When you're a kid and you're young, you don't really know much. Life is as grand as you want it to be. You use your imagination, everything is fun, and your head is filled with all sorts of hopes and dreams. Everything is about as real as you want it to be. And the best part about being a kid are the little things in life that entertain you. A perfect example - the merry-go-round! How awesome, right? But what happens when your adult life and your relationships begin to resemble a ride that can only entertain you for so long? Have you ever felt like your relationship or dating experience was like a carnival ride?
For some of us, we treat each relationship like how a child anticipates going on that ride. The wait in line is much like waiting for the perfect partner... full of excitement, the adrenaline is pumping, and when you finally get to the front of the line you can't wait to snag your favorite creature. I only say creature because the horses are so 1861. And well, in the relationship sense, it's the same thing. You can't wait to snag that person you've had your eyes on since you first entered the dating scene.
The merry-go-round relationships are so great (at first). And much like a child when you get onboard you imagine that you will go places; off to your dreams and on great adventures. In the relationship you start to imagine things like a great bonding, an engagement, a marriage, having kids, buying a house or condo, and growing old together. Then the reality of it sets in. You reach deep into those pockets, pull out some fresh dollar bills and walk thru the gates. In relationships you start by investing yourself, your emotions, your time and your money into the ride around. The music starts playing and everything is great. You're on cloud-9! And you're off to start your first rotation.
The first rotation in a relationship is so brand-new! Everything is great and you've never had that perspective before until you started going forward. The partner is so great. They take you up and down and around-and-around. Your first date, your first kiss, the first time you sleep together, it's all a bunch of highs. As you continue the ride and begin your second rotation and then your third, the highs just don't do it for you anymore. You find yourself looking at other rides. You start to notice small imperfections.
The layers start to chip away to reveal something you don't want to see. You realize your ideal creature has been used, damaged, possibly even destroyed from previous relationship riders. And every once in a while there are inconsistent jerks and changes, even pauses you didn't notice at first. Soon enough everything starts to irritate you. You find yourself falling into that same routine, when you know deep down inside you want more. You find that your ability to do what you truly want becomes less and less. And worst of all, you find that the person who you're with isn't willing to change or negotiate a future together. But you tell yourself day after day and with every rotation that they can change. You tell yourself you invested too much love into this to give up that easily. Something's gotta give, right? So many of us do what any kid does - we invest more time, more emotion, more waiting, and more money. You want that feeling you first experienced to happen again and again. You decide to stay. It's worth the fight, right?
This is where many of us are WRONG! If you find yourself in a relationship where you're getting nowhere but circles, it's not even worth going for the ride. If you haven't figured this out on your own, this tends to be one of the most difficult lessons to learn. And until a parent or a good friend tells you they are sick of watching you do the same thing over and over, you might just be oblivious enough to ride it for life and never achieve the hopes and dreams you once had. I find that when you end up in this situation it is best to start using honesty. So many of us can avoid the merry-go-round relationships if we just learn to be honest with ourselves.
Women try to play this one off too easily. We say to ourselves, 'oh he will change.' And men say to themselves, 'I am never going to change, this is who I am.' Or vice versa. If a man says he's not going to get married, be honest with yourself. He isn't going to marry you!!! Men are pretty straight forward about what they want in life. Yes they may lie from time to time about stuff to get what they want, but if marriage is on the table, he won't lie about that one. Same can go for moving in, having kids, buying a residency, quitting unhealthy habits, etc. And before I go bashing men, women are just as capable of the thing! It's a 2-way street, regardless of the type of relationship you are in. I've seen this in the straight community and the LGBT as well. It's a hard world to accept the reality of it, but let's face it: No matter who you are, if something hasn't happened in your time frame, you need to get off that merry-go-round of a relationship you're in and find someone who wants to actually do the same things you want rather than take you around-and-around for a ride that gets you no where in life.
I am not saying that you should set time restrictions for engagements, or marriage, but there are certain things that only you know you will not be able to negotiate. If you've been on your merry-go-round for years, and know that you still have yet to move in with your significant other, let alone have a serious commitment, you might be in for one hell of a long ride. Stop and evaluate what you really want, and make it clear from the minute you have a serious conversation with whomever you may be in a relationship with. Know what you are capable of, and know what they are capable of. And if the two of you can find a lot of common ground, well then I wish you nothing but the best of luck and happiness, and a ride in life that is ever-changing for the better.
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Tags: adult, advice, changes, changing, child, dating, dead end, dreams, engagement, evaluation, friends, growing up, habits, he, her, him, honest, hope, imagination, kids, learning, lessons, LGBT, marriage, merry-go-round, open, partner, quitting, relationship, relationships, ride, she