Are You Deluding Yourself In Your Relationship?
We see what we want to see in relationships. When we truly love someone, we want to see only the good in that person despite any flaws or less than ideal features of the person. But if we’re not careful, we can overlook the deeper issues with the person or the relationship and later on regret it. I coach mainly women and very often I hear of women dating men with commitment issues or who simply don’t share the same goals they have for the relationship. These women appear to convince themselves that if they become the woman he wants, serve his every need, or stay with him long enough, then he’ll change. In most of the cases I’ve seen, this really doesn’t seem to be the case. As time goes on, he seems to drift farther away, perhaps even have several love affairs during their relationship, and by the time she realizes it, years have passed without her having anything to show for it.
I’ve been reminded of this theme watching the new reality TV show series, “Preachers of LA” on the Oxygen network, which showcases the everyday challenges and struggles that preachers go through when leading hundreds and thousands of parishioners in a church organization. The show has garnered both positive and negative reviews. But there were a few episodes in particular which caught my attention. In episodes 2 and 3, we meet the girlfriend of Bishop Noel Jones, who he has been happily “friending” for16 years. When she asked him about the nature of their relationship, he explained they’re just friends and went on to happily engage her in a game of chess. Ofcourse, her “made for TV” smile went on to fade as she continued to play “his” game continuing on in the delusion of their relationship.
To make matters worse, she co-owns a restaurant with him. He provided her with an investment so she could fulfill her dreams. You may think asking a friend to help you fund your dreams is a good idea. But this is different. Going into business with someone in which you have an emotional investment and no guarantees is never a good thing. I see this many times with both men and women. For example, a woman may have a fear of losing her man or the relationship, so she will find a way to hang on to the relationship by either having his baby to bring him closer to her or going into a venture with him so he can’t get away that easily. This generally doesn’t turn out so well but she deludes herself into believing that as long as I can have a piece of him, there will always be a chance for us to be together.
Now, in this scenario, I don’t blame the bishop for keeping her close to him. She is a very pretty woman who probably has turned away many men in her life based on her beauty. So why wouldn’t he take advantage of that? We can certainly argue that a preacher, who is held to a higher standard, should not be taking advantage of any woman, but he is still a human being. If you allow people to take advantage of you, they’ll do it every time. And in this case, as my grandmother would say, why buy the cow if you can have the milk for free? If he can have a beautiful woman on his arms and still be able to have a bachelor’s lifestyle, why wouldn’t he do it?
If you are in this type of scenario, I want to help you to see the truth. I have created a list of questions below. But this will only work if you can be honest with yourself. Otherwise, you will continue to live and date an illusion.
Am I Dating An Illusion?
1. What Are Your Expectations For This Relationship? Are Your Expectations Being Met? This is a chance for you to get clear about what it is that you want out of the relationship. If you’re looking for love and marriage, but your partner can only give you a friendship or worse, be a “sex buddy”, then your expectations are clearly not being met. It’s better for you to recognize the truth of the situation and then decide if it’s the right one for you.
2. What Is Your Motivating Factor For Being In This Relationship? Think about what keeps you in the relationship. Is it the fear of being lonely, lack of financial resources or fear that you won’t be able to find anyone else? Once you become clear on what your motivating factors are for staying in the relationship, then you’ll start to understand the reasons that are keeping you there and make better decisions for yourself accordingly.
3. How Do Other People Perceive This Situation? Your family and friends will always be the first to see things that you aren’t willing to see in a relationship. What happens is that we become so blinded by love, that we can’t see anything else. Your family and friends become your first line of defense helping you to see the light. If your family and friends perceive the situation differently than you do, then it’s worth the time and effort to figure out why this is the case.
4. What Are You Willing To Do If Your Expectations Are Not Met In The Relationship? Decide what your plan of action will be if the relationship does not meet your expectations. Will you stay in the relationship or will you leave? Will you confront your partner about the issues or be complacent with the “status quo”. I would argue that nothing really stays the same. We’re either growing in a relationship or simply drifting away. The cost of not taking action is that you’ll end up wasting years with someone who may not be a good fit for you. If you make the hard decisions now, it will save you time and energy that you could spend on the right partner.
Sometimes the realities of dating can be so harsh that we would rather accept an illusion than to see the truth for what it is in a relationship. We do this by deluding ourselves into thinking that a partner or relationship is right for us despite all the signs and red flags pointing against it. Our illusions keep us safe and in a sense comfortable against the realities of life. As long as we can create the ideal fantasy of a relationship in our head, we can feel at peace. Unfortunately, this will only work for so long.
If you do sense that you are in a dead-end relationship in which you’ve created an illusion about the person you are dating, then take special notice of the list of questions I’ve posed to determine the right path for you. It takes time to break out of an unhealthy cycle or confront the person you love but it is necessary for both of you to either resolve the issues or move on in life. Either way, I hope I’ve given you enough information to make the best decision.