Hope is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it can be a tool to manifest the things we do not see. On the other however, hope can act as blinders to the truth lying right in front of us.
Such is the case in relationships.
Most people are generally rational. They see things as they are and make calculated decisions that are in their best interests. But when feelings get involved, rationality turns against them and makes excuses out of red flags.
We do this because we care. When we become emotionally invested in people we choose to see who they can become instead of seeing who they currently are.
We hope the best for them, then latch on to that hope instead of waiting for that hope to materialize.
As valiant as this may be, it ends up being detrimental to us in the process. It’s okay to see potential in someone. It’s alright to have hope in the person they can eventually develop into — there is nothing wrong with that.
But when the vision of what someone can be takes priority over the unfinished product, we become lost in the continuum of someday’s, maybe’s, and soon enough’s.
This is why it’s imperative to place just as much value in the patterns people show as well as the potential they have. As hard as it may be, we cannot allow our infatuation, lust, loneliness or even love, cloud our better judgment.
Whether you’re in the courting period, have been dating for awhile, or married, we must respect the patterns our partners continually show and treat them according to that.
Different patterns that individuals show are obviously case by case, so I’ll take my time to highlight some common ones that I often see both men and women inexcusably ignore.
If you fall under any of these categories, it’s okay. There is no better day than today to make healthy changes for yourself.
We make time for our priorities. If going to the pool hall every Tuesday night for the drink special does something for us, we’ll for sure be there.
The Sunday ritual of football and relaxing is a time you allotted for yourself because you felt it was necessary to get that time in. The same is with communication.
So many of us play text message games with our love interest trying to guess where their heads are at when they’ve been telling us, through their systematic patterns, all along.
If you always initiate the conversation, like, if it’s literally always you, that is a pattern that reveals where her priorities are. Any excuse made for that behavior is our blind love rationalizing her disinterest.
If over an extended period of time she’s been short with you — as in not giving more into the conversation and adding significant contributions to the back and forth — and it’s always been that way, why then should you come to any other conclusion other than her not being that interested.
It may not have always been that way and it may not make much sense, but you cannot speak on what you don’t know. All you can go off is what you see.
This is why I am a strong advocate for dating history. When you’re courting a girl that you’re really into and you ask about her past relationships, you’re not doing so to hold it against her, you’re doing it to get a gauge of what she has systematically shown.
If you are with someone who has cheated in the past and they’ve cheated on you, why wouldn’t you use that as enough information to make the decision to split?
According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, when asked to imagine themselves in a long-term relationship and discover that their partner cheated, 22 percent of men and 28 percent of women said they would forgive a cheater.
Back in 2014 Women’s Health Magazine ran a piece on how a Denver University grad student looked at the relationships of 484 unmarried 18-35-year-olds and found that people who had cheated on a partner in the past were 3.5 times more likely to be unfaithful in a subsequent relationship.
While this does not suggest that you forget what you have been taught as it pertains to forgiveness, it also doesn’t mean that your love and admiration shouldn’t blind you to the person they are.
Don’t get caught up on how good they are to you when they’re with you or the good times. Read how they move and make a decision if that’s what you want in your life.
Whether it’s drugs, alcohol or an eating disorder, knowing what you’re getting yourself into can be hard when we’re focused on potential partners as a final product.
You can easily be trapped in someone else’s nightmare just because you refuse to accept who they are, even is it is temporary.
Too many of us have stuck around too long, trying to help someone who is not ready to be helped, someone who won’t help themselves, all because we refuse to take a step back and see what’s been happening over an extended period of time.
At what cost should we jeopardize our happiness and well-being for the hope of someone finally getting their act together?
Even if it’s something as simple as not taking initiative and getting a job, we’re too wound in admiration to say no to laziness and too afraid to lose someone we love that we won’t cut loose a lover that simply won’t apply for that job you’ve been sending them links to or apply for the program that they swore was their destiny.
Don’t let ideals get in the way of reality. If someone is giving you the signs that they may not be so committed to things you hold dearly, it might be time to move on.