Ask yourself how many times you've been in love and if you're like me, it won't be such a no brainer as you might have thought. I've been in love four times. Then again, maybe two. When it comes to relationships, everyone always thinks it will be "different this time around." You have that enamored infatuation with the idea of what could be when you meet someone new, and get lost in the possibilities while making some pretty rash decisions along the way. It's definitely good not to let past experiences with former lovers get in the way, but having an unrealistic sense of hope can often be more detrimental to your heart. We have to be careful not to let the fact that he/she finishes our sentences overshadow the reasons why we might not be such a good fit.
I get it. You're sick and tired of starting over. It's emotionally tolling to invest so much time and effort into a relationship just for it to not work out. Most of us have experienced so much heartbreak that we can't even recognize it if it slapped us in the face. It's as if we go through life expecting people to do us wrong, for drama-filled breakups to be the norm and for us to come out feeling more empty than fulfilled in the end. It's a vicious cycle that we've got accustomed to and perpetuates our eternal role of the "victim who has been done wrong." But if we just took it a little bit slower and not acted purely off of emotions, then maybe, just maybe we can spare ourselves from a little heartbreak.
I kicked off this blog post with the question of how many people that I have TRULY been in love with because that feeling, what I argue to be tricky infatuation most of the time, was the basis for many of the rash decisions I made during the course of some of my relationships. Due to my desire to be in a happily committed relationship, plus my ridiculously optimistic views of a love that will last forever despite very obvious signs that the person wasn't right for me and that we should take it extremely slow, ended up costing me more time, money and emotional damage than necessary. And for what? Because I felt like this person was the one? Not to say that we shouldn't be optimistic about new relationships. Having too many walls up can be just as detrimental as none at all. I'm just advocating for a little less emotionally-based decision making and more rationale in the beginning. Taking things slow may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised at how often people do the opposite.
What I've learned is that slower is better. The only way to find out if your feelings and that of your partner's are truly real is with time. If she is bad at managing money, don't rescue her by paying her bills. You will just end up broke in the end. If he cannot maintain a functional relationship with the mother of his child, then don't take up the battle for him. It's just a remedy for good ole fashioned stress and drama. Plus, you will create a web of dependence and ultimately end up resenting the individual for a choice that you made. So if you've ever woke up and wondered how the hell you ended up living with a dude you just met two months ago, screwing him raw, and having his "baby mama" want to slash your tires, you might want to rethink your strategy when it comes to relationships. Practicing open-eyed patience and allowing things to take their course while not rushing is one of the keys to not just a long lasting authentic commitment but to you discovering what it is that you truly want and deserve in a mate. Rushing and having a drama-filled relationship in the first six months should NOT be the norm.
Filed under: Sex and Relationships