The Number 1 Reason Couples Rarely Stay Together
Posted by Maggie McGee for BounceBack.com
No matter how attracted you are to someone, how perfect you may think he or she is, or how in love you may think you two are, when core values clash, relationships are evidently doomed. By core values, I mean the inner foundation on which we perform daily and view life. Core values can include work ethic, family values, opinions on politics and religion, and ultimately how you think life should be lived.
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When couples first start dating, they may overlook these differences, but once a relationship becomes long-term and the couple falls out of that honeymooner stage, these differences can become disastrous.
An example of this clash comes directly from my experience with heartbreak. I was in love. I dated someone for two years, and loved being with him. I pictured us married with kids one day. But I was going into my senior year at college and he thought that going to school was pointless. To make matters worse, he didn't have a job. Thus, to my disappointment, two very important aspects of life that I valued were low on his list of priorities.
He was turning twenty-two with no motivation for success, no job, and no desire to change this. I waited and waited for him to change but then realized that most people can't simply transform their inner workings and beliefs. This put such a serious strain on not only the way that I viewed him and our future together, but also made my family constantly question why I was still with him.
When we were alone, not worrying about the future or speaking of such things, everything was great, but fighting about the serious stuff led to our split. Since our breakup, I have had two boyfriends but I haven't loved anyone the way that I loved him. I often find myself looking back and wondering about him.
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Then I realized that this kind of breakup is especially difficult because often after these breakups, feelings are still pertinent. You didn't break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend because you didn't care for him or her or because you no longer are attracted to them. You broke up because you didn't value the same things in life and knew the relationship wouldn't work in the long run. This breakup is very hard to deal with because you may often find yourself looking back, remembering the good things, and wondering if you made the right decision.
How to Cope
Instead of reminiscing about happy memories of your ex, imagine how things would be now, months or even years later. Chances are that the longer time goes on, the more likely it is that you would be even unhappier with your ex and his or her choices and opinions. Give it a try: Stop missing the good memories you shared and imagine just how awful things might be if you were still together.
Realize that you cannot change someone. You cannot transform your significant other into the person that you want himor her to be. People are who they are and most people cannot and will not change. Many times I have heard my girlfriends talk about how they are trying to change the boys they are dating. This never works, especially when it comes to someone's core set of values.
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Get yourself out there and start dating. You might not feel the same spark that you felt for your ex, but getting yourself out there is the best way to move on.
Next time you find yourself falling for someone, try to see him or her for his core values from the beginning of the relationship, during the first few dates. Do not be too demanding and probing, but try to squeeze out the important details of your new date's core set of values. It is important that you and your partner understand what each other feels is important in life before the relationship becomes too serious and you find yourself surprised at your polarized values.
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Maggie McGee is a friend, a sister, a daughter, a writer, and an observer. Maggie is currently studying English and Psychology at SUNY Geneseo.