What’s the most commonly referenced deal-breaker in a relationship?
You guessed it—cheating. But how can this be avoided? We often consider the effect (cheating) more important than the causes (listed below), don’t we? By this I mean that the desire to stray from your partner doesn’t just appear out of nowhere—there are many factors involved that contribute to the motive of the act itself, but most people don’t take the appropriate steps to ensure their partner won’t feel the desire to do so. The first step toward avoiding infidelity altogether? Date your values!
Millions of heartbreaks a year can be avoided if more people chose more appropriate partners who share their same baseline values. And by values, I don’t mean those of religion and politics—those are philosophical and moral values that work themselves out in the head. In this case, the values I’m referring to are values of attraction, the ones that begin in the unconscious and provide the foundation for or against a successfully committed relationship.
As a life coach, I’m always surprised by the number of couples that ask me to counsel them who are different in almost every way, yet they are adamant that the relationship has hope. I am not a cynic by any means, but forcing a square peg into a round hole is almost as impossible in physics as is it is in human relationships. Life is hard enough without dating someone with whom you lack a fundamental connection with, someone whom you and he/she will lose interest for in time.
If you’re struggling in your relationship, or about to commit to one, asking yourself these questions may shed light on your long term compatibility and fidelity:
“What kind and degree of intimacy do we each enjoy/require in our partner?” This question is paramount to ask yourselves, and is the most significant factor that contributes to infidelity. Couples don’t just communicate with their voices, and real “bonding” between couples occurs through touch, so make sure that you enjoy the same kind of physical representations of intimacy, or else feelings of discomfort, lack of safety, and confusion will become a standard point of resentment between you both as time passes.
“Do we have natural sexual chemistry?” Have you ever kissed someone for the first time and it felt all wrong? Like your rhythms didn’t connect? Unfortunately, I’ve coached couples that never attended to those initial red flags and find themselves wondering why they don’t get along, feel distant from one another, and generally question why they continue to remain in the relationship. The feelings they’re experiencing all stem from their lack of physical chemistry that eventually manifests itself in communication issues beyond the bedroom. Remember, we’re animals, too, so don’t let your logical human brain dismiss the instincts that shout at you to move on to a partner whose frequency matches yours!
“How important is sense of humor in a spouse?” We all want to be understood, and we all have different ways of communicating that require encouragement and support so that we feel connected. If you happen to be sarcastic, make sure your partner has a natural capability to be “in on the joke.” If they aren’t, think about how offended they’ll be on a regular basis, and think of how misunderstood you’ll feel! If you’re a more serious person who doesn’t enjoy a court jester around the house, don’t date him/her because they’re fun at parties! Whatever sense of humor you have, make sure you’re both good audiences for one another, and your set will last forever.
“Are we equally extroverted or introverted?” This is a huge factor that determines a successful relationship. If an introverted partner doesn’t understand an extrovert’s need to socialize, then he or she will eventually become jealous and resentful of their partner’s social community. Concurrently, the extrovert will feel disconnected from his or her spouse, wishing for a partner-in-crime but socializing solo. Both partners will feel disconnected and neglected in their own way.
“What level of conversation do we share together? Is it at least the same level of depth as my best friend?” By “depth” I’m not suggesting you should be speaking about Greek philosophy and the nature of the universe. “Depth,” is another word for conversational intimacy. Do you like talking about similar things? The successful couples that I work with all share a communication trait where they speak to each other like best friends would. Have you ever spent time with a couple that doesn’t seem to even enjoy talking to one another? How terrible! Now imagine that for the rest of your life? Unacceptable. Choose a partner with whom your conversations are easy, and you’ll find your relationship will follow suit.
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