Many people start relationships or get married for the wrong reason. This may begin to explain why so many young couples end up divorced or single after a short period of time.
Here are a few of the wrong reasons that people get into relationships:
- Sexual attraction – too many people confuse sexual attraction for love. This may lead to short-term marriages or relationships. When the sexual attraction wanes and there are no fundamentals to the relationship; trust, respect, compromise and communication, the relationship will probably wane.
- Escaping the family – many young people feel stuck at home. When a potential partner appears they leap at the opportunity to leave the family home. Even if the partner is not a good match their need to separate from their family is greater.
- The infatuation syndrome – too many people confuse infatuation for love. Infatuation is defined as intense fleeting feelings for a partner whereas love is long lasting and is based on trust and commitment.
- Ignoring the signs of trouble – is your partner easily angered and do they frequently lose control? These may be potential signs of problems in your relationship. If there is abusive behaviour during your engagement period, it will only get worse after you are married unless the person seeks out counselling or therapy.
- Talk about the future relationship – talking about your expectations is one of the clearest ways of making sure you are both on the same page, and share common values. Couples need to discuss if they want to have children, where they are going to live, or if they will be a career focused household.
- Keeping your blinders on – when some people fall in love they get blinded to the realities of their partner’s behaviour. It’s good to do a reality check from time to time – if you lost your job, who would be there to support you?
Christopher Swane - Relationship Counselling and Psychotherapy - Wellington New Zealand