In my book Prince Harming Syndrome
, I joke that if life existed on other planets, there's a quick way to assess if the aliens are more advanced life-form. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with their technology. You simply need to find out if there is dating on their planet. If they didn't have dating, it is proof they are a far more evolved species.Dating can really suck!
People stay in bad relationships longer than they should because fear of the pain of dating seems scarier than the pain of a bad relationship. People prefer to cling to the familiar even when it's painful rather than stretching themselves with the hope of expanding their happiness.
Before I encourage you to take the leap into the great unknown, I want to encourage you to take a good look at where you're at right now. And I don't mean looking at your partner through a magnifying lens. I mean looking at yourself in the mirror.
If you break up with your partner without really looking at yourself in the mirror, you could be on your way to duplicating your love problems in your future relationships just like in Groundhog Day
—over and over.
Remember: You are the common denominator in all your relationship problems. Wherever you go, your pesky repeated issues go until you shed a blazing light of insight upon them.Here are eight empowering insights to help you decide if you should break up or make up.
1. Set aside time to talk with your partner about your childhoods—the good, bad and the dysfunctional. Recognize there's often a "repetition compulsion" at the root of ongoing conflicts. Openly discuss the psychological belief that you choose your partner because they subconsciously represent the best and worst of your parents. Your subconscious's goal is to recreate unresolved childhood issues and then hopefully mend them. Explore how you might more lovingly help each other unload emotional baggage for good.
2. Swap same-value complaint cards with your partner like same-value baseball cards. Start by sharing a tiny, annoyingly irksome complaint about each other's habits. Afterward, build up to a huge complaint. The reason it's good to swap? Both of you must empathize with how it feels to be told you're annoyingly irksome. Plus, you'll both feel an equal sense of "growth opportunity" because you will both have an equal amount of issues to work on for the sake of happily-ever-after love.
3. Is there something you're hurt about or worried about and you haven't told your partner yet? And now it's hurting your love because you expect your partner to be a mind reader? Hate to break it to you, but even mind readers are not mind readers. Speak up! If something is on your mind, share it. One of my favorite quotes is from Emile Zola: "I came into this world to live out loud!" Your love life is only as strong as your open communication.
4. Is your partner getting on your nerves because of static clinging? Do you take enough breaks and give each other enough space? The best relationship is one that does not foster too much independence nor too much dependence, but exists in the healthy interdependence zone. Learn to talk about your fears