We are all quite aware of the issues around dating. The questions, the not knowing, the nervousness, the unknown of whether he/she likes me and/or do we have a future together? But often. after some of these questions are answered and we find ourselves nicely secure with our partners, inevitably more issues, which cause just as much angst, confusion, anxiety and stress, will start to pop up.
I am specifically referring here to the other people in our lover, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse or fiancé’s life. I am talking about their mothers, brothers and sisters, that crazy aunt or uncle, their children from a previous relationship, and even their friends, this includes their drunken best buddy who treats women like objects. These unfortunately are people we cannot make go away despite us being the love of their life, and their life partner. We cannot tell our partner who they can and cannot be friends with.
We have to accept our partner and their whole package. It simply isn’t realistic nor fair for that matter to try to get our partner to rid these people from their lives. If our partner decides to do so that is his/her choice, but just like nit picking to try to change our partners, we need to learn to accept our partner for who they are, this includes the people in their lives.
In our culture with its emphasis on couple-hood, marriage, monogamy, finding our one soul mate and/or Mr./Ms. Right we can easily become fixated on the ideal of who and what this person should be, what he/she is supposed to look like, dress, act, how much money he/she should make, how this person should act, how they should clean, how well read they should be, who they should and should not be friends with and so on. The list is endless.
When we first meet or hook up with the person we ultimately decide we want to have a long term relationship with however, those ideals are often the farthest things from our mind. Initially we are caught up in the whirlwind of romance, passion, and excitement. We are getting to know the person, learning about them and in the process often learning about ourselves and sometimes even re-inventing ourselves to be a better us and/or to fit our mate.
We relish at our commonalities and smile at the way our newfound partner makes us feel. We get butterflies and are excited to spend all of our time with this person. At some point however, generally within the first year and half we start to discover things about our partners that we don’t necessarily like, that might not fit so neatly into the life we had imagined with them.
These things may or may not be deal-breakers. How we express ourselves and choose to address these issues can be detrimental to the next phase of the relationship.
What happens too often is that we start to nit-pick, nag, criticize, and even worse insult or humiliate our partner because they do not meet up to some standard we have in our head. If our partner still decides to stay in the relationship these can lead to anger, resentment, depression and more which are not only sex and libido killers but also are relationship killers. No one wants this for their relationship, but inevitably it happens all too often. The good thing is that it is totally avoidable.