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Is this the one or am I settling?
You care deeply for him and call him your best friend. She's an awesome woman and a great friend and confident. You can't imagine your life without him or her-- but is this person the love of your life or are you somehow settling for something else?
If you have been asking yourself this question you may be surprised to know that the answer already exists within you if you know where and how to look for it. Essentially you have to ask yourself the right questions and answer them with complete openness and vulnerability. This approach may sound too simplistic and easy to actually get to the truth, but it is neither. It is the act of hiding from the truth that requires layers of self-deception, rationalization, and denial--all of which get between you and what YOU KNOW deep down in your heart and soul.
The following are an exercise followed by a list of questions that when answered honestly will guide you to the correct answer. Take your time with each one, and if you feel stuck, skip it and go back to it later.
* Rate these "benefits of marriage" in numerical order (1-8) of their importance to you--companionship, financial security, social status, children, sex life, have a life partner, married VS single lifestyle, someone to complete you
* Now rank order these 8 (going from what is strongest to weakest) as they exist in your relationship with your significant other
After you have completed the above, go on to answer the following questions:
* Is your primary relationship goal to find love or to find a partner in order to have children?
* Do you have a history of going from one relationship to the next because you don't like being alone--or are you comfortable with /have experience with living alone/being single?
* Are most of your friends coupled or single?
* Do you feel you are literally running out of time to get married/have children?
* Do you have any past relationships that you feel are unresolved/unfinished for you?
* Do you believe that getting married is an expected and necessary step in everyone's life?
* Are you afraid that there are no suitable people out there for you? Do you fear you will never find a relationship and will grow old alone?
Once you have worked through the above, give yourself some time to reflect on your responses. Sleep on them and ask for input from a trusted friend who knows you well. Make sure you don't go with your safe answer, or the one you want it to be. If you feel a bit unsettle by what you see, you are on the right track. The truth is really very clean and simple--you just have to strip away all the defensive barriers you have carefully constructed. Who knows, this process may lead you to the happy conclusion that yours is the good enough relationship you seek.
Want to read other articles on this subject?
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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