While I do believe that we should see each relationship we have as a learning experience that brings lessons to us whether they do or don’t work out in the long run, it does not negate the concept that time can be wasted with people who are not right for us. It is better to learn a lesson from the wrong person after just a couple of months with them, than it is to take a couple of years to learn it.
Let’s face the harsh truth – for those of us who are not married or in a lifelong commitment with someone, we have been wrong in the past. We have been wrong every time we thought we knew we were with the right person. If they were right for us and we were right for them, we would still be with them.
This reality of course causes us to often change our outlook on dating, relationships, or even ourselves. We may begin to question our own judgment or ask ourselves why we continue to make less than ideal choices in a partner. (Sounding familiar?)
I don’t think we can be too hard on ourselves from this perspective though, because honestly how do you ever really know? You need two different people from two different lives to come together at exactly the right time under exactly the right circumstances and feel an equal amount of love for each other. Needless to say, it is easy to feel a bit helpless when looking at things under this light. But there is a way we can sway the odds on our direction:
We can make better choices.
To do this, we need to make sure we are with someone for the right reasons. Only then can we better determine if they are actually the right person. In a previous article I discussed falling into the trap of liking the idea of someone rather than liking the person themselves. I think many of us are guilty of this and it has left us standing back at the drawing board wondering what happened.
The idea of someone could be an image that we have in our head of who we think we want to be with. They are attractive, maybe successful, run a business or have a steady, well paying job. They are funny. Maybe they spend a lot of time in the gym.
If these are all qualities you want in a partner, good. There is nothing wrong with that. But we have to understand there are millions of people in the world who have these qualities and many others, but will not be good for us when it comes to a relationship.
So, what if we take all of that away? Forget about their job. Forget about what they look like. Forget about how white their teeth are, what kind of car they drive, home they live in, and the balance of their bank account.
What is left?
Them. They are left. Their inner most qualities. Their character. The heart they do (or don’t) possess. Their willingness to love you and make you feel loved.
If they lost all of their hair tomorrow, would you stay with them? If you lost all of yours, would they stay with you?
If you literally left everything behind and moved to a deserted island, is this a person you would want to bring with you?
These are the questions we need to start asking. If we want to build a relationship that lasts, we need to build it on qualities that last. Money can be lost, an attractive face will age, a nice body will change, but a good person will always be a good person.
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