One fine day in 1963 two people whom I adore went on a date, and shortly thereafter they just knew they'd eventually marry each other. Fifty years later, they are indeed happily married and I am proud to call them my loving parents. Like them, sometimes you "just know" you've found the right person and that's followed by a thoughtful, practical and organic approach towards getting to know each other and planning a life together.
Today though, dating isn't so simple and many times people complicate it unnecessarily. Rather than following their hearts, they are influenced by societal expectations and their friends' opinions. All too often people compare themselves to others who are married or partnered and set timelines for themselves. For example, I hear so often from my clients: "My friends are all getting married." Or, "I have to meet the man of my dreams this year, be engaged within a year, married within two and have kids within three." This urgency reeks of desperation and is about as appealing to potential partners as ordering cold cuts at the deli. That said, people should forget the fact that their friends are either married or engaged. They aren't part of their relationship. Nor is there a life script that says you need to adhere to societal norms or rush to get married just because others have done so. Remember, it's far better to be happily single than unhappily married.
Here's what to do:
- If you're in love with someone and talking next steps, then move away from the idea of a fairy-tale wedding and focus on marriage and a life together.
For more tips on love, dating, relationships and other life lessons learned from Mom and Dad, check out my new book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
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