Sometimes a discussion gets out of control on these forums but it's still valuable. That's what I like about online communities -- varying perspectives coming together to challenge each other. Changing your mind isn't important. Understanding where the other person is coming from is.
Recent conversations with Trish left me thinking. This isn't a forum for discussing relationships but the topic still comes up. Topic goes from a girl asking about a guy she's potentially interested in to broader questions about relationships in general and our general outlooks on life. Obviously romance is a sensitive topic. And sometimes the best advice isn't the easiest to take. Comments are welcome, but please, let's try to stay civil.
Some dangling thoughts:
(1) Human beings are naturally polygamous and intermittently monogamous creatures. Just because you're with someone now doesn't mean you'll be with that same person in five years. Even if you have kids. The ones who figure out that it's smart to stay together in the long term and have enough passion to do so are the lucky ones.
(2) Love is biological. That doesn't make it any less beautiful. You can love more than one person at the same time. Love changes. It progresses through stages. Once the initial spark dies out, it's going to be different. You're going to have to communicate. That doesn't mean you don't love each other any more. In fact you have to go through some bad times to get to the truly good ones.
(3) The whole "backup plan" discussion is stupid and was blown WAY out of proportion. I've thought about it and it's conceivable that someone could be in a very longterm relationship without ever having other options that they seriously considered pursuing. Statistically speaking though, I think this would be very rare. And the partner who did not consider having other options would have to be either deeply in love or conservative enough to ignore his/her biological impulses. This doesn't change the fact that having such impulses is natural and doesn't mean that a relationship is over. No offense but if you're under 25 you're probably not really qualified to comment here.
If you're ACTUALLY interested in learning about the biological frames of reference I'm talking about, look into evolutionary psychology. PM me for sources.
(4) It hurts. No one ever loved without losing. That's part of the picture. You have a choice. Let it own you or own it. You don't ever really move on, but would you really want to? Grow with it. Live with it. Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. Let yourself feel the anger. Let yourself be sad. Every emotion has a purpose.
(5) Emotional investment and behaviour. We behave differently towards others based on our degree of emotional investment in them. Our behaviour also alters their level of emotional investment in us. If a relationship falls out of balance because of a life situation, it can alter the level of emotional investment that partners have. No one is to blame for this. The situation is to blame. The remedy is to address your behaviour. Paying attention to your behaviour does not mean you are being cold or manipulative or analytical. It means you are being mature. Active listening, no-fault communication, healthy distance, and trial closeness are all tools to add to your repertoire and increase your chances of having a successful longterm relationship or marriage.
Anyway, that's my opinion. And it's based on a lot of research, interviews, and life experience. If anyone objects to any particulars I'm happy to engage in a civilized conversation on these matters.
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