This weekend I was asked to go along to a relationship seminar called “Laugh your way to a better Marriage”. Now I know what you are all thinking and so was I, 1) I’m not married and 2) all the smug married couples will be sitting there laughing gaily and gazing into each other’s eyes why I sit alone and stick out like a disease infested woman that must be looked upon with sympathy because apparently being single is a sickness! Well I’m glad to report that this particular message for the night was for all the single folk (ha! Win!) ; although I had already armed myself with my brother’s girlfriend to make sure I wasn’t such an obvious target.
The speaker’s idea behind his message was about being sensible and practical when you’re single and identifying the habits in someone that might make way for an unhappy marriage later on. In essence, read the list of ingredients before you buy the goods so that way you won’t end up with a nasty surprise or allergic reaction to something that they do ( I am being metaphorical of course, you can’t actually marry a packet of biscuits. ) His concept of you date the “act” and marry the “react” is simple. Everyone can put on an act, be on their best behaviour and mould themselves to try and fit a relationship, but when the pressure hits the roof, how do they react? Because an act you can fake but a reaction is very hard to hide and usually reveals their true character.
Is your partner a bit like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, lovely one minute and a complete jerk the next? Is their consistency in their character or do they act like one person around you and another person around friends or in stressful situations? Or perhaps you are the person that struggles with being under pressure and gets aggressive verbal diarrhea and starts blowing up at your partner like a mad woman?! Each person should be able to be consistent in the fundamentals of character no matter what the outside influences are. If you have identified that perhaps you or your partner react in an abusive, negative or detrimental way when pressure is applied, the maybe it’s time to take a step back and reassess the situation .
Set yourself up
How’s your brain doing, or rather your emotional intelligence? Sometimes using your head to think about things logically instead of your heart will help set yourself up for a better outcome. I’m not saying you should be a robot and do an interview on each applicant wanting to date you! But what I am suggesting is identifying their personality traits, goals, words and actions and see if they line up with your own or just what is healthy in general. If you find that you date a certain type of guy and that it never works out, maybe that’s because they all have a specific flaw in common and you need to be consciously aware of it not being in the next man you want to be with.
Be happy first as a singleton
Yes it is possible, and no marriage is not the be all and end all! Marriage shouldn’t be the defining moment or pinnacle of your happiness, nor should another person complete you. Aiming to be a whole and happy individual is a great focus for while you are single. Another person should only ever add to your happiness not complete it, because long after the rose coloured glasses come off you may not feel so warm and fuzzy about them later. Being an independent, healthy and joyful singleton means that you aren’t putting the focus or pressure on another person to make you feel good all the time, it also sets you up for a healthy mindset, allows you to flourish and helps with making better judgements and valuing yourself. It also means you can be more content with whatever season you are in, single or married. So whilst its important to “love thy neighbour” ,first “love thy self” .