- Gender and Relationships
Are You Looking At Him Longterm?
When you are truly looking at being with a guy long-term, the small stuff doesn't matter...as long as he is willing to work with you.
Often we create this perfect image of what a relationship (and guy) should look like that when we meet someone who doesn't fit into this image our first reaction is to immediately dismiss him the second our expectations aren't met. Wow.
Don't get me wrong, it's important to have reasonable standards and a few things (no more than five) that you consider non-negotiable. Non-negotiables are things that you would not be able to deal with in order to create a successful relationship.
Our past will usually dictate what our current non-negotiables will be. Obviously there might be things that are deal breakers for you that might not be the same for your friends, family, or even the guy you are dating. However, if he's the right guy for you, your lists most likely will be similar to his. Again, this deal breaking list isn't superficial, it consists of important attributes that a guy must have for a successful relationship to be maintained.
There are a lot of different non-negotiables:
For some, dating a smoker or someone who partakes in drugs or heavy drinking can be a deal breaker. For others, religious or spiritual differences can be a big non-negotiable. Being with someone who doesn't have the same faith as you can be hard for a lot of people who want to create an equal foundation; how they deal with issues or tragedy; how they raise their children or generally what their requirements overall or expectations are for the success of a relationship. Political views or how someone manages money can also be an issue for many people.
Since most of us have this "list," plus an extended list that we have added to—we end up creating in our heads what our "perfect" mate is supposed to look and ultimately act like. This long list causes us to subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) push a guy away. We end up getting ourselves emotionally worked up, disappointed, and upset when things don't go the way we like. Yikes! Talk about the perfect recipe for sabotaging love.
Getting into a relationship with a long and usually unrealistic list (not part of your "five") of things that you are unwilling to compromise about is not setting yourself or the guy you are dating up for long-term success. Compromise is important for all relationships as well as choosing your battles.
My sister shared with me that when she realized her boyfriend was long-term, the little things that he used to do that would normally annoy her, started to annoy her less and eventually ended up not bothering her all.
She said one thing that frustrated her after moving in with her boyfriend was that he left the bed unmade after he would be the last one to get up. This was very frustrating to my sister since we grew up in a household where you made your bed as soon as you woke-up. When her boyfriend wasn't partaking in the same bedroom tidiness she wondered how she was going to manage day-to-day with a man who couldn't seem to accomplish such an easy—less than two-minute—task. This was a big issue for her, at first.
My sister realized that harping on this one detail over and over when he forgot to make the bed would be the quickest way to become a nag, and would just make her boyfriend feel picked on. In the scheme of life, how important was it to make the bed? When she weighed the good against the bad in their relationship there were far more great a qualities that overshadowed this one issue.
As they settled into their living situation, my sister expressed—sweetly—how making the bed was important to her. With gentle reminders over time he started to occasionally make the bed (yay). Since he was trying she gave him a pass when he would forget. My sister figured that like all great things, this would be a work in progress. Since she did see being in a relationship with him long-term, he was worth being patient for.
These days her boyfriend has gone from occasionally making their bed to now three (sometimes four) times a week. My sister happily giggled, "I figure in ten years he’ll be making the bed every day."
By looking at a relationship long-term, especially if a guy is willing to compromise or change, the little issues become less important and not worth getting worked up over to the point of ending a relationship or causing major frustrations.
Let's keep it real, as women it can be extremely hard for us to let things go when we are upset, forgetting that no one is perfect—including us. Also, we can be just as bad (if not worse) than men, when it comes to finding faults in a guy. All this does is keep love from staying in our life.
Looking at a man for the long-term doesn't mean that you should put up with any crappy behavior that he is dishing out. What long-term means is letting go of the superficial stuff which we can get wrapped up around so tightly—that it ends up causing strain in our relationships. Long-term also means that you are truly opening yourself up emotionally (without a lot of doubt) to the processes of love, giving your heart more freely, with out a bunch of stipulations.
Focusing less on the annoying things he might be doing now and experiencing the great qualities that are in front of you will give you the chance to appreciate him more as well as your relationship.
Ladies, relationships aren't supposed to be perfect so why try so hard for perfection? Learning to let go of the inconsequential stuff can actually help you grow in your partnership. If you see a future with him (honestly see one) why nitpick on the little things? Remember, we get into relationships to not only better ourselves but to also learn from each other. Stop sweating the small stuff, focus on the bigger picture, and let your relationship deepen into a long-term partnership you’ve both been wishing for.