Have you ever wondered why you seem to make “poor choices” in relationships? Why your life is not working out the best? In order to have a healthy and more positive romance with someone, it’s urgent that you learn some critical relationship concepts regarding quick solutions, dependency and the fear of “being alone”.
Frustrations and Quick Solutions
Life is full of many problems, difficulties and frustrations. We grow up “living the impossible dream” that “when we are adults things will work out easier because we will be in control of things.” As a result, we are always in a rush to have quick solutions for problems that are actually much more complex and involved than we have ever thought about before.
Being frustrated in life is part of being alive. In fact, it is the main factor that allows us to grow and change in positive ways. It is by being frustrated that we are forced to change and grow, find creative solutions, and learn to “tolerate uncertainty” in life.
When we “rush to find quick solutions” we are actually courting disaster and future problems.
Our impulsive nature, and the desire of our society for quick solutions that happen now, only make things worse in the long run. They push us into denying the reality of issues we might see, but want to hide from our conscious minds so that we can “solve it now” and be “safe and satisfied now.”
Dependency and Decisions
A major problem is that we spend the first 18-20 years of our lives in a “dependent relationship”. Sometimes our lives are so protected that we have never learned to deal with problems and frustrations. At other times, our personal needs are not met because we grew up in a dysfunctional family and we continue to long for someone to “just take care of us.”
Either way, it is easy to “long for someone to protect and care for us” so that there will be “no worries and problems.” Healthy individuals have had to learn how to “leave home” and to struggle while being on their own in order to develop a healthy independent identity.
Learning to Be Alone
Learning to be alone is no easy task. In fact, it takes several years before one is fully comfortable in being alone before they can truly say that they are “comfortable with themselves.” However, when one is “always feeling lonely,” something is out of place with how this person is approaching life.
The main problem is that some of us keep searching for “quick solutions” to make ourselves “feel better.” These are usually the people who will “settle for a mate” who later turns out to be abusive, unavailable, difficult, or confusing. In fact, this is the “basis of bad choices” – in other words, not learning to live alone and do the things that are required to maintain a life alone.
The true fact is that those who learn to “live alone” are the ones who are happy in later life in many more ways than one. So, learning to live alone requires:
- Time alone for an extended period of time outside of a relationship.
- Learning to do the tasks of keeping up one’s bills, home, food, car, records and work.
- Learning to tolerate the “lack of activities happening all the time”.
- Feeling good about yourself even if all you do is go to work and come home at night.
Being alone does not mean that you shouldn’t date other people. However, it does mean that one does not go on dates to “find a mate.” Dating is focused on getting to know a variety of people without the issues of commitment – even if the other person wants it. It is realizing that the important goal is learning to develop yourself as a person in the world, personally, spiritually, financially and emotionally.
All of this takes much time and cannot be done in less than a year – sometimes more. It also requires a “focus on the future” and thinking of what you want to develop for yourself professionally and with others. It is also learning to take time to develop multiple types of friendships and doing things with friends “just for the fun of it.” What this means is that you learn to be an adult, and to “play as an adult!”
Make a “Life Checklist”
- Sometimes the best way of learning how to “grow-up” is to first understand our natural resistance to doing it – and then doing it even in the face of our own resistance to the idea of “being alone.”
- It is important to start to make a list of things that you want to do with your life. This is called “future planning”. These goals may be more general – like completing an educational objective or learning a job skill before doing other things in your life.
- The list should include what it is that you really want to find in another person (i.e., the qualities of the person). This provides you with an idea of what you want from others who are entering your “more independent life.” It allows you to always be aware of the choices you are making in your life.
- Recognize that the lists you are making are “free choice lists” that allow you to make good decisions that are based on “free choice” rather than on “impulsive dependent strivings.”
- Ask yourself what is it that you want to have happen in twenty years. Will you look back after twenty years and think that you wished you had done this or that, or not done this or that. To accomplish this, it is important to have five, ten and twenty year plans – even though that seems like a long time.
- “Adulting”, or maturity, is known as a staying power – even in the face of pressure, aloneness, fears, anxieties and the lack of control over the events in our lives.
- It is also “thinking” about what you want now, in a few months, years and so forth.
- It is letting go of the “traditional values” that are also the “safe ones” of a family to care for you. It is focusing on developing yourself as an independent person who, who when the time is right, will have “the right type of family and mate” along with all the other things that you have developed for yourself.
- It is making a note on your list that “each decision is a hinge on which our lives swing – one way or another.” This stops us from quick decisions. It pushes us to having a “future focus” that can “tolerate delay and frustration” because we know that in the long run this is the best for us.
- It is not only making a list, but checking it twice. It is sharing it with a friend who can help you to refine your choices and lists. It is also a way of helping to “keep you honest with yourself” and avoiding the “easy way toward denial!”
Avoiding the Pitfalls
All of this is what it takes to avoid making painful mistakes in our lives:
- It is basically learning to be alone, to develop yourself and your life first, and not feel that you have time pressures or have to rush to do “it” before it is too late.
- It is maturity and growth in the present moment of life.
- It is cleaning the “toilets and home of life”, paying the bills and feeling good about yourself even when things are moving so slow and you feel so alone!
- It is learning that we cannot control everything in life, as life is full of uncertainty, confusion and risk.