Your happy relationship is out there...but do you know how to find it?
We need to take our time. We need to pay attention. We need to do the research. We need to look before we leap. The divorce rate is so high and many relationships are so unsatisfying because we don't do these things.
When we meet someone "special" for the first time, there is an infatuation, there is chemistry, there is exhilaration and there are hormones jumping every which way. We feel energized and vitalized, overwhelmed with joy, excitement and sexuality.
When we look into the eyes and face of someone who is as excited about us as we are about them, it makes us feel excited about ourselves. We see our idealized self in the smiling face looking back at us, and all of this contributes to us jumping into bed and jumping into relationships prematurely.
So caught up in the immediate gratification of the moment, we don't consider the long-term consequences. We don't take the time to do our due diligence. We don't take the time to discover the real fabric of the person we have become intimately involved with.
Oftentimes, we see the red flags and warning signs that suggest to us that maybe we shouldn't go down that road, but because we are so enamored, so exhilarated, so charged up with infatuation, chemistry and lust, and having, perhaps, been lonely for a very long time prior to meeting this person, we look the other way.
Our common sense and intuition go out the window while we sweep the red flags under the rug. Eventually, sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. When the chemistry settles down and the infatuation goes away, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions.
Who are these people? What do they really stand for? Do they really care about us? Do they care more about themselves? Are they loyal and trustworthy companions?
All the questions that should've been asked at the beginning aren't addressed until after we have committed a great deal of time, money and energy to the relationship—delayed gratification is the solution.
Taking the time to see what's actually going on before fully committing is the critical component. We tend not to do this because we're afraid to confront those red flags, challenge our newly-found partners to explain themselves, define their ideologies and detail their backgrounds and previous relationships.
We're afraid that they may get defensive or angry, that they may go away, or that they may tell us something that'll force us to go away.
The bottom line is, it's best we have the courage to ask these questions before getting involved in a relationship, even if it means our loneliness will linger longer.
It will serve us well in the long run and help us find someone who's worthy of our love and capable of providing us with a stable relationship, based on mutual respect and consideration which will sustain us until our end of days.
This article was originally published at Walter E. Jacobson, M.D.. Reprinted with permission from the author.