A guy and girl go out to dinner alone. This is also known as a date.
They talk and laugh a lot and discover a strangely large amount of common interests. They seem so perfect and compatible as a couple, so they make plans to go out again. A few months into their relationship, something happens. Someone says or does something that the other did not expect, and they break up because “he/she changed.”
No, they did not change, they reverted back to how they were before the relationship. In the search for their ever-perfect soulmate, a guy or girl will find someone they are attracted to and mold themselves into the image of who they think their attraction object wants them to be. Unfortunately for them and those around them, the facade cannot hold up, and they become constantly conflicted about which version of themselves they are today.
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”Benjamin Franklin
This two-faced, multi-personality problem can easily be exposed by putting the couple in the guy or girl’s natural environment. People that know them best and know how they actually are or used to be have the ability to call them on the carpet for not being who they really are, so the guy/girl is in a bit of a predicament.
The reason this problem is not addressed sooner is likely because, deep down, the guy/girl knows the truth about what they are doing and avoids confrontation with their family and friends. In doing this, they try to keep their two worlds separate. Normally, that means spending more time with their attraction object and less time with the people who actually know them. The couple becomes isolated from vital accountability relationships.
When the inevitable meeting of both worlds occurs, conflict will arise between all relationships. The family and close friends of the guy/girl have likely already seen the changes taking place, but the attraction object will be blind-sighted by the differences in who he/she thought their date was.
One of the reasons that the couple ends up spending more time with each other instead of maintaining their vital relationships is that they become possessive of each other. Couples communicate constantly, which could be a good thing, except that they are often not being honest about who they are as individuals, and, therefore, do not talk about things that actually matter to them.
This is not true in all cases, but it is a noticeable trend.
Dates and meetings as a couple become more frequent, as well as texting, phone calls, emails, social media messages, etc. If any time away from each other is unaccounted for, they become suspicious of each other or assume they are breaking up. Married people have this ownership of each other; dating couples pretend it. They also practice divorce when they break up.
What causes this seeming blindness? Often, especially when attraction is involved, the people involved in the relationship are led by their emotions instead of by reason. Emotions ebb and flow, which, ironically, is one of the leading causes of both relationships and break-ups.
As the guy and girl are led by their emotions, what happens? The emotional roller-coaster they are riding can actually cause depression. Some signs of this include boredom, discontentment, ingratitude, and restlessness. These mood swings will eventually translate into the dating relationship, but will likely be discounted by their date because, as feelings-led individuals, they are blind to each others’ faults. Benjamin Franklin is quoted to have said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”
Thanks for joining us for part 4 of our summer relationship series! New installments are posted every Tuesday, and we hope to see you next time! Next week, we’ll be talking about attraction and what to do when our emotions want to take control.
*Note: A full bibliography from this series will be released at the end of the series. Any statistics, articles, books, or websites will be included.
*DISCLAIMER: In light of the controversy over Joshua Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” I considered removing it from this series. However, during the time that he wrote it, he was seeking the Lord and His will for Christian romance. It is for that reason that I decided to retain his quotes. I do not agree with his recent choices and apostasy from the faith.