to find it? Here is a simple list that I have come up with of the things I am most looking for in a man. I encourage anyone who has not written such a list to try it. Not only is it fun to think about, but it can be a useful tool in the dating game. We all know it is easy to be blindsided by love, ignore red flags, and end up with someone whom you know isn’t right for you. Maybe a list can save us single folks some trouble in the future…
Here’s my personal list:
– God Fearing
– Intellectual – loves to think concepts and talk deep
– Educated and well travelled
– A calm temperament and handles stress well
– Consistent and stable
– Solid work ethic
– Disciplined in living a life of integrity – what does he do when no one is looking?
– Humble- thinks of others more than he thinks of himself
– Pursues me passionately
– Gets along well with my family and friends
– Can make me laugh no matter what mood I’m in – This one is key. A man who can make me laugh when I’m having a bad day is invaluable.