When I start working with a new couple or individual around relationship concerns I often begin by asking them what their relationship goals are. Most, but not all, will tell me that they are just looking for a nice, loving, monogamous relationship. They say that like I am supposed to know what that means — and I don’t. Not that I am clueless, but rather because I know that there is more than one meaning to the word monogamous.
You can’t dig your way out of a hole. Think about it. You are in a hole and you keep digging. What happens? Eventually, the hole gets so deep that you can’t throw the dirt out of the hole anymore and it just keeps falling back down around you. If you start to dig sideways, the integrity of the walls weakens and risks falling in around you. What should you do?
Have you ever been in a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) and felt frustration about how things were going — wishing the other person would behave differently? You have tried being nice, coaching them to change (whether they knew it or not) and spent hours considering how impossible it is that someone couldn’t notice how inappropriate and unsatisfying their behavior is? We have all experienced it. Sometimes we can just let it go and sometimes it gets so bad we find ourselves in a divorce, looking for a new job or estranged from a friend or loved one.
Every day we are faced with the reality of being single, in a relationship, married, divorced, or “it’s complicated.” Relationships as a whole have seemed to become more difficult as the years have progressed. Consequently many questions arise when you meet someone. Is the physical attraction necessary to move forward? Is previous relationship history a good indicator of how he/she treats all relationships? Is career focus a good sign of healthy commitment habits? Can we realistically know all the answers in one, two, three, or ten dates? And do we ever really fully know our partner in a given amount of time? This brings me to my discussion of the ins and outs of on-line dating.