When it comes to searching for your soul mate, you can pay a steep price not only in time but in emotional distress.
I normally talk about the pain of staying in the wrong relationship by saying;
The pain of leaving is almost always greater than the pain of staying. But the pain of staying is permanent while the pain of leaving is temporary.
Today, let’s take a different perspective of the emotional price of dating and relationships. Let’s look at the cost of choosing poorly vs. the cost of waiting.
We normally associate most emotional pain with the breaking up of a long-term relationship or a marriage that ends in divorce.
What about the pain that we’ve all felt while dating? Loneliness, longing for companionship, the fear of never finding someone to love us, or growing old alone are just a few. These are all emotions that have an impact on you.
What are some of the costs of waiting?
Almost none of us wants to remain alone…at least not for long. We all go through periods in our single lives when alone just feels better than being with someone especially if it’s the wrong one.
For the most part though, everyone wants to have someone in their lives. This is natural. It’s the way God designed us.
Waiting on your soul mate can take an emotional toll and it can run the gamut from having the blues to full blown depression.
It’s frustrating to have a seemingly endless string of one-and-done dates. If you’re lucky enough to make it through the first round something else pops up that makes the potential relationship a no go.
You might recognize one of your deal breakers or you might have one of theirs. Either way, it ends almost as quickly as it started.
You start to question yourself. Am I too picky? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I find a great guy or gal? What am I missing?
All this frustration and disappointment can weigh heavily on you. It may not seem like it now but, your efforts aren’t being wasted.
To put this experience in a different perspective, each bad date, each short-term relationship allows you to get to know yourself just a little bit better.
You’re able to peel back layers and uncover parts of you that have been hidden or repressed for many years. It also helps you clarify what’s important to you in a relationship and what isn’t.
What are some of the costs of settling?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that you’ll never be with your soul mate. You’ll always wonder if there was someone better.
In any relationship there will be good times especially early on. Over time though, you start to wonder if this is all there is.
You may become resentful of your mate and maybe even of yourself for making a poor choice in someone to marry.
The problems start to pile up and usually start with poor communication. You’re not able to share what’s on your heart for fear of starting an argument.
Or maybe it’s a lack of chemistry. The sex may have been great in the beginning and when you look back, you recognize that’s all you had in common. This never is a foundation for a solid relationship.
Depression and anger can set in when your relationship or marriage continues to spiral downward.
There are resources to help you fix broken marriages and relationships. It takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment from both of you. Sadly, it’s usually just one of you that really wants to put in any significant effort.
The divorce rate for second, third, fourth marriages skyrockets with each successive marriage. You can pretty much count on a 60% to 80% failure rate. Those aren’t good odds.
With odds like that, the emotional, physical, and financial toll goes up dramatically too.
When a marriage ends in divorce there is a high price to pay. Panic attacks, insomnia, depression, grinding teeth, tense muscles, back ache, stiff neck, brain fog, and chronic crying are just a few of the potential side effects.
Sudden weight loss or gain is also common. Alcohol or substance abuse can be triggered by the stress of divorce.
Having to start over financially, especially later in life, can be one of the most stressful challenges. Supporting your family on one income where there used to be two is a daunting task.
Children are impacted at any age. Whether they’re younger children at home or adult children out on their own, they rarely want to see their parents get a divorce.
Turn the odds in your favor.
Waiting and not settling takes time and effort too. Learn what you want and what is unacceptable in your next relationship.
Don’t let family or friends talk you into dating before you’re emotionally ready. Listen to your gut instinct. If it doesn’t feel right then it isn’t.
Pay attention to the very first signs of trouble. It will only get worse over time.
The next time you start to think you can’t have it all, come back and re-read this blog. Think about the life you genuinely want and deserve.
Is the temporary happiness of being in a mediocre relationship now worth sacrificing so much of your future?
Finally, don’t let all of your past experiences make you bitter. Life isn’t always fair. It’s about persevering during the rough times and basking in the joy of the great times.
If you’re patient, if you’re determined to not settle, and you’re actively dating, you will eventually find your soul mate.
If you need help I have resources for you.
My book, Dating Backward, is a great resource to start with. With it you can learn (or relearn) the basics of dating and the fundamentals of all great relationships.
Also, consider personal coaching. Usually in just a couple of sessions I can help you see the areas that need to be addressed and help you move forward into healthier, happier relationships.
Email me at Rick@RickSoetebier.com to schedule your personal coaching session.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today. I’ll see you next week. Until then, have a great and blessed day.