The 3 Worst Reasons To Get Into A New Relationship This Year

The 3 Worst Reasons To Get Into A New Relationship This Year

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The 3 Worst Reasons To Get Into A New Relationship This Year

So what is the point of having a relationship anyway?

I mean you’ve had lots of relationships in your life.

They didn’t work out so great.

Yet here you are again in another one.

Or hoping to be in another one sometime soon.

Maybe you’re deliberately not in a relationship right now. You decided it would be better to work on yourself first. Instead of trying to force it you’ll just let one come to you.

But the reason you’re doing this?

It’s still so you can become the kind of person that will attract a relationship.

Okay you might be one of those jaded people.

You’ve had so many relationships not work out for you?

You’re really not looking for another one now.

You’ve had it with the whole relationship game.

But the way you got that way was by believing you should be in a relationship.

Trying it to the point of finally giving up

So even for you the idea of having a relationship has been central.

Anyway you look at it?

Your ultimate goal just like everyone elsegive you is to be in a relationship.

My question is why? Why do you want to be in a relationship? Why should you? What is the reason to get into a new relationship this year?

Believe it or not?

Even though you and almost every other guy or girl on the planet feels drawn to be in a relationship?

Very few people ever ask themselves why they should.

And the people who do?

They come up with some very different answers.

And they’re not very good ones even though most people think they are.

I’m going to discuss 3 of the most popular reasons people give and tell you why I think they are really bad reasons.

Then I’ll tell you what I think is the best and only reason you should get into a new relationship this year.

WORST REASON # 1: YOU THINK YOU’VE FOUND YOUR SOULMATE

This is the most popular reason for getting into a relationship in our culture.

And in many cultures around the world.

This reason says you are an incomplete person by yourself.

You are not whole.

The reason you should get into a relationship is because you feel this LACK.

You know you will never be complete until you find that special someone.

The person who will fill the hole in your soul.

Bring you to the place of happiness and bliss.

Okay maybe you don’t phrase it this way.

Maybe you talk more in terms of emotional needs that you feel within you.

You think they will not be met unless you find someone to meet them for you.

Any way you put it, you feel a lack in yourself and are drawn to fill that lack through someone else. Your soulmate!

This relationship vision is portrayed in most romantic movies and stories you encounter.

It is programmed into you from a very early age.

Despite its allure though?

The idea that there is someone out there who can complete you is predicated on a misconception.

This felt lack in your soul is not the absence of someone else.

It is a deep emotional wounding you have never addressed in yourself.

If you get into a relationship expecting this other person to make up for your lack, you are going to be disappointed.

The relationship failures you have experienced in the past?

They were because you approached your relationships this way.

Don’t get me wrong.

You are experiencing a lack.

That’s obvious.

You have a gaping hole in your soul.

You’re just looking in the wrong place to fix it.

WORST REASON # 2: YOU THINK YOU WILL GROW BY BEING WITH THIS PERSON

The second popular reason for getting into a relationship sees relationships to be about growing as people.

This reason says the lack in your soul is because you have personal growth to do.

Nobody else can fill that lack.

Certainly not your partner.

You have to fill it yourself.

But you do so by entering a relationship.

One where the person you are with mirrors back to you.

Shows you the things you lack so you can see them.

Begin addressing these shadows you find within.

The reason your relationships have failed is you have projected onto your partner the things in yourself that need changing.

In fact you naturally attract to yourself someone who is a reflection of your own lack.

Someone who brings this lack out in you.

When will you progress and become a better person?

Only when you begin to reclaim your shadow as your own.

To do this you use your relationship as the crucible.

One upon which you achieve personal healing in yourself.

So the reason to get into in a relationship is not for the other person to complete you. It is for you to grow through the things they cause you to see, so you can move to a higher level.

I disagree that the reason to get into a relationship is growth.

Don’t get me wrong.

I believe you will inevitably grow through being in a relationship.

Unless you’re dead?

You’re going to grow through everything you experience.

But growth is not the reason to get into a relationship.

If you look at your relationship that way?

You are using your partner as a means to an end.

You are using them to help you get to a better place.

I’m not saying its always wrong to use people as means to your ends, as long as it is mutually agreed upon.

You do this all the time.

That’s how free trade works.

You exchange something you want for something I want.

A lot of people look at their RELATIONSHIPS that way too.

They even think in terms of 50/50 relationships.

But I think that’s wrong headed.

You should not get into a relationship because you think doing so will help you grow.

WORST REASON # 3: YOU’RE ATTRACTED TO THIS PERSON

This third reason is actually very close to the truth.

It says the reason to get into a relationship is because you are attracted to your partner.

And they are attracted to you.

But attraction is really just about biology.

Your DNA wants to replicate itself.

It makes the two of you attracted so the two of you get together.

It does this so you will have sex and produce babies.

That is NATURE’S goal.

Not very romantic sounding is it?

Yet at a very deep biological level?

This is why the concept of “romantic love” exists at all.

At least as you usually conceive it.

What matters here is your biology draws you to your partner and you become interested in each other. Just long enough to have some babies and get them on their way.

There is known brain chemistry to support this understanding.

New Relationship Energy (NRE) usually lasts between 6-36 months.

Just long enough for a child to be born and reach moderate survival age.

Then you “fall out of love” and move on.

This too is part of your DNA’s plan.

More and healthier babies will be produced if you have more than one partner in your lifetime. This is why guys are inherently non-monogamous and naturally sexually addicted.

Wow!

Did I really just say all that?

Is that really what I think the reason to get into a relationship is?

So nature can achieve its goals?

Like I said, I think it is very close to the truth.

I don’t think it is the truth.

I actually disagree attraction is the reason for a relationship too.

I don’t think you should simply let your biology dictate how you live.

You need to work with your biology and recognize its place.

You are an embodied being.

You will be shooting yourself in the foot if you attempt to contradict your biology entirely.

But you need to be SMARTER than your DNA. Your DNA does not have your personal relationship interests in mind.

It’s just trying to keep the race going.

Nothing wrong with that per se.

But you are not the race.

You are an individual of value.

You should structure your lifestyle in a way that benefits you.

Not just the race.

Lots of babies will be born and the race will go on.

All without you letting nature’s plan dictate your love life.

In many ways the first two reasons for getting into a relationship are saying this also. A relationship is related to what is best for you, not just what is best for the race.

Finding your soulmate will fill YOUR lack.

Being in a relationship will help you overcome YOUR shadows and grow.

I do think a relationship is about you.

It is not just about keeping the race going.

But it is still the case that ALL THREE of the above reasons?

They are the WORST reasons to be in a relationship.

THE BEST AND ONLY REASON TO GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP

Okay.

Then what is the best reason to get into a relationship?

The reason is…REAL romantic love.

That’s it.

Nothing else.

Previously I have defined romantic love as follows:

Romantic love is the desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed.

As you can see?

On one point I agree with the soulmate and personal growth reasons.

A relationship is not for the sake of propagating the race.

The attraction reason is totally wrong here.

A relationship really does have to do with YOU.

But I also disagree with those first two reasons on another level.

A relationship is not JUST about you. It is not centrally about your own personal lack or needs.

The attraction reason is correct on this point.

The reason for relationship is because you and your partner see something in EACH OTHER.

That makes you want to be together.

But even the attraction reason doesn’t quite get this right.

Ultimately all three of these reasons make the same mistake.

They are all about DOING something, ACCOMPLISHING something or GETTING something or somewhere.

They are all GOAL oriented.

The soulmate reason wants to fill your emptiness or see your needs met.

The personal growth reason wants you to grow to a higher level than your currently re.

The attraction theory says you should pursue what makes you feel good because you find it attractive.

So once again you’re trying to do something to GET.

With each of these three reasons?

In one way or another your relationship exists for some other purpose.

It doesn’t simply exist for the relationship ITSELF.

These three reasons all make your relationship a means to some OTHER end.

Rather than the relationship being an end IN ITSELF.

Romantic love is an end in itself. It exists simply to BE. Romantic love is not about DOING, it is about BEING. It is about being with your partner and sharing yourselves with each other. It is about experiencing love in the here and now.

As such it can be experienced without having to fix a hole in your soul.

Without having to grow to a higher level.

Without trying to get good feelings from your partner.

When you are in love you simply want to BE with the person you are with.

Because you value them for who they are?

You want to share yourself with them completely.

They want to share themselves completely with you too.

You enter a state of love which transcends all these other things and actually becomes the root from which all these other things can happen.

Sure you need to become a complete person.

No your partner cannot fix that for you.

Sure you need to grow.

Your partner may indeed become a reflection of that for you.

Sure you will find your partner attractive.

This will give you enjoyment too!

But none of this is a good reason to get into a new relationship this year.

You should be with your partner for one reason.

And one reason only.

You desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection with them in the here nd now.

Because you value them.

Experiencing THIS is what gives EVERYTHING else its meaning.

It is your true purpose.

So what do you think? Are you ready to get into that new relationship for the right reason this year?

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Marie

    Isn’t romantic love a given with any kind of romantic relationship? Even if people say they want to grow or they are attracted or think they’ve found their soul mate, it’s all related to romantic love, isn’t it?

  2. Kel Good

    @Marie – Great question! I think it depends what we mean by “a given.”

    It is of course true by definition that romantic love is “present” in any romantic relationship, irrespective of the motivations that led to entering the relationship. But it makes a major difference whether or not romantic love is the central motivation for the relationship, or something that is only “incidental” – just “a given” – with reference to the real reason I’m with my partner.

    When I enter a relationship to fill a hole in my soul or get my needs met, I am not focused on valuing my partner and giving myself to him or her. I’m focused on what I think I can or should be getting out of the relationship.

    Same goes for personal growth as my motivation. I’m going to be focused on the growth I think I am or am not experiencing, instead of being truly present with my partner because I’m there for him or her.

    Attraction is better as a motivation because at least now my focus truly is on my partner, but because attraction is biologically based and “rigged” by nature to break down over time, it is not a reliable motivation by itself.

    I need to have a conscious motivation to prioritize the romantic love with my partner over everything else, which means I need to enter the relationship with this as why I’m with my partner. I also need to keep this motivation central ongoing.

    When the initial motivation for getting into a relationship is romantic love itself, keeping it prioritized comes more naturally. That’s why we’re actually together. Actions and decisions will always be decided upon by whether or not they are conducive to the love we have for each other, because that’s the whole point of our relationship.

    With the other motivations romantic love can more easily begin to be deprioritized so that it falls into the background and becomes less important. Since it is not the central motivation for being together in the first place, it can be sacrificed when more “important” motivations arise.

  3. Marie

    I agree that the relationship and keeping things passionate, loving and wonderful for both people should be the priority. I guess we just come at it from different angles.

    My current relationship came from a strong attraction. I didn’t want to continue as he didn’t have the skills to maintain a healthy romantic partnership and that brought up all my triggers that made it nearly impossible to focus on anything other than getting my own needs met. But he wanted more time to learn those skills and I saw my own patterns come up and agreed to continue the relationship as an exercise in staying in the present moment. Over time, the relationship because stronger and stronger and the passion and love grew because of my commitment to give it a try as a source of personal growth (with his knowledge and consent, of course). The romantic bond is the priority for both of us (we call it a “couple bubble” as we learned from Dr. Stan Tatkin) but the promise of personal growth was what it took to lay down some of my fears and open to the possibility of being with a man who wanted a devoted relationship but didn’t have what I was looking for “on paper.” It’s now the strongest relationship I’ve ever had. I still don’t know how long it will last but we are more deeply in love than ever and no matter what happens, the light years of growth we’ve both gifted ourselves and each other will make it all worthwhile even if we part ways. Just my two cents, though. I completely agree that the partnership is the priority. But the motivation for that is both selfless and selfish at the same time.

  4. Marie

    I should add that what I really wanted was him. I wanted to be with him, but I knew it probably wouldn’t last or be happy or healthy. So, I think I was using the excuse of personal growth as a way to justify a relationship I really wanted but feared would not be good for me. When I tried to push him away with the warnings of neediness (which his distancing behaviour was triggering in me), he said “maybe I can help you with that.” It was at that point that I realized that these triggers were likely to come up with anyone I was dating, to a greater or lesser degree, until I faced them head on. Together, we have learned to come together rather than to pull back or push away. Our relationship has strengthened and I am far more secure even when he occasionally does the things that would have normally triggered me in the past. The growth I wanted was so that any relationship I have would be stronger and I would be a better partner for whomever I’m with. It’s working out really well so far and I’m now focusing more on the present than ever before. I start to worry about the future and then I bring myself back and remember that if it’s happy and healthy right now, that’s all I need to know. If the time comes when the relationship has run its course, we will know. But until that time, I keep bringing myself back to the present and appreciating the wonderful, loving partner I have now.
    Others may have different results but, for me, the initial intention of growth (stemmed by a deep attraction) was what it took for the relationship to get off the ground.

  5. Kel Good

    @Marie – Wow, you’ve made a lot of excellent points here. For the most part I think we’re saying the same things, which I find quite exciting! 🙂

    Here’s the great things I hear you saying:

    (1) Your relationship started with attraction (though you rationalized this as a personal growth opportunity) but you’ve added a deeper consciousness to that attraction, which is very key.

    (2) The romantic bond or “couple bubble” is your priority. Attraction takes care of this for us initially but by making it your conscious focus ongoing you will sustain your attraction and counter nature’s plan.

    (3) I especially like your emphasis on staying in “the now.” This one is incredibly hard for us western thinking types (I’m one of those for sure!). Romantic love is about “being now” not about what was or will be. Triggers or negative emotions are always about the past or the future, and rob us of our present, or presence. When we are truly loving our partner we remain present with them and focus on our union, not on what was or may be. The past can even be as recent as a moment ago. Something our lover just did that brought up a negative feeling for us. We need to leave even this in the past and remain present. You sound like you’re working on yourself to do just that.

    One final thing the strikes me from what you wrote is about your initial rationalization. Although I’m saying these other three reasons for getting into a relationship are not ideal, many of us do start out using one of them. That doesn’t mean we can’t recognize this and shift our emphasis onto the romantic connection instead. It is never too late to get our priorities straight and make that “couple bubble” the focus.

    Thanks for your thoughts and best wishes to you and your partner as you begin this new year together! 🙂

  6. Sunny

    Thank you for this blog post. I can relate to many of the things you write about.

    Here is some of my thinking around it:

    1. The concept of pursuing a romantic connection for “it’s own sake” and making it central in any relationship makes sense and is noble. I can’t help but think it would always centre a couple, especially in times of conflict or uncertainty. By re-affirming it over and over as a couple’s connection strengthens over time, this guiding force almost becomes a mission statement.

    2. Practically, I think we often seek out people who share our core values but who we think compliment us (ie are not exactly the same as us). Whether it’s consciously or unconsciously because we are seeking to fill a void in our soul or because we want to learn and grow (instead of seeking another version of ourselves) I’m not sure. It could also be that we appreciate and cherish that which is different than us.

    3. As for the biological imperative, it’s real and it matters. So factors like attraction, whether we think the other person could be a good provider/parent, the stability/support of our partner’s circle of influence (friends, family, colleagues) may influence our decision to enter a long term committed relationship with a particular person. Should these factors be determinative? Not necessarily. But their absence may cause some serious practical problems in the relationship and family unit. And from what I’ve seen, romantic love alone does not “cure” these problems. It helps, especially because it may motivate the couple to work harder and be more empathetic.

    Overall a great post to make us think consciously about why we enter the arena of relationships in the first place. I sometimes relate it to why I enter a friendship. It’s because I want to, not because I have to (as we do with close family members) or need to (like we do with business clients – money in exchange for goods and services).

    Thanks Kel!

  7. Kel Good

    @Sunny – Thanks for your comments. I think you make some excellent points.

    First, I like your comparison of romantic love in a relationship to the business concept of a mission statement. This closely parallels my blog post about romantic love being our purpose. I see romantic love as something to shape our lifestyle around, rather than as a “tack on” to more important lifestyle choices we’ve made.

    I think your idea of pursuing someone with whom we share core values who compliments us is a part of the emotional connection aspect of romantic love too. It is our valuing our partner that makes us desire to share ourselves with them. That we see our partner as someone who meets emotional needs in us and with whom we have potential to grow may indeed be part of how this sense of valuing arises. What I’m taking exception to is making “getting my needs met” or “because I think I can grow” the central reason for being together. I believe you’re agreeing with me here.

    Your third point is well made too. Especially with traditional monogamy the relationship becomes about many other factors besides romantic love. If we are not careful these other things can crowd out our romantic connection. When considerations of children, household administration, and family relations begin to take precedence, the demise of our love is not far behind. This must be consciously guarded against.

    Like you I think friendship is an excellent paradigm when thinking about romantic love. As you say “I want to” is the central point. I value you. I want to be with you. I want to give myself to you. And receive the same from you.

    Thanks again for your thoughts! 🙂

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