Have you found your soul mate? Not so fast…maybe not!
You start to get comfortable with each other. Then something starts to happen. He doesn’t like your lipstick. She doesn’t laugh at your jokes anymore. He wants you to change the way you dress. She doesn’t want you to hang out with your friends anymore. These changes may be subtle at first and you may even agree to make some of these changes. But, over time, the demands for change become ever increasing and unending. You are at a point where you may have even been alienated from your friends and family. You now realize that your mate is very controlling and jealous. Your soul mate turns out to be your mate from hell!
We can chuckle at the thought of these things happening and say it will never happen to me. However, these relationship issues happen all the time. If we are not vigilant, we can get sucked into these relationships that are the equivalent of a black hole in space. They suck the light and life out of everyone around them. At best they are unhealthy co-dependent relationships. You may even be with someone that needs serious professional help.
If you stay long enough, you may even need professional help to unwind yourself from the many lies you have come to believe. What lies? Here are just a few. “You will never be anything without me.” “You are not good enough to make it on your own.” “Nobody wants to be with someone like you!” “I can be with someone better than you by the end of the day.” “You will never find anyone that treats you as well as I do.” And the list goes on and on. Have you ever heard these? Heard often enough, they can become very believable.
It is often easy for people on the outside of this type of relationship to see that it is unhealthy. However, it is far more difficult to see how destructive these relationships are when you are on the inside. This is one of the many reasons we encourage you to write down all your Must Haves and Deal Breakers. When you are in the midst of a new relationship (usually the first 12 to 24 months) and wrapped in infatuation, it is often difficult to recognize any of the warning signs. By having your list written down, you can refer back to it on a regular basis and see if your mate is meeting YOUR needs. The lists will help you step back from the infatuation, if only for a short period of time, to honestly evaluate your relationship.
It is wonderful to think we have found our soul mate after only a few conversations and a couple of dates. It takes time to get to know someone and it often takes several months to get to see their real personality. Take your time in getting to know someone. Don’t make huge emotional and financial commitments too quickly. It’s okay to have an open mind and open heart but you also need to be smart and watch for red flags.