In relationship, as much as we try to avoid it, we usually date the same type of person. Chances are everyone you've dated or dealt with have something in common with each other. Seriously, think about the people you've dated, and I bet you can find that one thing that links them together. Much like our friendships, we choose those people that seem safe and familiar. This is how we find ourselves in unhealthy, dead end, worthless, and often just downright stupid relationships. We don’t even give ourselves a second to breathe before we jump into a new relationship. I’ll use myself as an example….
My freshman year in college (2001) I dated a guy who by all accounts was very controlling and mentally abusive. I didn't see that at first because, like must men, he was on his best behavior. As the relationship progressed, he would start to mention little things about my appearance, who my friends were, how late I stayed out the night before etc….Me not knowing any better I started to conform to his demands. Of course the demands just got more ridiculous and more demeaning. It got to the point where I couldn't even look him in the eye. If I did that was a sign of disrespect. And along with all of this he cheated on me. I remember catching him kissing a girl in front of my dorm and instead of going out there to confront him; I just walked in the opposite direction. I was actually afraid that he would see me and somehow I would be blamed for what he did. Eventually that mental abuse turned physical. It took my mom and my friends to finally convince me to let that relationship go. But by them the damage had been done and would affect me for years.
This set the stage for a series of relationships that all pretty much ended like this one. They didn't all end with physical abuse but they all ended with me carrying some type of emotional scare. And instead of being along and letting that scar heal properly, I often ripped that band-aid off and jumped right in a new relationship. This why it’s so easy for the person being hurt to blame the other party for their heartbreak not even realizing that they are the common denominator. I’m not saying that what has happened to the "victim" is their fault, not at all. But we are responsible for choosing the people we decide to date and marry, aren't we? I mean if we really and I mean really evaluated the person we see ourselves potentially being with. If we were honest about the flaws we ignore, the things we really don’t like but put up with. If we really did an authentic assessment of the relationships we find ourselves in, I would dare say that we would think twice about the guy with the six pack abs or the girl with the dreamy eyes. We wouldn't get so caught up in that physical. And let’s face it, when people start showing you qualities that you don’t like, they just don’t seem that attractive anymore anyway. But by then we feel like because we've invested so much time, we are obligated to “make it work”. Listen, I don’t know about you. I’m not a remote, you can’t change my batteries and VIOLA I work again. You can’t change my channel to something you feel is more desirable, and you certainly can’t cut me off when I say something you don’t like. If I have to try to “make something work” relationship wise I don’t want it. I understand that in relationships both parties have to put forth some effort to have a successful union. But you can’t force something that doesn't belong.
Most importantly, we should start doing a self evaluation. Find out who we are, what we like, what we are willing to put up with and what things are total deal breakers. Be honest with yourself. No one knows what’s on your list, so you can’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Once we make that checklist, we have to stick to it. There is no need to make the list not stick to it. That defeats the purpose and you can easy find yourself back in the same type of relationships you are trying to get out of. At the same time, don’t make your list so hard and so detailed that no one can measure up. For most, dating is a process we go through so we can find a potential mate and eventually marry. So why not take the process seriously. If that means you are alone for the time being then so be it. There is so much to this world than being attached to another human being. Companionship is one a small piece of the many wonders and splendors that God has given us. So while you wait for that special someone….go get a life why don’t you. J