The faster we move the shorter they tend to be as human beings never measure up to our fantasies of them. The marathon doesn’t really begin until after the first half of the race is over and I contend that most relating doesn’t begin until the flames of infatuation cease to burn in an out of control fashion.It takes a history of consistent contacts, continuity of conversations and emotional connecting to build authentic, reliable and sustainable relationships. It’s at this time the edge is taken off the urgency to be magnets for each other.
I can’t count how many times I have heard inside and outside of my private practice things like: “he was an angel until he moved in and then, became a tyrant, “ or “She gave me so much freedom to be myself until we got engaged and then, she wanted to know my whereabouts every hour of the day” or “He was great with my kids until we got married and then, he became jealous and envious to the point of hating them.”In summary, to ensure that you are not blinded by the uncontaminated fantasies about a potential partner which assume lives of their own early on in relationships when there is little history together, clear boundaries, and infrequent contacts, please consider the following recommendations before you make any commitments and go beyond the point of no return.1) It’s human nature to wish to possess that which holds the potential to satisfy powerful yearnings.I urge all of you out there to consider staying out of bed as long as is possible and to do your best not to lavish your dates with expressions of infatuation which may be confused by both of you with expressions of love. The ocean may look very inviting however, if there is an undertow you simply must refrain from getting in to deep until it subsides.It’s hard enough to make an intelligent and reasonable judgment about selecting a partner without complicating the matter further.Just keep in mind as you go through the process what kind of stepparent your love interest might be to your kids.At the risk of mortally wounding your fantasies, ask clarifying questions, observe responses, and continue to reflect on what’s happening between you.
When you process these interactions with your date is your reality in the same ballpark as his?
They either convince themselves they are better off not going beyond getting their feet wet (at best) or they deny and minimize their fears, which can lead to making reckless plunges. Well, the chronically painful realities of divorce that involve children may be likened to having a chronic and debilitating illness like arthritis.
Instead of periodic flare ups of painful inflammation of muscles and joints we are left dealing with periodic flare ups of our children’s painful struggles to come to terms with our divorces, flare ups of our own painful struggles to come to terms with divorce and episodic painful dealings with our divorced spouses.
We don’t know someone intimately until we get a flavor of the ghosts of seasons past we will be dealing with from time to time.
I say this no matter how great is the chemistry and/or level of comfort between the two of you.
If we level with ourselves we don’t want to get involved with partners who in their repeating of history engage in abusive and neglectful dynamics even if they are darlings the rest of the time.