Monday, October 11, 2004

Choosing one’s right life partner

Choosing one’s right life partner

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Sunday, October 10, 2004 10:53 PM

In choosing the most suitable life partner, it’s absolutely vital to know what one wants. Many people rush into relationships without having the faintest idea about what they truly need or want in a love relationship.

Everything is so vague, so dream-like, that it is virtually useless if one is to make a reasonable choice of a partner. We need to accept that any relationship is risky. There are too many unknowns, too many things that can go wrong and too many inevitable changes that will take place to say that this or that relationship is guaranteed.

My 40 years of counseling have taught me that even the best-looking, most solid relationship can and does collapse. Even if every relationship has elements of risk, some are a whole lot riskier than others. And others are sure disasters in the making from the very beginning.

The key is to have a combination of things work together so that the relationship is not the result of a crap shoot. Marriages that don’t work can be so devastating to one’s happiness that any relationship should be seen as a potential marriage in the making. How many couples start out dating for fun when marriage is the farthest thing from their minds and they end up being sucked into marriage by circumstances and happenings that are totally unforeseen. Before they understand what’s happening, they are married and with kids.

Then, when reality sets in, they are miserable and don’t know what to do.

So it is exceedingly important that people (the young and the not so young) accept that any man-woman friendship has the potential to get a lot of more serious than originally thought. I worked five years with the woman who became my wife. If you had told me when I first met her that she would become my life partner, I would have called you crazy.

But the heart has its own reasons that defy logic and understanding, and when it begins to skip a beat, anything can and does happen. This is why we all know of the most unlikely people ending up sharing a life together.

Many relationships are unmitigated disasters. Often they work out quite well, and sometimes they surpass all expectations.

Relationships are very difficult to maintain because they are so tricky. Living together 24 hours a day for years on end and staying happy is no mean feat. Murphy’s law (everything that can go wrong, will go wrong) keeps disturbing the peace. Your partner changes (it cannot be otherwise) and you don’t especially like what’s happening. The relationship is constantly evolving and going in directions you least expected, and that troubles you. There are doubts that creep into your mind every once in a while. Something you never believed would happen, but is happening.There are maybe even moments when you cannot believe how quickly and almost thoughtlessly you got into your marriage, but here you are tied together by your vows, your kids, your material goods and so many other factors. Sometimes you wish it didn’t happen so fast, no matter how long was your courtship.


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