Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like you were sitting across the table from someone in a high-stakes poker game rather than sitting next to someone you know loves and adores you?
I mean come on, there are enough difficult, hard to read situations in life that we don’t need to date emotionally unavailable people and willingly spark more 1:00am phone calls, epic emails, and productivity killing IM sessions on such uplifting, meaningful topics such as:
- Do they really love me
- Will they propose
- Are they attracted to someone else
- Why don’t they return my texts right away
- Why don’t they want to spend more time with me
When conversations like these start rolling around, one can safely assume that not enough information is flowing back and forth between a couple, and there is probably something wrong
The Easiest People To Lie To Are Ourselves
When we were children, happiness was not difficult to quantify
We knew we were happy when we got a new toy, met a new friend, discovered a new taste, colored inside the lines, got a gold star or achieved some other lofty reward, etc…
As adults, what makes us happy continues to be fairly straightforward in a lot of cases, but, for some reason, happiness in a relationship is one of the most difficult things for us to set proper benchmarks for
What do I mean?
Look at the couples that have been together for years, months, whatever, and yet they constantly wonder what the other person is thinking, individually feel in the dark about “where the relationship is heading”, look at the other person and see a lot of faults that cause them to be unhappy, and, in some cases, tolerate outright abuse or mistreatment for the sake of keeping the relationship alive
Okay, nobody is perfect, but when there is doubt, uncertainty, and abusive or unhealthy patterns in a relationship, there is definitely something wrong
According to many people, no, that is not right: these types of relationships are considered normal by a startlingly high number of people
Imaginations Stronger Than Any Disney Fairy Tale
So what is it that makes happiness in relationships so difficult for us to judge, is it our desire to live in a world of fantasy-land love story bliss, or is it that we are unhealthy and have a distorted view of what qualifies as happiness in the context of a relationship?
I am pretty sure it is a combination of both
Turd Sandwiches Taste Delicious!
How can an awful relationship deceive us into thinking we are happy and enjoying it?
The easiest example is to refer to our natural reaction to the taste of food
When we like something we are eating it is pretty obvious right?
It is one of the most basic of human experiences that we learn as young children, ie: if you put it in your mouth and it tastes good, then you like it!
A complex formula I know…
We should apply this same, basic principle to how we evaluate relationships and dating partners, ie: if it isn’t a positive experience, be honest and say we don’t like it, then simply walk away
A good relationship shouldn’t be bland, boring or frequently taste like a turd sandwich, and we should instantly know that a relationship is something we like without having to think, re-think, obsess, and develop a complex over it before pointlessly exhausting ourselves
But How Does This Relate To Christianity
Those who claim to love God but don’t express it, show it, or even mean it, are just the same as those who never say “I love you”, who date people for five years and not get engaged, the ones who want to fulfill their desires for validation and gratification but never want true intimacy or closeness–they just use this as bait to get what they want from their partner, without truly giving of themselves
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me
Why play this game with anyone, let alone God
You Are Probably Playing Poker And Not Realizing It
No matter how many times we blame the people we date for being jerks, or whatever particular world-ending thing we are accusing them of, we need to stop and ask ourselves why these patterns keep happening in our lives
Like it or not, the only common factor in all of our bad relationships is us, not our partners
The reality is, people who subconsciously don’t want to be emotionally vulnerable, often date people they never have to be emotionally intimate with, mainly because the people they choose to date are incapable of being emotionally intimate themselves
Hence, all the “bad” relationship patterns that seem to never go away for some mysterious and unexplainable reason: people pick them out of habit, familiarity, and comfort
But, the ironic thing is that these people often, at some point, wonder why their relationship desires aren’t being met or why the other person can’t remember their last name
Well Sherlock, it is probably because the relationship is nothing more than two people trying to bluff each other into getting what they want as individuals, all while not having any genuine interest to participate in an honest, healthy, emotionally intimate relationship
Most often, when the chips are down in relationship Texas Hold ’em, nobody wins, it is really a sad thing
Emotional Unhealth: Gambling With The Worst Hand Possible
Think about how many failed relationships there are in the course of a person’s lifetime versus the amount of relationships that worked
The ratio of unsuccessful relationships is much higher than the successful ones
Think about it, you are guaranteed to have a bunch of failed relationships on the quest to finding the right person to be with
Out of all the uncertainty life presents, you can bet on this
In fact, because people don’t choose their partners well or take time to analyze the relationships they throw themselves head first into, the odds of a big relationship payout are worse than the odds of winning at a Las Vegas craps table
And in the case of a bad relationship, just like gambling, there is no guaranteed payoff, nor is there a refund on the time or emotion put on the table in the hope of winning big
So make sure to think before you put your chips on the relationship table, because the time you lose gambling with years of your life never comes back to you