Monday, 24 March 2008

Why Do People Get Into a Relationship?

In a relationship coaching session, I often ask "Why are you in this relationship?"

A common response is "It beats the hell out of living all by myself".

Oops. Not a good response. Think of the consequences of this statement. At this point in time the session usually goes from bad to worse and it takes a lot of work to get it back.

I find many people get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. They do so to overcome loneliness, the pain of rejection, the need for companionship, the need for sex, the need to feel wanted, the need for financial security and the need to satisfy the ego. One client is in his fourth marriage and has never spent more than a week by himself since he started dating at 17 years of age. Virtually before one relationship ends, he is into the next.

Let's examine each of these needs:

(i) The need to overcome loneliness. As the person hates being by themselves, they look for a mate, any mate that shows interest, to help overcome the problem. As the saying goes "Someone is better than no-one".

(ii) The need to overcome the pain of rejection. When a person feels rejection, they feel so devastated the only way to overcome this is to find another partner. This gets their mind off the hurt - and does so even more if the ex has a new partner.

(iii) The need for companionship. It feels terrible going to parties or out to dinner all by oneself. Some people say their partner is their best friend. I have had a lot of best friends and never married any of them! Your relationship partner needs to be more than your best friend.

(iv) The need for sex. Sometimes a person gets into a relationship because the sex is great. They often fall in love with the sex rather than the person. As a side note - this problem occurs with both men AND women. There are some well known people who are constantly in the media with this problem!

(v) The need to feel wanted. When a person feels wanted or needed, they feel loved. They know they are an asset.

(vi) The need for financial security. They view their partner as able to give them the lifestyle they like or would like. Hence the term, "She/he only married them for their money".

(vii) The need to satisfy the ego. This is a relationship based predominantly on looks. They love something physically about their partner and they often love the admiration bestowed on their partner by others.

A good example of the above is "internet dating". Many tell me they are in love without even meeting their partner! I wouldn't call it ‘love'; it is more like ‘lust'.

While the seven points above are the reasons some people get into a relationship, they are also the reasons why some people stay in a "bad" relationship.

All these make it very difficult for the relationship to succeed.

I consult with many who have separated with children under 5 years of age. They say they have "grown apart" or "no longer get on".

There is a major difference between "love" and "need". One is "giving" and the other is "taking". When you "need" something from the relationship, you become a "taker" - and this can work well so long as your partner is prepared to "give".

This is a huge topic and I have endeavoured to get you thinking about your relationship. In the next newsletter, I will discuss how you can "give" to make your relationship magical.

If you would like any help in this area, please feel free to contact us.

1 comment:

lifeguard62 said...

A lot of people seem to think that if they are single there must be something wrong with them, and that to have a partner of some sort is required to be complete.

Overall i beleive it is better to be on yor own for the right reasons than with some one for the wrong reasons