We’ve all had relationships that we’ve looked back on and thought, “What was I thinking?’’ Problem is, you weren’t thinking. You based your decision strictly on chemistry and first impressions, and in the words of Elvis Presley, “That’s when your heartaches begin.”
Imagine you have an empty wall over your sofa and are looking for the perfect piece of art to fill it with. Let’s make believe there’s a gallery in town that is known for having great paintings. There’s only one problem. All of their artwork is covered up except for one small corner. If you decide you like something, you can either buy it without seeing what the whole thing looks like, or you can go back each week as a bit more of it is revealed.
Do you get where I’m going with this? Most people fall for a corner of the painting and immediately decide this would be the perfect piece of art for a wall that has been bare for far too long. Instead of returning each week to the gallery to learn a bit more, they make up their mind on the spot and only weeks or months later when the cover is off do they see what they are really dealing with.
I doubt anyone would ever buy art in this fashion, yet that is exactly what you’re doing when you first meet someone and either instantly or within days or weeks decide you want them to be your partner. You’re only seeing a corner of the painting. If you had waited to see what the rest looked like, you may have chosen to move on instead.
What’s the solution? When meeting someone new, your motto should be, “SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE AND I’LL DECIDE WHERE YOU FIT INTO MY LIFE, IF ANYWHERE”. Instead of trying or hoping to have someone in your life, let the person show you who they are, by their words, actions and non-actions. Then you can decide what category to put them in.
Let’s say you’re looking for a committed relationship. You meet someone and at first everything seems great. Then they start to become unreliable, don’t call when they say they will, cancel dates, show up 2 hours late, are verbally abusive, etc. You’ve just been shown that they are not to be taken seriously.
If you’ve already brought them home and placed them on that empty space above your sofa (your heart), it will be more difficult to walk away, than if you had just gone to the gallery each week to see who they were
There was a guy that had been trying to get my number for several months, but I wasn’t interested, so I didn’t give it to him. One day he mentioned that he had been tanning at a friend’s pool. I thought it might be fun to go with him sometime, so he gave me his number. I called on a Saturday afternoon, to see about going on Sunday. Well, this guy that was so interested in my number beforehand, didn’t call back.
When I saw him the following Monday, I said, “What happened? You never called back.” He said, “I had a crazy weekend”. Does that mean he couldn’t find 5 minutes to call back? I doubt it, but it did show me who he was and if I wasn’t interested before, I was even less interested now.
Let people show you who they are and then you can decide if and where they fit into your life.