May 30, 2013

Dodging the Altar

Oh, wedding season. You bring such joy and excitement for so many couples who are taking steps toward one of the most awesome life changes. Along with it comes tears and laughter from friends and family reuniting to celebrate. The promise of lasting love. And great cake.
And then there are the stories of those making the getaway before the big day.

Stories like this:

This begs the question: How soon do you know when a relationship is OVER?

Don't we sometimes look at these cases of runaway brides and grooms and think, "Why didn't you tell me you were thinking of bailing before I sent you the present??"

Some husbands and wives who've ended up divorcing even later admit that they knew they weren't compatible with their spouses as they walked down the aisle! Yikes!

Admittedly, I've known some relationships were doomed from the very beginning, but I'd give them a chance anyway and hope things would work out. I think I just liked some of the guys I dated so much that I hoped hard work would overcome our blatantly apparent mismatch.
In fact, I once moved across the country in hopes of improving a relationship, thinking I was showing the ultimate form of dedication. I'd traveled hundreds of miles through a messy, blinding snowstorm for days. I was exhausted upon my arrival.
The moment he opened the door and gave me a huge hug welcoming me to my new town I thought, "Maybe this isn't a good idea."
Sometimes it takes a big move to help us realize what we likely already know.

In situations like these, it's important to step away from all the feelings that so easily confuse and excite us. In those moments, it's smart for us to step away and think, "What will our future look like in five years? Will I still be able to be my most authentic self?" or even dare to ask, "Do I really even love this person?"
Stepping away from something we're used to is, well, scary. And painful.
It's also brave. And sometimes necessary.

On the flip side, I've also made too quick of judgments by OVER-thinking. I see this happen a lot with my clients. Often, as soon as they meet someone, they reason their way out of seeing a potentially incredible future with someone. Sometimes it's the classic idea of thinking there's no "spark" or "connection" right away - and other times it's just from thinking too much and over-analyzing. (Such is the curse of successful guys and gals!)

So maybe consider this as a good formula to keep in mind:

                           Love him with your heart.   
                           Marry him with your head.
In the beginning, it's a MUST to take risks! And as things get more "real" - that's when it's time to put your brain-hat back on, think about the possibilities of what a real future would look like with this person, and take the time to invest in the CHOICE of taking that next big step.

And as long as we're talking about taking big steps in life - take some steps toward the dance floor at the next wedding you go to. There's nothing a good Chicken Dance and a piece of chocolate cake can't help make better.

Cheers to love, life, and your love life!
Tamara Duricka Johnson is the award-winning author of 31 DATES IN 31 DAYS. She is a dating coach who helps successful singles conquer dating dilemmas and offers one-on-one coaching for those ready to take their love lives to the next level.                    

1 comment:

Weikel said...

I personally don't know anybody that has dodged the alter, but I know with my first marriage I probably should have. I knew within the week prior to the wedding there were plenty of signs which I brought up to my soon to be husband but he assured me I was over reacting. On the honeymoon I KNEW instantly that I had made a mistake as my new husband would make sexual comments towards other ladies. It was a real eye opener! I stuck it out for 3 months because of embarrassment of how short we have been married and felt that if I gave up that soon people would think of me as a quitter. After a couple years of counseling I became a true believer of happily ever after. I told my current husband that if he is ever un-happy, please tell me and he is free to leave. I know that is sad, but I think everybody deserves to be happy and to be loved by someone that is happy with them. And if one part of the marriage isn't happy, then how can that be a happy marriage? I think I would prefer someone running from the alter than someone to go through such a happy moment just to end in a divorce when one knew it wasn't right.

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