The rate of divorced couples nearly equals the rate of married couples, today. As quick and easy as it seems to say the three letter word, just as easy it appears to be to sign away the vows of forever, for better or worse, through sickness and in health, once served with the courts’ papers; following people to make a choice to stay single, settle for a LAT- relationship, try a same-sex partner, or choose to be a side-kick to an already established relationship. Does this sound about right? It’s admirable that people are strong-willed today and bold in their stand for a personal choice, but does it work for them? Does it actually satisfy the forever craving of ‘belonging’, the natural feeling of being ‘two instead of one’, being loved and giving love every single day?. Here’s the strong two letter answer for you: NO.
Why? Because it’s in our DNA, it is in our DNA to be a pair. “So, what if I’m not lucky to find a pair”, “What if I’m not that lucky?”, “Tried that, didn’t work, not having my heart broken again”, “I’m better off being alone”. Sound familiar? I thought it would. Now let me break it down for you.
Just because your relationship(s) failed doesn’t mean you are unlucky. You simply haven’t been looking as to what you need from a relationship. You probably have been so focused on what you want; you forgot to check out all the other good qualities people have to offer in relationships. For example, you want yourself a nice bulky athlete or a famous bikini model, you find it, enter into the relationship but then it collapses because you can’t handle the stress of their vivid routines and spotlight moments or dietary restrictions. If you’re the fast food loving type, or couch potato type or party-hardy type, it’s clear as daylight that there is a massive gap between what you want and what you get in this relationship.
Now, having said that, love has nothing to do with your frustration here, you simply have other expectations from being in a relationship of the person you ‘wanted’, but the expectations are not theirs. So you can love this person dearly and they can love you back, but your expectations of what you both as individuals want are not in sync. Red flag number one: if you and your partner do not have the same expectation of the relationship, it is bound to fail. Talk about the expectations and what it is you both would like to gain and contribute to the foundation without misunderstandings of the expectations. Be clear and concise. Respect each other’s expectations, even if they do not match with yours, and see if there is a way around it, so it’s not a showstopper. If there is not, call it quits because misunderstandings of expectations ruin the home cooking.
If you would attempt to change this person into meeting your expectation of the relationship e.g. turning your bikini model girlfriend into a ‘couch potato’ just because you are one, you would break something which is hers. You would tear away a part of who she is; a part that is familiar to her, that provides comfort and a safe place for her. You would tear her individuality of who she is, who she’s become for herself that brings her happiness, gives motivation, inspiration, joy, humor, laughter.
Too many people in relationships attempt to make their partner into somebody that person is not. Again, it comes down to people’s personal expectation of the relationship they enter and their need to create this picture perfect “what I want” relationship, where they tend to pressure their partner into being a person they are not, just to fit the perfect ‘picture’. Red flag two: you can’t change somebody in a relationship. You have to respect their individuality. If you find it hard to leave your partner in their worth or the other way around, this might not be the healthiest relationship to be in.
When your relationship is not screaming serial equality, and you find yourself being restrained in your thoughts, movements, associations, relationships, activities, or sometimes even the simplest things like how to dress, how to eat, what to eat, where to go; this does not sound so equal, does it? Do you find yourself in this situation, then this will only end up getting more toxic and you would do both of you a favor to end it. Doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. It simply means that you, or your partner, are incapable of granting equality in the relationship. Red flag number three: symptoms like jealousy, mental abuse, stalking, and entrapment, verbal abuses, in some case it can get even physical, are pretty much how in-equality manifests. You are best to get out as quick as you can.
“Expectation is the root of all heartache” Shakespeare
Imagine now that you’ve accomplished turning this person into what you ‘want’, just to meet the expectation of the relationship you envisioned with this person but not seeing the person you fell in love with? Of course! You don’t see that person anymore, because you’ve changed them, you broke them, you in-equaled them. You’ve taken away their inner joy to make them a puppet to fill the role in the story you ‘wanted’ to have.
Now, the relationship ends. You haven’t been unlucky; you simply had the wrong expectation and went about it the wrong way. The deep love you felt, that was once the basis of entering into the relationship in the first place, is now slowly fading, until it disappears and you are left with an empty nest, an empty heart and mix feelings about being in a relationship again, and chose one of the readily available options. However, if you do try again, I urge you to find the courage to place your previous relationship(s), the expectations thereof under a microscope, reflect on them and answer honestly to yourself where your expectations were off. When you do, at least you know not to make the same mistake again; at the end of the day love has nothing to do with it, it is how you treat someone and how that person treats you.