You’ve heard the stories (or had the experience!) of relationships going belly-up because someone “changed” or just wasn’t the person they appeared to be. Sometimes it happens – there are a lot of good actors out there. Other times, it may be wise to look in the mirror before pointing a finger at someone else. Did your lover really misrepresent themselves, or were you so wrapped up in love-blindness that you forgot to truly see?
Love is blind
When a relationship is fresh and new, it is empowering and exciting. The sheer wonder and joy of newfound love certainly can rock your world. Love is an extremely powerful emotion, one that generates physiological and biological responses in the human body. Your heart beats a little faster, you can almost feel the pheromones coursing through your bloodstream, and you may even realize that you are thinking differently. When you find yourself in that golden place of falling in love, the world over all tends to seem like a much better place. It is primarily during this honeymoon stage of a relationship that this awe-inspiring person who has captured your heart may also have you forging ahead with more than a little chemically induced, self-inflicted blindness or denial.
Whether he’s Prince Charming or she’s Ms. Right, nobody is perfect. He may be willing to mop the floor and enjoy a good shopping spree or she may always look prepared for a magazine photoshoot even though she’s quite capable of changing a tire – but everyone has at least a few not-so-admirable personality traits. The real question is, when you catch a glimpse of humanness in your mate, can you accept their faults and flaws, or will you pretend like they just don’t exist?
Most people are on their best behavior in the early stages of a relationship, so it can take time for the full truth to come out. Likewise, it may take you some time until you allow yourself to acknowledge your mate with a little more honesty and clarity. Most people not only fear rejection, but also fear going through life alone. These are two key reasons why we will let our hearts proceed into the realm of a relationship, sometimes with our heads trapped in the land of fantasy. Taking things slow may be incredibly hard to do, but time has a way of revealing things about your partner or yourself that is certainly good to know!
Ignorance, excuses or idealism?
The person who stands in front of you may not be all you want them to be. But, you want to be loved, you want to be in love, so you allow your mind to take a detour with a little edge of fantasy. Your partner’s good points may become amplified, and their bad points have a way of becoming justified. A little tolerance, forgiveness and understanding is essential to any enduring relationship, but it is possible to go over-board, sometimes even assuming the blame for your partner’s faults and flaws. Is this person really so awesomely superior, or is it their image amplified within the confines of your mind? Sure, you want this to be the love that will last – but proceed with caution, or being their “perfect mate” just may become your task.
When you put your lover on a pedestal, the intention may be to keep the love alive and the relationship safe, but the reality can be much more alienating than endearing. Being stuck on a pedestal is a very lonely place to be. Often times, this is a double-edged sword whose icy blade can swiftly become fatal. Your partner may not be able to withstand the stress of living up to your idea of perfection, or simply fears losing your love if they honestly express their feelings. Or, you may choose to suppress your emotions and thoughts, in order to please and appease them. Either way, the honest exchange of information is likely to suffer, and someone may find that they’ve been sleeping with a stranger! Any way you look at it, it’s not good, nor is it healthy.
Tips to really know your lover:
1. Get a second opinion
When you are emotionally attached, objectivity has a way of flying out the window. When love is in your heart and your lover is becoming more involved in your life – get a second opinion! Whether you introduce your partner to friends or family, or share the details of what’s going on, feedback from those outside of the chemistry can often times be extremely enlightening. Even though you run the risk of hearing something you don’t want to hear, while asking for insight regarding your lover, this is a prime opportunity to learn how others see you – and them.
2. See yourself
We are all flawed creatures, some of us more than others. Truly seeing and accepting yourself means understanding you aren’t perfect. Recognize that some of your stronger imperfections afford you the opportunity to strive for improvement. It’s also to me mindful of the fact your flaws may have impact or effect on the people in your life.
3. Know your lover
Talk to your lover, but don’t forget to listen! Communication is always key, but hearing your partner is as important as expressing what you want or need. Opinions can be different, and you can even agree to disagree. The more honest and free-flowing the communicative efforts, the better off both of you will be.
Maybe yours is a match made in heaven, and maybe not. But looking closely at it is the healthy thing to do that will avoid pain later on. Remember, happy couples in healthy relationships accept the bad with the good, and they acknowledge the bad exists – in themselves as well as their mate. Not surprisingly, the good list far outweighs the bad.
A heavenly match is one that is honest and balanced where thoughts and emotions can be discussed and shared. You may not always like what they say, and the things they do may sometimes have you climbing the walls, but you really know each other inside and out – and the relationship you share is real. Actually, accepting the good with the bad is one of the quickest roads to intimacy!
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