#97 - And you went back to a bad relationship...why?
This is such a common question. We see it happen all the time. A couple will break up because the relationship is not a healthy one. And then…within a few weeks they are back together in the same toxic relationship! WHY? Most of it can be boiled down to some form of fear; fear of being alone, fear of hurting someone’s feelings, fear of not finding someone else better, fear of change, etc. These fears drive most people to prioritize relationship status over relationship quality.
A sub-set of these fears is risk aversion and loss aversion. People will settle for poor relationships because they think the risk of waiting for the right one is greater than the risk of settling for the one they are with. Loss aversion means that you are more afraid of losing what you have than gaining what you truly desire. Both the fear of risk or loss will land you in the same place…settling for a relationship that is not fulfilling.
Next, most people don’t know how to create or be in a solid relationship. They haven’t experienced quality relationships in any form. Most of us have grown up in dysfunctional families which provided a distorted picture of what a relationship looks like. If we do recognize that our family was not the best resource for relationship information, we tend to look at movies and romance novels for what an ideal relationship should look like. Unfortunately, we don’t have an author or script writer to create the perfect line or response to every situation. If we date just to find a relationship, we end up losing out on a lot of the benefits of dating. We don’t get to learn about other people and ourselves. Dating helps you find the qualities necessary for you for a great relationship.
Most people don’t date enough. Dating can be difficult and consequently they choose to do it as little as possible before settling into a relationship. Dating is like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get and the easier it becomes. It’s like building muscles. The more you flex, stretch and develop a muscle, the stronger it becomes and the easier it gets to maintain the muscle. By dating regularly you may accomplish several different things. First, you get to meet a variety of different people that can teach you something new…if you take an interest. Even the most boring of dates could be interesting if you focus on learning something new. It’s a matter of perspective. Second, you start to learn new things about yourself. You may discover that there are foods, activities, places, etc. that you enjoy trying.
Your relationship goal should be to find the one that will help you create an extraordinary relationship, not to fill a space next to you just to keep you company. You should be looking for the one that truly loves you unconditionally and whom you will love unconditionally. Learn to recognize that you have value and that by settling for less than extraordinary you not only devalue your mate, but you devalue yourself!
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