Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Fargo Singles: Have You Found Yourself
Getting to know you means to getting to know yourself, as well as getting to know your potential relationship partner. Before even getting to the point of searching for a life partner, you should be questioning yourself about your values, goals, lifestyle choices, and the type of individual with whom you would like to share your life's journey. As mature adults, we need to have clear answers to these questions before we consider committing ourselves to a serious relationship. I would even go so far as to say that we should be writing down these questions and our answers to them. Writing down your answers allows you to be more honest and thorough; it also allows you to refer back to your answers at any time. Once you know yourself, it is a lot easier to recognize if someone is compatible with you. In evaluating whether a potential partner is right or wrong for us, we have to ask the person questions. The questions should start when you are considering the possibility of having a loving, committed relationship with someone. In the initial stages of a relationship, it is important for both people to be honest and openly reveal themselves. Revealing to your potential partner your answers to the questions you have asked yourself about your values, goals, and lifestyle choices - and, through conversation, learning his or her answers -- can help you both decide whether or not you are right for one other. It is important that both individuals drop their social personas and reveal who they truly are. It is all well and fine to go out and have fun with each other. Having romantic dinners, wonderful sexual intimacy, and experiencing the euphoria of love together is only a small part of what rising, mature love is. Remember, you have to have dialogue and ask the right questions so that you both know that you are right for each other, for a loving, committed relationship.
Do not get me wrong: I am not saying that you need to have the Grand Inquisition with one another. Over time and many conversations, the opportunities will arise for you to ask one another the important questions and get the answers. For example, one of the questions you might have asked yourself and written down is, "Do I want to have children?" If your answer was, "Yes, I definitely want a family," and you find out that your partner is ambivalent about having children, you have a potentially serious problem. Suppose your relationship progresses to marriage, several years go by, and when you want to start a family, your partner says, "I have decided that I really do not want children." All of a sudden, one of your major goals has become threatened. It is quite possible that when you initially discussed children, if you had pushed your partner for a clearer answer, he or she may have said, definitely, "I do not want to have a family." If you expressed how important having a family was to you, you both would have realized that you were not right for one another. The reality is very clear in this example. By not asking the questions, and honestly answering them, this couple has wasted many years in a relationship with the wrong person. If the person who did not want children conceded, he or she could easily face feelings of resentment and regret about doing something that he or she did not want to do. Eventually, the relationship probably would dissolve anyhow. Then we would have two more people divorced, with children caught in the middle. Children are affected by their parent's relationship breakup for their entire lives, influencing their own relationship decisions. This is just one example of many that result in relationship failure today. The reason for these failures: we do not ask the questions, and we do not listen to the answers. We sometimes only hear what we want to hear. When we hear an answer like, "I am not sure if I ever want to have a family," we subconsciously think, "Maybe he (she) will change his (her) mind." We have what is usually the illusion that we can influence a person to change a decision. However, partners trying to change one another do not build a solid relationship. Unless an individual recognizes a particular shortcoming, wants to change, and can put forth considerable independent effort to change, he or she will never change. It all starts with you. Only you can have ownership over your own life. It means questioning and answering yourself as to what is important to you. You must maintain your values, goals and lifestyle choices without serious compromise when you are considering whether someone is right or wrong for you. Communication is one of the most important components of a loving relationship. It is what allows us to rise in mature love with one another. Communication, the dialogue, the questions and the answers, are the key components to answering the questions, "Are you the one for me?" or "Are you not the one for me?"\