How do you distinguish between a spring fever, a potentially heart-breaking romance, and the real thing?
The divorce rate in Palm Springs and Southern California is so high the state doesn’t even report the numbers anymore. The divorce rate is estimated to be between 65- and 75-percent in Southern California (http://www.allaboutlifechallenges.org/coping-with-divorce.htm)
Let’s face it: most of us are miserable without a mate. Tens of billions of dollars, yen, euros, and pesos are spent each year by men and women on perfumes and after-shave lotions trying to exude a primal scent captivating enough to capture a mate. Another multi-billion dollars is spent on alluring clothing meant to accentuate the physical virtues of the masses. All this in order to get the attention of not just the potential mate, but the right mate.
The problem begins when all those scents and silks pay off, and you meet someone with eyes that sparkle right back at you and you fall madly into … something. Is it love? Is it lust? Is it a mistaken identity? Could this be the one?
That’s where things begin to get cloudy and sticky. That’s when you need a few essential brain and heart tools to sort out what’s real and what’s not.
That’s when you have to be able to back off from the rapture of infatuation enough to ask some fundamental questions and accept some bitter truths about yourself and your potential mate.
People don’t change
The most important rule to follow when assessing a potential mate is to go on the assumption that people don’t change. Let’s qualify that: People may be able to change some behaviors, such as quitting smoking, but short of a major epiphany, you’re stuck with what you get. And, just as importantly, you’re stuck with who you are.
Say you meet someone who meets your physical requirements. But after you get to know them a little, you see that they get angry easily. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’ll change. They may tone it down a little, but the fact is this is an angry person. If you don’t like angry people, walk away.
Conversely, don’t think you can change yourself to fix a problem. For instance, unless you’re Gandhi or Mother Teresa, don’t tell yourself that you can accept an angry person as a mate.
If you follow this one rule, you will save yourself a lot of misery.
What you see is what you get
When meeting someone you are attracted to, most people put their best foot forward. You wash your car. You shower and put on your best clothes. When you get together, you are extremely kind and courteous and forgiving. This actually is dangerous behavior.
It’s okay to take the shower and wash the car, but make a commitment to yourself that you will show the potential mate who you really are. Talk freely about your likes and dislikes, your temperament pet peeves. About your dreams and ambitions. That way, if you pursue the relationship, you know they like you for who you are. It’s much more relaxing this way — you don’t have to fake it.
These two rules have one requirement: Do some serious self-searching to find out the truth of who you are. You may want to get some help from a therapist; it’s great to have a professional help you discover your reality.
In this society, many people grow up with unrealistic beliefs about themselves and who they are. It’s easy to do. We are bombarded with images in the media of what’s cool and what’s not America. Many of us believe we are a certain way when we really aren’t. Find out who you really are, and you’ll have a much easier time finding the right mate.