Usually people fall into two groups: those who are decisive and know what they want and will find a way to get it and those who are indecisive and tend to go with the flow through discovery. Neither group is better than the other, they just operate through different modes of thinking, feeling, and being in a general sense. Certainly there can be an overlap of role reversal depending on interpersonal interactions and situations, but overall there is an internal understanding of how one functions. When it comes to romantic relationships, we tend to put the most emphasis on the “list” of things we desire in a partner—even for those of us who are more open to the possibilities. There is a rough idea of what we’ve imagined to find within someone’s being (personality, disposition, behavior ) and how they appear on the exterior (physical appearance, career, materialism). When we become too specific or overly critical, there will be no one that will ever make us happy or suite the needs, wants, and desires we’ve dreamt up in our minds—because most likely, the person is simply a figment of our imaginations and doesn’t even exist. When we may feel that we found close to want we want in another, we can either choose to embrace those qualities and those of course that they actually possess in reality. Or we often find fault and want to change what it is they are lacking based upon our beliefs.
Even those of us who decide to let things unfold naturally, learn about someone through experience, and through trial and error, there is still a quiet running motor inside of us that perhaps feels we can do better or perhaps there is still time to explore other options. We are less concerned with changing someone to fit the mold we want, but still are on the search to find it in another. But what if both of these ways of searching for, creating, and sustaining a relationship only runs skin deep and in fact won’t truly bring us and another the happiness we truly desire and desire to have in a partnership? As humans we build our hopes, dreams, and expectations so high and often pin them on others—that if in fact they fail us, the fall and failure inside is deeply felt. Conflict arises, communication breaks down, and two people who once were excited to spend time together become either hostile or simply strangers. There are certain values, morals, and standards we hold ourselves to and others. If someone doesn’t align with our mode of thinking, we are quick to close the storybook and either move on or search for ways to sway them. This can also be true for those who have done this to us—certainly we have all experienced both aspects at some point or another when involved in any sort of relationship.
Red flags such as lack of chemistry, incompatibility, superficial communication and attraction, mistreatment, and disrespect are certainly the obvious deal breakers. Rightfully so, there are also those that include lifestyle, faith, finances, family building, fidelity, and commitment. When choosing to invest time with someone during the dating process, it gives both parties an opportunity to decide if in fact they are ready and compatible to move into a relationship phase that may or may not guarantee a lifelong future together. When choosing a life partner, it’s not something to be taken casually or lightly. The idea of fate, romance, and soulful connection can certainly be influences that are beyond our realm of understanding, but there is also the healthy reality of logic and thought that one must consider and often times this gets pushed to the side or in fact the mind uses scare tactics to actually sabotage what can potentially be a good union.
But the most important deal breaker when dating and existing in a relationship whether it be in initial stages or after 50 years of marriage is this: “lack of acceptance”. The person that you become enmeshed with has already lived a life before they have come to know you. They are made in a certain way and can only decide to change if they value to do enough for themselves and for you. When we take notice that either we are behaving in a way that rejects the partner we are with based upon our “wish list”, we are causing not only them but ourselves great harm. If in fact we feel that our partner seeks to change us and doesn’t accept who we are as individuals, this too causes damage that many times is beyond repair the longer such behavior is accepted. By effectively expressing the needs and wants of both parties involved from the beginning, during, or at the end of a relationship, this is the first step to acceptance—it’s realizing that some things need to be navigated together. If both partners in fact decide to accept one another and work together to find balance to honor each other’s needs in reason, this is the basis of love and growth. But if in fact, the opposite occurs, the gap widens and the criticism continues to ensue, then the choice to be made is clear…