Monday, January 16, 2012

Basic Principles for a Successful Relationship: Part 3

In the media, the ends of relationships are generally portrayed in a very limited number of ways.  Usually, it's either as the dumpee was wronged in some horrible way by the dumper and it's tragic or the dumpee was horrible to the dumper who finally got tired of their shit and it's tragic.  How somebody wising up and getting out is tragic is beyond me, but that's still how it's portrayed.

How the friends of the person for whom this is tragic react are even more limited.  Women will always say "he's a bastard, you're better off without him, lets go drinking and find you another guy" and men will always say "fuck that bitch, let's go get you drunk and laid".  There's a major problem with this reaction: it assumes that the other person is always at fault.

So far, in this series, I've discussed mental adjustments that we can make to greatly improve our chances of a successful relationship.  Today, I'm going to share another secret of every well known relationship "guru", for free.  This may be hard to accept and I may come off as quite a jerk for saying it, but this is nonetheless, the truth.

The single unifying element in all of your unsuccessful relationships is you.

It's only reasonable to sit down and look back at our prior relationships and see where we went wrong.  Everybody does it at some point in their life.  What you'll likely find is a string of similar ends.  No matter what trend you find in these ends, let me assure you, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  Sure, you may have had a string of cheating boyfriends.  However, it was you who chose them. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that you suck at relationships.  If I were saying that, I'd be saying that we all suck at relationships.  Really, that's kind of true, but not the point here.  Remember earlier how I said that it was important to gain control over our emotions in order to look at things in a way that will allow us to glean more productive information from them?  This is exactly the type of application that I'm talking about.  

Look back for a while at your unsuccessful relationships.  What do you see as a common element?  Of course,  you see you, but beyond that, what do you find?  I'll give you an example.  In one of my previous relationships, my significant other tried to change who I am at the core.  They tried to get me to buy into their personal belief system where I didn't, and I went along.  The relationship ended badly.  Of course I blamed her for a while.  Then, after getting control of my emotions, I looked back at why the relationship failed, and I came to this: I allowed myself to go along when they tried to change who I was.  You can do a very similar analysis of your prior relationships.

Say, for example, that you have a string of relationships that end because you're focusing on your career and they are demanding that you put them first.  It's not their fault for demanding too much time of you, they're just being who they are.  The problem here is that you keep selecting the type of person who wants too much time of you instead of one who is also focusing on their career.

Ultimately, we have nobody to blame for our unsuccessful relationships other than ourselves.  What we can do, though, is turn that lack of success into a learning situation and applying those lessons to the future, we can find issues ahead of time.  We can avoid getting into a situation where our previous lack of success follows us.   We can see that, clearly, our "type" isn't working for us and try new things, meet new people, and get to know people who we would normally overlook.  It is in these situations where we're most likely to find love.

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