| Breaking up, divorce or monstrous fights that never seem to end all point (along with many other issues,) toward the fact that relationships are very difficult! Let us review the classic scenario: Two people meet and are swept up in a series of emotional, subconscious and instinctual desires; they believe they can manage any difficulties they encounter because of the intense feeling they share. First the intense physical urges taper off into a more comfortable but sometimes not very exciting routine. Emotional issues, (wanting never to be apart for example,) become less intense and level out. Eventually the glorious spell of new love fades and endurance comes into play, this is when a relationship becomes a very tricky business.
Many people believe they have the hardships of partnering for life completely under control and see no need to put effort in, often those same people are shocked to find that their relationship is either over or in desperate need of some help. Achieving a happy and healthy relationship requires sacrifice and patience an idea that for some is anything but desirable.
Just as in business more effort often yields a better result; keeping this in mind it is critical that if both parties desire to remain together for many years, of a lifetime, that they continue to work on the problems and enjoy the benefits of choosing to be in a relationship.
In this article we will review some of the classic pitfalls, how they often occur and how to avoid them. Even if you believe that your relationship has no problems, taking the time to review and examine can often be a satisfying and insightful look into the quality of your commitment.
Perhaps the first and most important step when one begins the relationship is simply to ask: “Is this what I want?” Too many people feel that they must settle down as they get older or have been swept up in the romantic notions that everyone has a mate waiting for them just beyond the horizon. While it may be true that every person has a perfect partner out there waiting for them that doesn’t necessarily mean that their partner didn’t settle down half way around the world with some idiot simply because they felt that nothing better would come along! Tragic though it might be, often people fear being alone so much that they commit themselves to staying with a person that they know will never make them truly happy. It is true that if a relationship becomes more work and frustration then happiness it may not be the right one, but it’s unreasonable to expect that real effort will not be needed to make a relationship work; know yourself well enough to decide whether or not you are ready before you commit.
The desire to be intimate with a person does not cancel out either of your flaws; if you don’t want to put the effort in don’t express the intention of doing so. Wanting a carefree life for your self is nothing to be ashamed of; many people find that with busy careers and hobbies they simply do not have the time to build a strong relationship with another person. Passion can trick both men and women into thinking that they are ready to commit; while this may work for some many people quickly that a healthy sex life is a great thing for a couple to share, it is a poor fundamental base for a relationship.
Life might be short but it’s never too short for a little precaution. Be mindful of a person who is unsure of their own feelings and simply allows their needs to be wrapped up in yours. When the dominant partner in a relationship is extremely romantic or passionate the submissive partner sometimes goes along with those feelings without stopping to identify what they are comfortable with. The typical result of such behavior is that the submissive partner represses their needs and desires, problems occur that are now so buried in their subconscious that they can hardly be identified let alone expressed and solved and both partners suffer from a lack of resolution.
Once a cheat…yes you got it. A real classic is the couple that gets together behind the back of a third (sometimes fourth,) party; this almost never ends well. Not only is a person who has been unfaithful far more likely to be unfaithful again, but when a relationship is founded on a sense of forbidden secrecy and desire it often becomes too mundane once the truth is exposed and both people are free to be together without restraint. The same problems may occur when people become intimate because of a stressful situation; when the stress is eliminated so is the intense feeling of desire that can often be misconstrued as affection. Truth be told these feelings are often just an escape from the stressful situation, the mind latches onto anything to divert it from dealing with the problem at hand; not true feelings, simply avoidance and certainly not the greatest foundation for a lifetime of commitment.
Be mindful of habits you see as undesirable in your partner before you make a real commitment, never expect that once you make the commitment they will change those habits for you. While still in the “getting to know you” stage you find that some alarm bells go off, discuss those concerns with your potential mate so that together you may find a comfortable middle ground on which you can agree or at the very least, know what they are unable to change so that you can decide whether or not you can live comfortably with their less desirable habits.
Know when to let things go! There are times when a discussion is needed so that a compromise or solution can be found; on the other hand, there are times when it is best to know when the topic at hand is being blown way out of proportion. All people have feelings and emotions which at times are illogical and can lead to the most ridiculous of arguments; knowing when one is responsible for this behavior and when one has legitimate complaint can be crucial in avoiding unnecessary hardships. By the same token, it is important to understand the difference between one’s partner’s overreactions and true problems that need working on.
Change is unavoidable as much for people as the ever growing world around us; growing with one’s partner is an excellent way to keep the relationship strong. Always be in the know about the interests and plans of the person you choose to share your life with and share yours with your partner. Planning for future goals, whether they are practical or just for fun, can be a great way to stay in touch with your partners thoughts. New interests are bound to enter the relationship from time to time, rather than be alarmed by these changes one should learn about them and share the interest; even if one’s partner develops interests that one can find no way to relate to it doesn’t mean that they can’t at least stay informed about how their partner feels about the changes taking place.
The short, short version: (For those who have a date coming in ten minutes.)
Finally: take it one step at a time, relationships aren’t easy and only become worth it if you have truly found a person who you can spend more days being happy with than not. It won’t all be fun and pillow fights, but if you’re ready, take a deep breath and take that brave first step toward happiness. (Did that step include taking your partner’s hand and walking with them? If not please slide your side bar up or press the top page button and repeat.)
Make sure you know whether or not you’re ready to be in ANY relationship before you enter it;
Be ready to work because they all need it;
Know not just what you’re getting into but who you’re getting into it with;
Be sure of a good foundation, sharing the same favorite ice cream is a nice lead, but won’t help you celebrate your 20th anniversary;
What you see is what’s going to be sleeping next to you, don’t assume you can change a person once the commitment is made;
Fight or flight, know the difference between a real argument and an emotional (though sometimes necessary!) outburst.