I don’t think anybody would really disagree with me when I say that dating and romance has gotten tremendously complicated in the last decade or so. I seem to be encountering an increasing number of individuals who are struggling with finding that perfect partner and moving towards long-term fulfilling relationships. What’s even more disheartening are people I think would make fantastic better-halves but can’t seem to put the whole package together for one reason or another.
We’re going to tackle this head-on and do something about it.
But before we do, we need to recognize the real issues here. If you are single and can’t figure out why you’re not in relational bliss and living a fairy-tale romance, read on. But fair warning, I’m going to get pretty real here and you might not like my argument. Here is a real great clip from the movie The Notebook (one of the greatest relationship movies of all time which I am not afraid to admit):
Let’s look at the factors that are challenging relationships today.
First, we are a hyper-connected virtual people now. It’s sometimes easier to be buried in Facebook or Twitter which can rob us of the opportunity to learn how to have real face-t0-face interactions. I see people asking others out on dates via SMS text and even more breaking up by instant messenger.
Second, I believe well-intentioned singles are falling into ‘Analysis Paralysis’. This happens when you have so many options to choose from that we lock down and pick none. We’re always wondering if there is something better out there. With such an abundance of choice comes a massive problem. They say that beggars can’t be choosers. And from my opinion, sometimes that’s a good thing. Beggars are humbled. And if we were a little more humble and grateful for the few choices right in front of us, things could be much simpler.
Lastly, and most importantly, the above two factors combine to create an entirely wrong motivation when it comes to dating and romance. I see way too many people use the tools and opportunities in front of them in futile attempts to make their lives easier. Here is one huge truth people need to accept:
Romance is NOT easy–and nor was it meant to be.
When I do pre-martial counselling with engaged couples, I share something that I learnt the hard way many years ago:
Marriage is a LOVE story set in a WAR.
In other words, as well-intentioned as we may be, marriage is painful simply because we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. And where love is the foundation of any great relationship, it is the war that refines us to be resilient enough to make things last. Think about it. Every great fairy-tale starts with a great challenge to overcome. There always needs to be a dragon, evil queen or a tyrant empire. And if you think I am being old-fashioned by saying the princess needs to be trapped in a castle helpless, think again. In the best romantic stories, both partners need to fight for each other. They just do it in different ways.
The sad fact is we’re just not resilient enough to believe and fight for our own fantasies.
In the above scene from The Notebook, Rachel McAdam’s character has yet to understand the resiliency needed for a true relationship. Ryan Gosling’s character however has fully embraced the pain that is part of the fairy-tale package. “We fight! That’s what we do… I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings,” shows his commitment.
So how do we obtain the resiliency needed to truly fight for fulfillment in our romantic lives? The answer is three-fold:
First, you need a bigger picture for what true romance is.
(We’re not going to get into this now but here’s a hint: IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU.)
Second, you need to know who you are and be brutally honest about it.
You need to know what motivates you. What makes you tick and respond. This is where you personal DNA comes in. What I call ‘Motivational DNA’ (M_DNA).
Third, you need to stop forcing your Motivational DNA on your potential partners.
In our study of M_DNA, I am always astounded how much people project who they are onto others. There is no way in God’s green earth I would ever marry a female version of me. (One of me is bad enough and to subject the world to two of us in a relationship would be grounds for crimes against humanity.) However many people, whether they know it or not, want their partners to act and respond exactly like they do.
I’ll be writing more thoughts on this topic in the coming weeks. For now, I hope I have given you enough food for thought.
We’re developing a mini-workshop on Motivational DNA in the context of romance and dating. If you are interested in joining us, we have set up a Meetup.com community.
Or you can CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL WORKSHOP
To learn more about M_DNA, go to our site www.iamsynchronized.com