The Quickest Way to Destroy a Relationship…
Begin with a sense of entitlement. No one is saying we aren’t entitled to our preferences. The more experiences we have, the more we discover what works best for us. Don’t assume others will change their preferences any more than you’ll change yours. Respect what works for you and what works for others.
Take a look at your expectations. Are they based just on what’s familiar, or have you discovered this works best for you? Understand the reason differences might cause problems for you. Maintain a list of what works best for you (not what’s familiar). When you meet potential partners, discover whether these qualities and patterns exist in this person. Don’t just see what you want to see, and don’t expect people to conform to your expectations.
Does everyone define love the same? No!!! Never assume using the same words equates with having the same definitions. If something is important to you, make sure both of you understand how each of you define that word (equality, helpful, fun, etc.). Make sure you understand what’s important to your potential partner and your partner understands what’s important to you. Before you invest, discover what this person will expect of you and what you can expect of your partner. Be specific… generalities may feel safe, but will lead to future frustration and resentment.
No one is more entitled than another. If you treat anything as an entitlement, it becomes an obligation, and we resent and resist obligations. Don’t assume what makes sense to you makes sense to others. Openly discuss and explore important issues early on. Choose a partner based on what exists… not your belief of what could or should exist. Don’t assume what happens rarely will happen frequently. Would you appreciate receiving what you are dishing out?
Everyone is entitled to be appreciated as is, not for any potential. Respect your preferences when you choose, but never expect others to meet expectations that weren’t discussed or presented till after the other person had already invested in the relationship. Be clear, open and honest upfront, preventing frustration and disappointment for both.
To discuss this or other issues, Dr. Levine can be reached at 661-877-8378.
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