LifeLove is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.
This is so so true especially in romantic relationships!
I don’t know too many people who fell in love after a calculated, methodical sequence of events. For most, it ‘just happened’; a chance meeting, a sudden realisation, you know, ‘something just happened’. Your heart started getting attached to that person and right before your eyes, you’re hooked.
Before they showed up, you had your plans lined up. Your 1-year, 5-year, even 10-year plans. Now they’re here and because you really care about building something special with this person, you start making adjustments, you start creating room for them in your life.
Now, you’re not considering yourself alone when making decisions. You’re thinking about how it affects the other person. You make plans with their plans in mind. After all, love is about accepting and accommodating the other person’s desires as much as yours, right?
I’m thinking though, for two young people with well-defined life plans, how do they reach a compromise? What do you think you could give up for a romantic relationship? What dreams are you (un)willing to sacrifice? Should you even sacrifice any in the first place?
A few thoughts on this subject.
A committed relationship changes your life.
Don’t just agree with this mentally. Accept it emotionally as well. What do I mean? Do you know anyone who’s in a committed relationship but still wants to live like they’re not? They want the ‘freedom’ (whatever that means) to do what they please, how and when they please. They get irritated when the other person asks about their decisions and ‘personal matters’.
I’m tempted to ask “hello, what did you think you were getting into?”. That’s what I mean by mental agreement and emotional acceptance. You must understand that by agreeing to get involved with someone, you are effectively giving them a license to drive into your life- you’re inviting them in. That invitation comes with responsibilities and consequences.
Know your plans – clearly.
Your destination should determine your company. Where are you going? What are your targets?
Are there specific goals you have vowed to accomplish before committing to a marriage such as attaining a certain age (I’m serious), level of education, career goals, financial strength?
To some, these are idealistic standards with no use in the real world. For others, these are the non-negotiables. They are the deal breakers.
Don’t expect the other person to automatically share your emphasis (or indifference) on these points. You need to decide this for yourself and verify the other person’s stand on these matters.
Are you willing to (FAITHFULLY) wait for her to conclude her doctorate program in three years? Can you?
Would you be comfortable with a roller coaster account balance as he chases entrepreneurial ventures?
Do you catch yourself getting worried about the future of the relationship when they share their plans? Do you wonder “where do I fit in all of this?”
Are you willing to start a family immediately? This can become a MAJOR issue!!! Everything changes when the little angels start arriving.
These are areas where ignorance is costly!
If you let go, don’t groan.
I believe blaming others for forfeited goals is IMMATURE. If you choose to sacrifice anything, understand that you cannot hold that against the other person. Not now, not ever.
You cannot wake up five years down the road and blame your kids for coming too early or your spouse for not letting you explore ‘that opportunity’. That will be unkind. It will be childish too.
You are responsible for your dreams. Therefore, should you give up or in any way modify them, you must take FULL responsibility for that decision.
I’ll wait while you read that law again.
That is why you must be very careful when love starts placing demands on you. There may be days when you don’t feel this soft and cuddly towards him/her. On those days, would you excavate (supposedly) forgone issues and hurl them in his/her face? If you’re not so sure, S-L–O—W—-D—–O——W——–N today.
Here’s what I feel:
Don’t let yourself get pressured into making personal tradeoffs in a relationship. For any adjustment you make, be sure it is YOUR decision. That way, you won’t feel deceived and cheated later.
Don’t pressure anyone into making these decisions. Emotional blackmail, reversed psychology, inciting guilt or forcing deadlines are not the best way to go. Love is most gratifying when it is given 100% willingly. Trust me on this.
Building a successful relationship will demand tradeoffs. That’s just how it works. But it is your duty to clearly understand exactly what you’re getting involved with when your find yourself longing to do forever with your sweetheart.
And that leads me right back to my earlier question: what do you think you could give up in a romantic relationship? What are you (un)willing to surrender? I can’t wait to read your thoughts in the comments section below! Let’s talk.
Live by Design.