Don’t Date What You Wouldn’t Marry (Pt 2)

July 2, 2014

If you’ve read Part One of ‘Don’t Date What You Wouldn’t Marry,’ you already understand the importance of spending time with potentials and not possibles. Based on the feedback I received, many readers didn’t take long to process the post because they knew very quickly where their relationship stood. No, he isn’t The One. No, she will never be taken home to meet your mother. Yes, he was always a seat filler, temporarily filling the role until someone else comes along. We’ve all made the mistake of spending too much of our lives entertaining people not destined for our future. But just how detrimental is dating someone you would never (ever) consider marrying? The previous blog post covered general reasons to head for the hills but for anyone not convinced, here are 3 specific and closely-related ‘considerations’ to keep in mind when navigating these dark and dreary waters.

 

“By not making a decision, you’re deciding. Inaction has just as much impact on your life as action.” – R. Bryant 

1. The Daily Struggle: Everyday is a reality check. Everyone around you knows where this relationship is going – no where. The only person not privy to the looming break up is the lovestruck guy/girl sitting beside you on the couch. It’s a job to pretend to have a future with someone. I was once in a relationship for a couple of years knowing the entire time nothing would ever come of it. I wasn’t in love, I doubt I was even in like. However, I talked myself into staying long after its expiration date in hopes of proving something. I’m still not quite sure what exactly that was but you get the point. Life and love are filled with enough complexity without added pretense. You know he isn’t it for you so why keep him around? It’s clear she doesn’t want children and you do so why allow things to progress? Accept him/her as they are at this point in time. Don’t expect them to change. Doing so is setting yourself up for a big disappointment while wasting your life’s most valuable asset – time.

 

2. Making Excuses: If you can quickly recognize qualities/traits/circumstances you find undesirable in a partner, yet knowingly date someone with the aforementioned, you’ll feel compelled to justify the decision to yourself and others. Including making excuses for things you don’t want or like and allowances for the things you don’t want others to see or know. Closely aligned with #1, this is a daily reality especially if it’s a closely-held belief or lifestyle choice. Imagine the daily impact of an atheist dating a fundamentalist Christian or a world traveler investing time with someone that doesn’t desire to leave their hometown. What about the successful businesswoman dating an unskilled, unemployed father of three? Just how long do we think these relationships will last? It’s not merely about the push-pull dynamic within the relationship but the creative explanations you must serve up to external critics. It becomes your job to explain why your boyfriend can’t pay for meals or why your girlfriend is always in the club. Ironically, you’re now providing excuses for why you aren’t getting what you want and having to be okay with it. Maybe it’s time to stop making up excuses and instead focus on making an exit.

 

3. Delaying the Tough Decision: Eventually, the relationship will end or you’ll stay involved but grow resentful. It’s that simple. By allowing things to continue while clearly seeing the massive red flags, you’re only delaying the inevitable. Breakups are rarely easy but when they happen, it’s because that’s what needed to be done. Dating someone not meant for your future means wasting your time. You already know it will never be so why allow yourself to become emotionally, physically and even financially invested?

What do you think? Do you know someone in a relationship not destined for their future?

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4 Comments

  • Reply Conrod July 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    I’m glad you mentioned the point of the atheist and Christian because I know a couple in that exact situation who has been married for almost 15 years. What I discovered from them is the importance of not believing that someone has to “change” to make the relationship work. The key is actually not changing them. She doesn’t try to make him a Christian and he doesn’t try to make her atheist. Acceptance is one of the biggest things people struggle with in relationships and there is nothing better than knowing someone accepts you and your beliefs. Luckily, they do share other values and interest. The last thing I’ll say is that you can find inspiration within a relationship. I was not an adventurous eater or open to certain experiences but knowing what it meant to her opened me up to it and it became something I enjoyed for me as well and not just because she wanted me to. Just a thought. Ok one last thing, I would sum it up as “sometimes” what makes people different may make a relationship better than what makes them similar.

  • Reply Conrod July 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Interesting post….as I kept thinking about my comment I started wondering if this advice “depends” on where you are in life. Experience is one of the best teachers and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve encountered many successful couples who would have never picked their spouses to be the one, yet it proved to be the reason why they worked. So, I guess I disagree with the idea of not dating what you wouldn’t marry…

    • Reply myndmatters July 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      I hear you Conrod but why should a person date someone that’s clearly not compatible? If a woman is a Christian and a man is a staunch atheist, should she be open to dating him or vice versa? That’s asking for a combative relationship that won’t really go anywhere. Also, it assumes someone is going to change their position and too many people (esp. women) have spent far too many years hoping and expecting the other person to change. We have to meet people where they are and not keep thinking they’ll come around to becoming who/what we want. Why push people to create dynamics that will most likely lead to disappointment?

  • Reply Sonia Thompson July 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Ah! The making of excuses – been there, done that. Hope to never do it again!

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