Practical Therapy: Knowing and Understanding Relationships Vol. 2
The War Within. The... Booty??? Without.
In the last segment of "The War Within. The... Booty??? Without", we ended by engaging in an excercise of self-exploration. We created a list of personal dreams and ambitions. This list should have given us a clear view of those things, which are, internally, important to us, in ways that only we, as individuals can fathom.
It is only fair to state that often times, in the creation of such lists, we tend to sigh, with a feeling of longing or a sense of a lack of accomplishment. These feelings, more times than not, are spawned by, what we consider, immediate real life situations placing many of our dreams and ambitions on the back burners of our minds and hearts.
Being a husband and a father, it is easy for me to understand the circumstance of "real life" sometimes getting in the way of personal pursuits.
That being said, let's continue on, with our next segment.
Part I: Mental Preparation, continued: The loitering of individualism
Many people, prior to entering a relationship, had things that they wanted to accomplish, places that they waned to see--death wishes that they, maybe, wanted to pursue: "I want to be a doctor", "I want to go to Afghanistan, for a year, to help the children" or "I want to train for the Iditarod, in five years". All noble causes, I'm sure. But... since love, more times than not, is an un-calculated variable, in having long-term personal dreams and ambitions, there is a flaw.
The problem is, like you, more than likely, any individual that--poof!!!--you're in love with is going to have personal dreams and ambitions, of their own. Sometimes, dreams and ambitions may dictate a course that requires long hours, long days, months, sometimes years to come to fruition.
Your relationship may suffer, if your significant other does not have a similar dream or ambition, to focus attention on. The truth is that in many instances, when a person falls in love, the object of that love becomes their new life ambition.
When pursuing something of importance to you, other things, maybe not less important to you, become forgotten or grossly neglected. Also, it may be the case that the shoe is on your foot, and you're the one that feels neglected and put aside.
But, there are ways to be prepared for this, which is why personal dreams and goals was, maybe the most extreme, but still excellent example, for the personal intimacy as a constant, in your life.
You hear this question asked a lot.
"What do you look for, in a man or woman?"
I strongly dislike this question!
It usually denotes a building of outrageous expectations. This isn't to say that you shouldn't have some standards, but then again, standards can take on many meanings and many different forms.
This setting of standards and building of expectations wouldn't be such a bad thing, if the reality wasn't that, in most cases, we are often looking for a perfect person a superior version of themselves. We want a person that will lavish a lifetime of attention and love, to make up for years of neglect or seeming non-existence, when it is beyond ourselves to make the same sacrifice.
We want a person to meet the list of expectations, that we have set, and could not meet all of those same expectations ourselves. This is not only a practice non-conducive to a viable relationship, but a practice that is purely self-destructive in nature, not to mention, damaging and unfair to anyone that we profess to love, in an intimate way.
This self-destructive practice is exactly the crux of this segment, in our series.
Time for some more of that good ole soul searching!
"What are my good qualities?"
"What are the things or habits that I dislike about myself and want to change?"
"What are the things that I enjoy most about life and want to experience?"
These are the important questions that need to be asked of oneself, before making any decision, of value, that will affect your life.
Once you have answered these questions, then the most important question, with relation to an intimate relationship, will already have been answered, when an unexpected love interest is, suddenly thrust into your life equation.
"What do I have to offer this relationship, with this individual?"
Note that the question does not ask what you have to offer the individual, but what you can offer the relationship. There is purposeful reasoning, behind this particular question.
This is an excellent place for us to pause for reflection, on this particular set of questions.
In our next segment, "Mental Preparation, continued: The merger of individuals", we will be discussing the acceptance of another individual as a cohabitation and not an eclipse.