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Three Ways to Avoid Heartache


"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
- St. Antoine of Exupery

How many times has this happened to you? You fall "in love" with the man or woman of your dreams. You feel an instant connection; one you have never felt before with any other person. You find yourself thinking of them during the first waking moments of each day and again just before you drift off to sleep at night. The thought of his smile or her perfume fills your chest with pure and simple exhilaration. They have their faults most certainly, but their faults are minute compared to the plethora of good qualities they possess. Your love for them consumes you. "This" you say to yourself, "is truly the one!"

As time passes, your flame while still capable of intense passion for them, finds a more comfortable lower level of intensity. You are still intensely in love with them, but the passing of time has allowed you regain the majority of your senses.

As the relationship intensifies, you begin to discuss your desires, interest, and motivation for the future. How do you both feel about having and raising children? How do you both view the importance of money and material things? Where do you want to be in your life and career 10 or even 20 years from now? As the answers reveal themselves one by one, you suddenly begin to realize the vast chasm that exists between the two of you.

Obviously, this is a crucial point in the relationship where many difficult questions must be asked and answered. Please take note of that last sentence. Asking the questions is not the solution to this obstacle. It is the asking and the answering that absolutely must be done when confronted with such a situation.

Can the two of you reconcile your different perspectives on the future in a way that is fair and considerate to each other? Or, are the differences simply too far apart for you both to find a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your lives together? Remember the quote at the beginning, only by "looking together in the same direction" will your love last.

It has been my experience that delaying these questions will place you many months (or even YEARS!) deep into a relationship that is destined to bring you nothing but drama and heartache when the moment of truth arrives.

Here are 3 quick suggestions for getting to the heart of the matter as early as possible:

1. Begin Probing Immediately

No matter how you meet that special some one, it is never too early to subtly gain information about their future plans. DON'T GO PSYCHO!!! A barrage of questions about kids and money will make you look like a freak. Practice subtlety. Ask a probing question then back off. You don't want this to resemble a homicide investigation. A well placed question here and there on the phone, on dates, and anywhere else you spend time with him or her will quickly add up to a rough outline of your possible differences. The first phone call (if lengthy), first date, first e-mail can all help you discover these truths if you play it cool.

2. Listen

You have to listen actively to your perspective lover. The old saying goes, "You have two ears and one mouth for a reason". Listen twice as much as you speak. When you listen, truly listen. Do not distract yourself thinking about your next question or over analyzing something that was said. If something was unclear or struck you in strange way, ask him or her to explain further. Actively listen for verbal clues about past relationships, jobs, and activities. Don't read into anything. Just listen and ask them to explain further if something is unclear. You don't want to eliminate a potentially great person from your life because of a misunderstanding. Be patient. If you didn't get a straight answer, there will be opportunities to probe that area again some time later.

3. Be True to Yourself

If your intuition is telling you that you will not be able to overcome something he or she has said, be honest with yourself and consider it. The rush of emotion when we find some one interesting can often let ourselves feel that "It's not that big of a deal". WRONG!!! While your heart is going pitter-patter in the beginning it is "not that big of a deal", but you know as well as I do that somewhere down the road it will be a MAJOR deal! Save yourself the drama and the heartache. If you realize that something is not going to work in the beginning, you must address it. Putting it off for later is only going to hurt you and them. Remember: don't call it quits over a misunderstanding. Have them clarify, clarify, clarify. If you are completely convinced you understand them and the difference is too much to handle, then you know what you must do.

These questions are crucial. Many people have and will ignore this issue while foolishly mumbling the old saying, "opposites attract". Don't be fooled! Applying that adage to this situation is relationship homicide.

You must be in-tune with your partner on matters concerning your future together. Understanding where you are now and where you will be in the future as a couple is imperative to a successful and enjoyable relationship.

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bybewindsor© 8 comments/ 49939 views/ 10 favorites

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