I recently read this super smart article on Psychology Today. I passed it around to my life coach clients and even on Facebook because I thought there was so much truth there about the ways we sabotage ourselves when it come to love and relationships.
The people I heard back from really liked it, but there was a resounding message from them across the land...
"Are you kidding me? This is really hard. I am not sure I want to do all of that for love."
I know, Sugarpants. I know...
Knowing yourself well enough to recognize your stuff and then doing something about it... well, it can feel like, "Where do you even begin? Wasn't love supposed to be easier than this? Just fall into place? Just happen organically and then we live happily ever after?"
You have been lied to about love and relationships for a very long time.
Call Hollywood and tell them you want your sanity and realistic expectations back.
In my six years as a life coach who works with singles, here is what I know. Unlike our ancestors, we don't have to have long-term relationships anymore. It sounds crazy, but it's true.
Over 100 years ago, you got married for status, financial gain, to procreate and because your family couldn't afford to keep you. That just isn't true anymore.
We don't have to get married to survive in our world. Your family doesn't get a donkey for you and procreation is doing just fine.
Nowadays, with some good old-fashioned hard work, you can usually get a good job, an apartment and even a dog/cat and live a pretty decent life. You even have the option to have/adopt a kid on your own and start your own family. Most likely, you are not going to go hungry, homeless or be dead and empty inside.
Ultimately, you don't have to have a long-term relationship or get married.
The truth is, relationships are not necessary for survival anymore so at the end of the day, you have to really, really want it.
With our pretty long list of expectations and even longer life spans, married for life looks way different than it did a few years ago. It is absolutely do-able, but you have got to want it more than the convenience of single life.
You are going to have to want it when letting someone in to see the real you and all of your flaws feels uncomfortable. It will.
You are going to have to want it when compromising your life, schedule and things becomes annoying. It is going to.
You are going to have to want it to communicate on the level that makes relationships work, which will bring on confrontation and insecurity. They will show up.
You are going to have to want it when becoming vulnerable is scary. It is.
You are going to have to want it when you go through rough days and moments and want to just hide your head and the sand and make it go away. Which you will.
You are going to need to believe in love and relationships more than the days that you don't like them or even yourself. It's going to happen.
Creating a long-term relationship will rock every fiber of your being and make you question yourself. It is truly one of the most challenging things we can do in our life.
So you might be asking yourself, why would I want to do that? That sounds hard. Hard = bad, right?
Here is what I personally believe. Why I wake up every morning. Why I run a business that is downright not easy for me. What I do with my clients.
I believe when we create great love and beautiful healthy relationships we become stronger, happier and better people.
I believe when we are loved we can be better friends. Knowing we are deeply loved, little stuff rolls off of us and we have more time to listen and support others to be better people.
I believe when we are loved, we can be better parents. Because when we can be loved and we can give love, we will not doubt being good enough for them. When we are loved we learn and teach it is OK to make mistakes.
Your love and respect for others will teach them to be honest, kind and real. Modeling a healthy love relationship is the greatest gift you can give to our children.
I believe when we are loved, we can be better family members. Because when we have deep love and support we don't have to default to unhealthy behaviors with our siblings and parents.
I believe when we are loved we move through this world more kind and able to give to others. We smile more and are doing random acts of kindness without even thinking about it. We change lives just because we are loved. This kind of love does not come from fairy dust nor does it just happen to lucky people. It comes from doing smart and rewarding self-work up front so you can create that kind of love and relationship.
For you see, there are not any promises in relationships anymore. With this new found world of dating and love we have to recognize the beauty in the the conscious decision to choose to show up for another person. Every single day. To create something beautiful instead of just hoping it works out.
It means more than ever because we don't have to be there. We don't have to have that relationship. We are there because we believe in love and really, really want it.
I want this for you in 2014. Do you?
Let me be the Miyagi to your Karate Kid. Check out my new class in 2014, The Dating Awesomer Crash Course. Three weeks of genius to help you date smarter, not harder in the new year.