I think that at one time or another we’ve all ruined our own chances for a wonderful relationship. And I’ve found that these missed opportunities are often the result of what I call a relationship blind spot.
In my experience, there are a few blind spots that are more common than others. I want to consider here the first of four major relationship blind spots you may have that could be hurting your love life
The first blind spot is a widespread believe that dramatically influences our dating culture. It’s a misconception really, that I think many of us have fallen victim to.
Blind Spot #1: It is what it is; and if it’s meant to be, it will be
I saw this mentality all the time when I counseled college undergrads and graduate students. It usually went something like this:
“This girl I am talking to didn’t text me back. Last time we hung out, we kind of got into an argument, so I guess now she’s not into me.”
I’d say something like, “Have you called her? Or reached out in any way besides texting?”
“Was there a resolution to your argument?”
“Has there been anything else that caused you to think the relationship wasn’t going well?”
“No, not really, but I didn’t hear back so I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
At this point, I tended to ask my client to consider if “giving up” like this would help them get the result he or she desired—a happy relationship. Often the issues were so minor. The relationships they said they valued could have continued if they had been a bit more direct about what they wanted.
I see this thinking so much when it comes to dating! People think and act as if relationships and the future of a relationship are left up to fate. They think people are passive bystanders in their relationships and love is outside of their control. But in fact, relationships are not totally outside of our control!
A 2013 New York Times article titled, “The End of Courtship” made the point that casual hookups or failing to define the relationship is a keeps the emotional stakes lower. Maybe the relationship will go somewhere, maybe not. You know “it is what it is” or “if it’s meant to be it will be.”
Do you see how this removes responsibility? How it seemingly removes the risk of heartbreak? If we don’t get too invested, exert too much energy, or get too involved, the logic goes, somehow we’ll be safe from potential hurt.
Unfortunately it isn’t working out this way. Instead, rates of loneliness, anxiety, and depression are at all time highs, especially among Millennials. We crave human connection, but we can’t have these close, intimate relationships without putting some skin in the game. We have to take charge of our relationships and be intentional.
The reality is that our relationships require us be active managers. Managers you ask? Yes, it is so important that we be intentional in our relationships. I would go so far as to suggest we should have some sort of plan for our relationships. For example, have conversations with the other person about how things are, where they are going, about what you want out of a relationship, and about commitment.
Because sometimes just leaving relationships up to fate and having an “it is what it is” attitude can unfortunately lead to missing out on love.
Take some time to really think about how actively you are involved in managing your relationships. Don’t miss out on real intimacy and true connection.
For more resources to help you take charge of your love life, check out My Love Thinks’ Head Meets Heart. And As a special gift to I Believe in Love readers, get 50% off the course with coupon code IBELIEVEINLOVE.