Why You Should Never Choose Your Significant Other
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Not long ago, I published an article by a man named Seth Adam Smith. The article is called ‘Real Love Is A Choice.’ I enjoyed the message and, obviously since I published it on this website, thought it was worth a share.
The author discusses how love is not just something that we fall into, nor is it something that we obtain or maintain easily. It takes work. It takes consistent choices. It takes effort, every single day.
Love and relationships are not easy things. Love may be a feeling, but it is also a verb. It is reflected in how we treat someone, how we act towards them, and how we view ourselves when we are with them. These things, we all choose. And we have to make the right choices, at least most of the time, if we want a relationship to work.
While this is all important to understand and to work on every day, I also believe that there are some things seemingly more controlled by our subconscious. Feelings we cannot quite explain nor do we choose. For example, what is your favorite color? What is your favorite genre of music? Why is that your favorite color or genre? Some, you just like more than others without having to think about it.
I had a very interesting conversation with a girl who is much more mature than I was at her age. She wanted my opinion on a theory that she has had for a long time now, and since I am older than her she wanted to know if I thought it would change as she got older, too.
The theory, both intelligent and concise, is as follows:
If you have trouble choosing between two people, then neither of them is right for you.
I admit this statement made me pause for a second before I could say whether or not I agree with it. I imagined myself in the position where I had feelings for two women at the same time, and having to choose which of them I wanted to be with. In doing that, I understood my position on the topic: You should never have to choose.
Why? Because when you know, when you really know you want to be with someone, you have no interest in talking to or spending time with anyone else. After my first date with my girlfriend, everything changed. I didn’t text anyone else, talk to anyone else, or see anyone else. The desire simply wasn’t there.
It wasn’t something I chose. Ultimately, I didn’t choose to be with her over someone else. I didn’t choose to fall in love with her. I do choose, every day, the things we mentioned earlier in the article, and the one I referenced in the beginning.
But, love, I did not choose.
So, why should you never choose your significant other? Because if you aren’t sure enough to only be interested in them in the first place, they are probably not the right one for you.
Relationships are not about checking items off of a list. They are not about an arbitrary test score or seeing how someone matches up to some list a blogger put together on the internet (Even me…). Yes, these concepts can help you determine whether or not someone may be a good person or a good match for you, but relationships are not just about logic or reason. In fact, they are seldom about that at all.
Without the spark between you, the chemistry, the ‘it factor’ or whatever you want to call it, then there is no point in attempting to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just won’t work in the long run. And the thing about this spark is – you don’t choose to feel it.
It just…happens, and usually when you least expect it. That’s what makes it so beautiful.
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James, please check back with us in three years when your hormone and endorphine rush fades. Then you will be better prepared to discuss what love really is.
Hi Bob! Which age would that be, just for reference?
I turned 30 a few weeks ago, so I want to make sure I’m not too far off from it happening.
Thanks for your insight!
Congratulations on finding that someone who makes you feel that ‘spark’.
Let’s see, my six year-old can add, let’s ask him. Marcus reports that you will be thirty-three James. That is if you are with the same woman still, you will be in a position to report your findings. Or, you could just go do a little studying, and have your answer tomorrow..
I think love is different things to different people.
And what you call an elephant I call a chair!
That “Spark” is a hormonal reaction that burns out generally between 18 and 24 months, which is why you see many people who did not tie the knot before two years break up. It’s just part of our prehistoric wiring.
Awww Mikey! You ruined James’ homework.
Reblogged this on jaketanakanak.
James, I fear I disagree with you this time: to reach durability, Love must prove to be the result of a conscious *decision*, and renewed daily at that. True enough, physical attraction and desire are essential to a long term happy relationship. However, they’re not the ones leading to true Love as it’s true Love that leads to them. “Sparks” stem from the care and tenderness shared by two people for each other when compatibility of mind and character, moral values and willingness to commit conjugate all at a precise point in time, albeit by chance encounter or lifetime friendship.
You say, one doesn’t choose to love; I say, one does indeed. That’s why, once committed to loving one person, one needs to remain true to that relationship. As long as each one keeps on wooing the other tenderly both in speech and action, true love will thrive, and sparks, still fly, keeping both parties happy despite aging and sometimes ill fortune.
There are studies on this that indicate women re-evaluate their marriages on a regular basis, almost like a costs-benefits analysis to determine their options, men, once committed, not so much. This probably why 70% of divorces are instigated by women.
Mike – this is really interesting info. Do you have a link to those studies? Would really like to read up on it. I’ll give it a quick Google too, could be good topics for future articles.
Thanks for letting me know!
I get where you’re coming from with the article… I don’t think everyone has the same experience though. When I first met my husband though, at work, there wasn’t a spark. In fact, I didn’t like the guy. Over the years, I grew to respect him more as I understood him as a person and as a co-worker. He ended up divorcing his wife for a myriad of reasons (which didn’t concern me,) and he asked me out later. We connected over books and movies we had in common. Eventually, despite his divorce baggage, we fell in love. Some days are harder than others, but it has been seven years now, and I can say with certainty that we “chose” each other. Despite having different kids, despite an ex wife still bent on destroying him, despite various hardships and career setbacks, we stick together and are there for one another- not because there’s a spark or because I think he was made just for me… But because we choose to be together every day and then work on that commitment. The last guy I had the “spark” for was in college .. it was short-lived and left me burnt. For the rest of my life, I’ll never let that little spark be the deciding factor in my partner choices ever again… Sometimes it just leads you astray! Haha
I agree about not having to choose your heart, but love means so much more and does go beyond that initial “new love” set of emotions in the first months/years. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I’ve been following the blog for about a year or so now.This is my first time commenting.
This article appeared at an opportune moment. I’m currently dating someone who is good on paper (not perfect of course haha), but someone I’m not sure I feel anything for… at least not like he says he does.
I’m a little cautious when it comes to getting into relationships. Over the years I taught myself to create categories defining the extent of my relationships with people, creating appropriate boundaries to essentially protect my feelings and to avoid any misunderstandings or misplaced feelings. I became good at compartmentalising and letting my mind control my emotions. I’ve been desensitising over the years and now, I’m what I consider myself to be, emotionally “numb”.
I met the guy I’m seeing through a mutual friend and due to the fact he was dating at the time and he was practically my friends’ relative (also he’s 10 years older) I put him into the “Potential male friends category”. We conversed and got on, but I never once considered him a prospect partner. We weren’t all that close and most of our conversations were basically him picking my brain and brainstorming for his projects.
After breaking up with his girlfriend, he contacted me (after a long time of radio silence – which I hardly noticed…) and told me what happened. I consoled him (I’m the go-to guru in my social circles… often called the Oracle or Yoda). I did my usual run through and talk through and so on. Then he asked me out. In the same conversation.
I was honest with him, I told him I had never considered it because I had put him in the “friend” category, and I’ve never moved someone from “friends only” to “potential partners”. I agreed, because I’m trying to break my habits. I warned him I’d need time to “rewire”.
I don’t feel it. We’ve been kind of dating for a few months. I’ve tried several times to connect… and we do temporarily, but only after I specifically tell him that “we need to connect more”. I don’t feel a spark. There were tiny millisecond moments, that if they had just gone right, I may not be as conflicted as I am now.
Yes, we need to choose to love someone… but we do need those butterflies in the stomach. I never get butterflies around him. I miss feeling intoxicated by a touch or a kiss. The problem is, I no longer know if the lack of “attraction” I feel is due to years of desensitising or because I really am not into him. In fact I often feel asexual (do not mistake it for self copulating :D).
I’ve built and reinforced my inner walls for so long, I make commit-a-phoebe men look like desperate trophy maidens dying to find a husband. I know my reasons for why I’m like this… I no longer know how to remove the layers, break down my defences or even just let the drawbridge all the way down. At most I might open a window, or venture out of the fortress myself, but without leaving the parameters.
I came to the realisation that breaking down the defences from the inside isn’t enough… I actually need help from the outside too. Someone willing to help me downgrade the security. Someone who’s willing to poke and prod, someone who’s willing to get me out of there… not willing…wanting.
Yes you need to choose to continue to love someone… to continue to fight for the life you have together and so on. But you need those butterflies. Here I am trying to “choose” to love someone, without waiting for the acrobats to bounce around in my tummy. Now he loves me… but I… well lets say the grand prix hasn’t started warm up races in my chest yet.
I don’t want to break his heart prematurely, at the same time I want to follow my own advice and let him off the hook. Why allow someone to get attached to a blocked off heart? He’d eventually become a barnacle attached to an indifferent vessel.
I’m sorry for the long post – maybe a message or email would have been better. I’m not sure how to find out… I don’t know how to just feel… I don’t know how to let go any more… at least not a way that works with me.
Maybe an article about vulnerability (if there isn’t already one I haven’t come across) would be great. How to break down the defences…
By the way, those of you who misunderstood what was meant by “Spark” in this article, you should really reread it – because you focused on the word as a physical thing and not the fact that it was just a word (one of many) to explain butterflies. 😀