Relationship failures part 2 - Broken Hearts

85% of relationships end in a break up according to an article by Miri Rosen written for 'The Date Report',

Eharmony the relationship internet dating providers, apparently say, you need to date at least twelve people before getting married. I find that 'fact' a bit questionable. The reason being I see lots of clients that have dated almost non stop for years, and have still remained unhappy and uncommitted (you see I left marriage off there, mainly because I do not believe it is the only way of having an everlasting relationship (personal view))

Considering the stats, no wonder we eat so much chocolate ladies, and it now makes sense to me why I see so many men in lycra married to their bikes.

What on earth can we do about not becoming one of the 85%?

1. Stop looking for 'upgrades' all the time.

Relationships are not an internet package or a phone, and a 'faster connection' or 'more apps' is not always the way to go...richer, sexier, more sporty, better car, Unfortunately, internet dating as facilitated this. It is also for some folk, highly addictive.

There is a lot of thrill in meeting a new bod. Lots of chemicals flowing, lots to discover, the sex is often exciting and explorative (if you are lucky) are on an upward 'anticipation curve (AC)'.
Dopamine and adrenaline is spiking. Yippidy do da...we are away.!

Then real life kicks in.
Your dating may become a relationship? For some folk at this point, they will get bored. They start reminiscing about how they felt during the AC stage. They detach, they may start looking around, they may just suddenly end things just as you thought it was going so well.

The anticipation curve is addictive - beware! This is where a lot of problems are created if you are chasing the buzz. If you recognise this in yourself, please get some help to sort it out. If you don't, you will eventually be likely to lose the sense of what actually does make you happy and content, because you are hooked on the chemical buzz.

Yes, some will call this 'Freedom or fun', no need to commit, but that mindset tends to diminish as age increases and are we just saying that to ourselves nowadays, because we can find love? Well, if that truly is the case, that we all just want 'fun and freedom', why do I see so many unhappy people searching for love and security, male and female? Just this week I had a lovely chap come into the practice, he was in tears because he feels unlovable, frantic but unsuccessful Tinder hook ups.

2. We need to accept that relationship are not always easy...

The idea of a 'Soul Mate' is possible, but what do we mean by Soul Mate?

Human do well when we find 'our tribe', those who 'get us' and share in some of our core beliefs. We also thrive by supporting each other. I guess they didn't write ' for richer or poorer, better or worse, in sickness and health' in to the marriage vows for nothing.

In marriage or a committed partnership, the relationship is tested when S..T happens... Will you pull together/ Do you support each other..or do one of you go for an upgrade?
3. Give it time...

That old saying 'Rome was not built in a day', neither are good solid relationships. They need to move at a realistic and sensible pace.

Because we are getting used to instant gratification, everything seems to need to be happening NOW, we can get impatient. This is 'LaLa La Land' territory, boy meets girl, they fall in love, discover they want different careers, so part company. Upgrade? They recognise they love each other, but do not see passed the initial problem. They quit. Did it work out? She found love and had a child. He seemed to be stuck. he had his jazz bar, but what else?

What would have happened if they had taken time to work through the differences? What if she had not been so angry with him? What if they had met up after the fall out and discussed it? This is just a story, but it does demonstrate the fragility of love and relationship, and how we tend to fill the gap of lost love quickly especially these days, which is why the statistics are so high I guess.

4. Be realistic...

If someone is declaring undying love after a few weeks, think on. Do they really love 'you'? Do they really know 'You'. Or is this part of the 'chemical intoxication'? Many confuse excitement with love.

You are never going to be agreeing on everything, but you do need to have trust, respect and the ability to communicate when things get tough. It is also a great help if you are great at nattering, share beliefs, and treat each other equally.

5. Do not fall into the rebound trap...

When a serious relationship ends for someone, they can move fast to ease their pain by again dating quickly.

You can get seriously hurt here if you are a sticking plaster for the wound they have endured. If they are used to commitment perhaps, they may go straight into the behaviour they had with the ex, especially if it was a longish relationship. You will be on holiday before you know it, meeting the family, maybe moving in together. When you have helped to mend the wound, and when they are back on planet earth, you might find them withdrawing. This will hurt like hell.
6. Get in at the shallow end...not the deep end.

This is not fail safe, as I have been hurt myself in the past despite being careful, but try to imagine this scenario.

A swimming pool ( the relationship)

You meet and this should look like you both dipping a toe in the pool and testing the water. The water looks safe and inviting, so you go down the steps slowly. Great there is a shark in the water ( husband of you bathing partner (that you did not know about) or big pile of poo in there, or a criminal record) you get my drift. You can very easily get out of the pool.

You never got out of your depth, so you did not get eaten by the shark or get covered in plop. Disappointed, but no broken heart.

What would have happened if you had dived in the deep end?

So you have got that nailed, you will move slowly into the relationship. Just beware of this scenario.

You get invited swimming. You are at the waters edge and your date dives in. They are having a whale of a time (excuse the water pun). They want to swim and have fun in the deep end, so you dip in your toe, O.K so far, so you go down the steps, still fine. You start to swim, all going great. They are up that deep end calling your name and only yours! Come swim with me, it is fab here, Do not worry, I will save you if you get into difficulty.

You start to feel great, you are on your way to the deepest water and all is looking fine.

So you arrive. In deep, in love. It all looks great and you feel that you are both going to stay safely in the deep end.

Shock horror! What is happening? Your swimming partner is heading towards the shallow end, and yes, they are getting out of the pool...

They said thanks for the swim (or not) and they are off to find a new pool...and then a new pool, and a new pool and it goes on.

My point being. beware of those who dive in without looking. They will come unstuck one day when they forget to check if there is any water in there, but most pools have water.

Could be a commitment phobe, or just a lover the chemical highs of getting someone to the deep end? Maybe a recent heart break casualty that has forgotten about getting in the pool at the shallow end. I could think of a lot of reasons, but just be mindful, even the smartest peeps can get caught out by the the 'divers'.

Are you a victim of this? You will be amazed how a few counselling session can help.

7. Have great self-esteem

If you love you, then others will find it easier.

Date, and don't be put off by this article, it is here to help you find love but do not 'dive in' out of loneliness. Cultivate good friendships. Take up hobbies and interest so that dating is not the only way to get out.

I have a rule for myself that works well (most of the time), and I have shared it with others. Give yourself six months after the end of a true love affair. That way you won't date with a broken heart and end up getting it stroked by another (not fair on them), this also confuses the feelings for the ex, and a bit like La La Land makes reconciliation less likely. This is where the 'easy picks' off the internet dating sites mess things up- quick fix stuff.

The horrid saying, 'you need to get under a man to get over one', smacks of a lack of self worth (same goes for men). You do not stop loving someone, 'if' you truly did. You will just be creating emotional confusion for yourself if you 'dive straight in'. More than not use others. How can we love ourself when we do this, we do not, it creates self loathing. If you do not care, then you might be one of these that 'dive in the deep end with gay abandon'. I ask you, what does this mean for your future?

You will be ore grounded and feel together after six months (if not, counselling can help). You will make better choices and therefore avoid many of the 'dating disasters' not all sadly.

8. Generally speaking, good people love good people.

Find your tribe and you may find your soul mate. Forever is a long time and to make that work you will be tolerant through the ups and downs. As long as you feel loved and you are both prepared to talk, listen and compromise, you have a good chance of happiness.

Who wants to end up.... There Again The 85%

Click above to play this sad but amusing animation.