Tired of Relationship Break-Ups? Then Marry YourSELF First

The New York Times printed an interesting article about relationship break-ups in this past Sunday’s (11/27) edition. The author, Raya Kuzyk, was quite proud of how she assertively handled a break-up earlier this year. To do this, Raya spent much time in introspection, thoughtfully wrote out her reasons and the justifications thereof and even created graphs and used pictures all to apparently prove her point.

A job well done, Raya…Sorta.

Raya could have saved herself much time, energy and, especially, grief and heartache had she made some guidelines for herself before the relationship got started. Of course she would also need to commit and follow-through with these guidelines and used a support system if she was having trouble following the guidelines. Raya even writes, “A breakup of a higher standard than the one to which I would have been held had I ended our relationship when I first realized we had no future…Technically that would have been from the get-go: Nick was engaged to another woman.”

How did Raya miss that one? Why did she go forward anyway? What was she thinking? What did her friends tell her?

This is, however, the day and age of the “microwave” relationship. Meet the person, fall in love quickly, move in together, THEN get to really know each other. Of course the inevitable then usually happens: The painful break-up.

Could Raya and others have prevented these types of break-ups?

Yes, and by taking some very simple proactive steps. You can first figure out a bit about who you are and why you are here. This is commonly referred to as your “Life Purpose”. Along with that you could also define your values, meaning what it is that is most important to you.

I know that these are not small or even easy processes, but you might notice that one of the best-selling books today (A Purpose Driven Life) is all about finding one’s purpose. There is more of a conversation about this today than there has been in a long time. With the coming of life and relationship coaches such as Dr. Phil and TV talk-show heroes and heroines like Oprah, we are beginning to have these “deeper” conversations more often.

But let’s get back to Raya. The other and perhaps most important step Raya could have taken was to make herself a “relationship template.” This is would be a list of desirable qualities and traits that she would seek in a romantic partner. In addition, it would include the absolute “deal-makers” and “deal-breakers”. These are the “absolutely got to have with no compromise or negotiation” (deal-makers) and the “absolutely will not accept or tolerate under any circumstances, ever” (deal-breakers) traits, qualities and deficiencies. When you have such a list it is quite easy to check in with yourself to at least see if the deal-makers or deal-breakers are present.

But let’s not fault Raya too much, after all she, like most of us, didn’t have relationship skills 101 in junior high, high school or college. When you don’t know how to go about something, then you experiment, right?? Hopefully Raya learned from this experiment and will take action to prevent similar situations from arising in the future. However, if Raya does not figure out her purpose, values and relationship boundaries, there is a very high likelihood that she will not get the relationship she truly desires. As with many people, she is likely to settle and then at some point discover what doesn’t work, then get divorced. It’s easy to see why we have a divorce rate that hovers around 50{ab94462a053a2ab588073f1ce95eb9eb90ee27f61c6d82493022c3820c6de4c9}.

So perhaps you can learn something very valuable from Raya. Get to know you first: Where you are going in your life, what is truly important to you, and then, what are the relationship parameters you have to have. Yes, you could marry yourself first! Novel concept, huh??!!

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