Family works

Speaking on dating

Rob Coombs ID. Min. Ph.D.
Posted 3/26/17

The joys and pains of dating.

What fun it can be to meet someone brand new.

To spend hours just getting to know one another. Every moment can seem like a new adventure. Who is he really? Does …

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Family works

Speaking on dating

Posted

The joys and pains of dating.

What fun it can be to meet someone brand new.

To spend hours just getting to know one another. Every moment can seem like a new adventure. Who is he really? Does she like the same things I like?

The surprise of discovering similar interests. You both love the ocean or watching a beautiful sunset or going to the movies.

The hope of this relationship being “the one.” Are we soulmates? Are we meant to live our lives together?

Equal to the joy is the potential for pain. Our hopes and dreams can easily be dashed with disappointment and disillusionment. We find ourselves entangled in a relationship that has no easy way out.

It’s sort of like the kid who sticks his tongue against a flagpole on a cold winter day. He’s stuck and there is no way of unsticking himself without pain and without leaving a little piece of himself behind. Knowing and experiencing this pain can be so hurtful that some avoid the pain at all cost, refusing to take the risk of relationship again.

Such a reaction to pain is understandable, but not necessarily in the best interests of ever successfully finding and enjoying a healthy lifelong relationship. While finding a healthy relationship always involves the risk of pain, much of the pain might be avoided by paying special attention to four critical factors.

Factor One — Character: Be willing to evaluate the character of the person you are dating. Is he honest, thoughtful, caring, responsible, loving ... ? Over the course of five or six dates, if you are paying attention, you can begin to see patterns emerge. Are these the patterns you are confident you can enjoy? Will his patterns of behavior enrich your life? Forget the notion that you can change the other person. Women are especially notorious for attempting to change men. It’s never worked. Not a thousand years ago — nor today.

Factor Two — Consistency. I am amazed when I hear troubled married couples talk about their troubled relationships. I find myself thinking, “If it wasn’t working before you were married, why would you have believed it would work after marriage?” Dating relationships are good predictors of marriage relationships. Troubled dating relationships usually lead to troubled marriages. Happy dating relationships usually lead to happy marriages. The only real difference is that after marriage the happiness or trouble intensifies.

Factor Three — Communication. Can the two of you talk, really talk ... about anything? If you find that there are things that cannot be said, that you must guard parts of who you are, then the intimacy between the two of you will be compromised. Good relationships thrive on intimate, sensitive, caring, honest communication. Of course, such communication must be cultivated over time. But within a short period of time, you should know if this is the kind of person with whom you could share anything.

Factor Four — Patience. There’s really no such thing as “Love at first sight.” There certainly is attraction at first sight. We don’t really know if we love someone until we have a very good understanding of that person. Then love can slowly grow as the relationship develops. By being patient, you give your love a chance to grow in a healthy way over time. Involvement too quickly and the love may sizzle, but over time it will fizzle.

Love grows with tender loving care as partners patiently cultivate the relationship between them.

Character. Consistency. Communication. Patience. Very important. Very difficult. Very vital to choosing the person who will share your dreams, hopes, and desires.

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