Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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Romantic relationships are wonderful! You are out there as a single person dating people here and there, then it happens, you begin to date ”the one”! You know “the one”, this is the person who “fits” who makes us melt, the person that we can’t wait to see and hate to leave. “The One” sends are heart a flutter, not to mention what happens to the rest of our body!  You feel a connection, you finish each other’s sentences, you “get” each other like no one else ever has! You both know that you have met “the one”! You date for some time and before you know it, talk turns to the future, you entertain the thought of marriage, becoming a permanent couple. Next thing there is a ring and a wedding date set. You are on your way! The next months fly by as you become engulfed in your wedding plans, everything is about the wedding, your whole world revolves around the wedding plans and planning the honeymoon. This is all you are thinking about during this engagement period, the time where you should be getting to know each other better, to validate that your love is true and not a case for infatuation or raging hormones. No time for that, you have wedding plans to make!

The wedding day comes, the bride is radiant, the groom handsome, everyone is stressed to the max, yet euphoric that they are getting married.  Success, you are married to each other! Off to the honeymoon! Happy, happy, happy, you are so very happy! The honeymoon period last for a while after you return from you official honeymoon, then it happens, back to reality, back to a life of work, maintaining a household, paying the bills and if you haven’t lived together yet for a long period of time, you now get to see the real sides of each other. Anything which was not revealed during the dating through honeymoon period begins to reveal itself now. The rose colored glasses have fallen away, the deception and self-deception that was so prevalent in the early days of your relationship slowly disappears.

You are now able to really see each other, maybe for the first time with the realization that this is the person that you have vowed to spend the rest of your life with, which in most cases could be 40 – 60 years, maybe more.

What you now see, greatly depends on those first dates, that initial time that you spent together. It greatly depends on how honest you were with your partner and with yourself. Did you practice deception to attract this person to you? Did you pretend to enjoy watching football or pretend to love  “chick flicks”. Did you pretend that those things that your partner did that irritated you were adorable personality quarks? Did you really talk about serious things or was all of your conversation about fluff stuff that really didn’t matter, safe conversations that wouldn’t rock the boat? Did you deceive yourself by saying “oh that will get better when we are married”?

If you did the above, you now have a potential problem which is, you really don’t know each other! You might say, “but we love each other” that’s all that matters, our love will overcome the deception that we participated in. Good luck, can it be done, yes! Is it going to be a difficult road to successfully navigate, yes! The odds are stacked against you, it will take work. It can be done!

Why would you want to start out this way?

If you are single today, you can avoid this. If you know single people, if you have single children you can teach them how to avoid this.

The answer is simple, one, be honest from the beginning, be open about who you are when you are dating someone. Slow the love train down! Take time to learn about each other, ask questions, then ask more questions, as “what if” questions, ask questions about each other’s expectations of a marriage, ask questions about children, religion, politics, goals, dreams. Do things together, go on trips, place yourselves in diverse social situations. Take the blinders off and listen to each other, watch each other. Do not deceive yourself by thinking that your partner will change, that you can fix your partner, that you can mold them into the mate that you desire. What you find irritating about your partner before marriage will get ten times worst after your married. Remember, when you are dating someone, this is the best you will ever see them, they are on their best behavior! A little flaw now, may become huge later after your married and you are comfortable with each other.  Want some real insight into how your future spouse may be as they get older, then meet their parents, watch how they interact with each other. What you see of your partner’s parents may be very similar to what you will see a little while after you are married. Remember, your partners parents were your partner’s  primary teachers of how a relationship works.

If you do all of this, chances are that when the ceremony and the honeymoon period is over, you will be happy to look across the table and see the same person that you fell madly in love with when you were first dating, and you will grow to love that person more as each day passes.

There are no guarantees, however the odds will be in your favor that you will have a long and joyous relationship!