Are You Falling for the Right Reasons? - Part 2
- Tuesday, March 11, 2003
In part one of this series on the wrong reasons for falling in love, we examined five of the worst internal circumstances in which to start a relationship: love at first sight, rebounding, rebellion, loneliness and obligation.
It's unlikely that anyone would intentionally base a relationship on these types of motivations. But it is extremely easy to unconsciously find yourself moving forward based on solely on these emotions.
In this article we're going to examine some external reasons – what researchers call "deficits" – that can particularly contribute to making poor choices when choosing a mate.
1. Financial advancement is a motivation for some to pursue a relationship. For example, many young divorced parents consider marriage as a solution to the exhaustion and expense of supporting and caring for young children all alone. People may also choose partners in order to advance their careers in certain professions. Whoever the person going into a relationship for economic reasons is not a likely candidate for choosing well, and in fact they may overlook negative traits because of their economic concerns.
2. Sexual attraction or guilt over sexual involvement is often behind one's choices in relationships. However, sex is not a sufficient reason to pursue a relationship or marry, and as a predominant factor seldom leads to lifelong happiness. As with economic concerns, sexual chemistry between two people can often blind them to other important qualities necessary for a successful relationship.
3. Premarital pregnancy is a problematic and all too frequent reason for marriage, even while a growing body of research has consistently demonstrated a connection between marrying for this reason and divorce. There are several reasons for this: the marriage is forced by outside events instead of internal desire and commitment; raising children is expensive, and financial stress is always difficult on even the strongest couple. On a couple forced into the situation, the stress can be unmanageable; the couple may not even be compatible, and may end up resenting each other for being in a situation in which both feel trapped.
4. Escape is potentially the most damaging motivation for pursuing a relationship. Some may do so to escape an unhealthy home situation, hoping that a new person or a new environment may solve their current problems. This is a terrible foundation for any relationship, and usually the person who does so tends to go through a series of relationship failures. They may escape from one relationship to another and then another. Believing that the new relationship could not be worse than the old one, they are almost always surprised to discover that they were wrong.
5. Pressure from parents, friends, or society in general pushes some singles to commit when they do not wish to. This can be particularly true for women, but for either gender there can be great social pressure pushing us to behave in ways that may not be in our best interest. The more two people are identified as a couple, the harder it may be for them to break things off, even if they are incompatible and unhappy. People may feel as if they are letting other people down, and may stay together as a result. This often leads to unhappiness and, in the case of marriage, it generally leads to divorce.
It's easy to get swept up in the excitement and rush of a new relationship, but it is important not to get so carried away that you lose sight of the right reasons to fall in love with someone. Keeping a clear head, taking things slowly, and above all getting to know your partner deeply before making serious decisions can help to make sure that when you do fall in love, you and your partner will be happy and successful. You will both be better for the effort.
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