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The 3 Reason Why We’re Chasing Relationship Titles

As humans, we are naturally insecure. Our world is seemingly beset with tragedy every time a news article appears on our feed. We want something reliable amidst the insecurity. Our caveman brains want security and social proof. We want something and someone to call “ours”.

This desire oftentimes manifests itself in relationships. Several people I coach answer me, when I ask them what they want, with: “I want to get married” as opposed to: “I want to fall in love”. But this is a fallacy. They’re putting the cart before the horse. This type of thinking is problematic on many fronts. Rather than focusing on titles, ask yourself these questions first:

1. Does The Title Take Precedence over Vulnerability and Honesty?
Quite frankly, if people are only seeking the title of marriage and the status symbol it has become, the likelihood for divorce increases. What happens after the wedding cake leftovers are all gone? What happens when you both come back from your honeymoon in Aruba? In a study of over 4,000 divorced people, 1 in 4 participants listed 5 or more reasons.
(Source: http://www.austin-institute.org/research/divorce-in-america/)

The participants did not address those small fixable problems on the front-end and it wound up imploding down the road. One or both of the parties in the relationship had become fixated on the title, of “marriage” rather than genuinely investing in each other’s lives.

This is what happens when relationship titles take precedence over vulnerability and honesty. However, when you are honest with yourself and clearly identify your goals you can avoid this path and find a rewarding dating life.

2. Are You Actually Defining Your Relationship Goals?

As Plato said, “Know thyself”. Clearly define your relationship goals BEFORE dating. Decide whether you are looking for hookups/one night stands or you are looking for something more long-term. Do not just simply decide on these goals, but own them as well. Do not be afraid of taking an honest inventory of your intentions. Do not feel guilty if they change over the course of time. When you are in a constant state of honesty with yourself, the pathway to your goals become far more clear.

Clear relationship goals will also clarify important lifestyle management decisions. For instance, if you are seeking to date to another young professional, you should live closer to a downtown metro area than a rural suburb. If you are looking for a long-term partner, you should probably avoid seeking them out in bars and clubs. Only 2% of men and 9% of women meet long-term partners at a bar. (Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/dating-relationship-stats/)

  1. Are You Focusing on Your Personal Well-Being?

Instead of focusing on finding a husband or wife, first focus on making yourself more desirable and independently fulfilled. The best way to prepare for a relationship is to prepare yourself. Plan out what your “A1” priority is to accomplish over the next 3 months. Make one for each area of your life: Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Spiritual.  

Area of Life Example: My A1 Goal
Emotional: “I will write a gratitude list of 5 items every morning”  
Physical: “I will lose 15 pounds or gain 10 pounds of muscle.”  
Financial: “I will save 20% and invest 20% of my salary.”  
Relationship “I will ask out 5 people this month”  
Spiritual “I will meditate for 5 minutes every day”  

When your goals are clarified and on paper like this, it spurs you into action. Your intentions are harder to ignore. Changing your mindset changes your world. Dating only feels tough because you don’t have clearly defined goals.

Focus on you and your goals. Focus on the journey, not the destination. Find love in any given moment. Don’t let your dreams and aspirations became something you merely talk about and don’t do.

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