|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 20, 2015 at 5:15 PM|
No matter how much you may like or even love someone, if the goals, motivations, or resources that you each bring to the relationship are vastly different, it is unlikely to last. Yes, successful, long-term relationships require love, trust, and respect, but they also require compatible goals and resources and be engaged in from the perspective of healthy motivations.
What kind of relationship do you ultimately want?
Relationship goals include your projections for where you’d like the relationship to go over time. For some people, a relationship may be casual and they don’t really see a need for it to progress any further. Others, of course, are interested in finding a life mate, or someone to be parents with. Some want marriage or equivalent commitment, while others don’t.
How much time and energy do you have to devote to a relationship?
Relationship resources are the time and energy that you possess (or can free up) to invest in the relationship. One person might have a low-stress job and limited social circle, and so has loads of time to spend with their chosen “One.” But unfortunately, too often, these people choose as their “One” someone whose work and social schedule are constantly full and so have to work hard to fit in what they consider a reasonable amount of time for their new love interest. And the new love interest probably feels incredibly left out because their perception of “reasonable amount of time” is so radically different.
A person’s stores of energy (mental, emotional, and physical) are also important to consider as part of the relationship resources assessment. If someone is living with and caring for an ailing parent, or is the single parent of three active young children, or works at a high-stress job, or has any number of other stressful circumstances, their reserves of energy are going to be much lower and this can negatively impact the development of a new relationship.
What drives your desire to be in relationship?
Finally, assessing the motivations for being in a relationship is also important for determining the likelihood of long-term success. If a person is in relationship because of fear, that’s a bad sign. This could be fear of loneliness, fear of abandonment, fear of reprisal, fear of economic hardship, or any other kind of fear. This is not to say that anyone experiencing any kind of fear is going to be a bad match, because we all do, to some extent. The problem comes in when that is the primary motivation for starting or maintaining a relationship. If a person is motivated to begin a new relationship because they really enjoy deep intimacy with another, that is a much more positive and sustainable motivation that can contribute to efforts to maintain and prolong that relationship over time.
Doing a self assessment
So, do your own internal assessment first: Where do YOU stand in terms of goals, resources, and motivations? Try to be as honest with yourself as possible. This is the only way this exercise can result in a positive result for you.
Regardless of whether you’re currently in relationship or single, what would your ideal relationship look like? Where would you like to see yourself, in terms of relationship, in five, ten, twenty years?
What kind of job or schooling (or both) are you engaged in right now? And how much of your time does it eat up? How stressful is it? What other family obligations do you have? Do you have any serious health issues you’re currently dealing with? How booked is your social calendar? How much time and energy do your hobbies take up? Do you have space in your life to develop a longterm meaningful relationship right now?
You may have several motivations for seeking or maintaining a relationship. When you think about NOT being in relationship, what comes up for you? Sometimes coming at your motivations from the opposite direction can help illuminate them.
Improved self awareness leads to healthier relationships
No matter where you stand on any of these and regardless of your current relationship status, taking this inventory brings more self-awareness, which is always a healthy positive step in the direction toward living an authentic life and creating strong relationships with integrity.