How To Know If Your Long Term Relationship Will Last
Successful long term relationships are not for the meek. Committing to unconditional love in a long term relationship such as marriage takes courage. It takes courage for many reasons, one of which is that you have to be able to fully trust another person to love you, respect you, and not hurt you in any overt manner. In marriage vows, we traditionally say that we will love each other “for better or for worse”. This means that our love for each, our commitment to each other is not conditional. We agree that we will love each other over the course of our collective and individual journey’s no matter where those journeys take us.
When we are new in a relationship, in the courting and honeymoon stage, we often develop an illusion that we are both on the same path of our respective journeys. I believe this illusion that we create is one of the core issues that long term relationship problems stem from.
True, at the early moments of a relationship, we may perceive that we are on the same path. In some ways we are on the same path, we are both seeking a permanent relationship, built on love, trust, respect and mutual goals. Because of these commonalities, we also tend to see other commonalities that indicate that we are a match, that we are on parallel paths with each other. At the same time we are doing this, we also tend to disregard our differences and red flags that may indicate that we are in fact on different paths.
Being on different paths is not a bad thing; as a matter of fact, it’s natural that we may be on different paths within our life and that these paths may change at times as we mature and as our relationship matures. Where the difficulty in a relationship occurs is when we delude ourselves into believing that we are both on the same path and expecting that we will forever be on the same path.
What happens when we delude ourselves into believing that we are on the same path and will be forever, is that at some point in the future of the relationship the veil of courtship and honeymoon will fade away like early morning dew. When this happens we may tend to look at each other and say, “Wow, you have changed, you’re not the same person, I don’t understand the direction that you are going in. I want to go down this path, yet you seem to want to go down another path.”
This is often where the first bouts of relationship frustration come into play. Combine this with life events that happen, financial trouble, employment concerns, education concerns, day-to-day life of running a house, maintaining cars etc. Couple this with the addition of children into the mix and the frustration of our original disillusionment escalates.
If you are in a new relationship and you are considering making this a long term committed relationship, then you should do the following:
- Recognize that you may not be on identical paths in your life
- Recognize and discuss the similarities and differences of the paths that you are on
- Understand how the dynamics of the differences may affect your relationship over time
- Acknowledge and understand that it is natural to be on different paths and that as you grow and mature that your individual paths may and probably will change
- Acknowledge that despite the changes in your individual paths that you are committed to the joint path of your relationship and will solidify your bond with unconditional love
Note, it takes courage to acknowledge that sometimes the individual paths are so diverse that a long term committed relationship is not the best path to take. If you are in a long term relationship and you are frustrated with each other because you are on different paths, I suggest the following:
- Acknowledge that your individual paths are different
- Acknowledge that you were probably on different paths from the very beginning of your relationship despite what you may have thought at the time
- Acknowledge and accept that being on different individual paths is natural and okay
- Agree to discuss, without judgment, your individual paths.
- Discuss the differences, discuss the commonalities of your individual paths
- Discuss how the differences and commonalities of your can enhance the joint path of your relationship
- Recommit to the path of your relationship, while committing to understanding and supporting each other’s individual paths.
Embrace your relationship and have the courage to love unconditionally!
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