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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
We have all been stupid at times and done things that we shouldn’t have. Why? Because we are humans and are prone to making mistakes. Just think about your teenage years. How many ‘secrets’ did you have back then that you never wanted your parents to find out? How many times did you know that your parents would be upset if you did a certain thing but still went ahead and did it? Did you love your parents less? No. But maybe you just wanted to do a few ‘forbidden’ things more and did not think about the consequences.
Are you sure that your partner is not doing the same thing to you? Can you tell what is going on behind your back?
I could not.
But the most traumatic episode in my life was also the time when I learned the most about relationships, about what matters and what doesn’t, and evolved as a person. While I am not asking you to be suspicious about your partner, you must also avoid being naïve or unrealistic.
You must teach yourself the principles of what I call the ‘common sense love.’
Now, before I go on to talk about ‘common sense love,’ I must also talk about another problem— over idealization of the concept of love.
Don’t you think that for generations we have been fed with an unhealthy concept of love? Marriage for us is always a happily ever after. Relationships for us is always about finding Mr./ Ms. Right.
Mr. and Miss Right does not exist.
No marriage is a happily ever after.
And we need to come out of this make-believe world, seriously.
You know what the real problem is? Such an unrealistic concept of love makes us put the other person on a pedestal. While on one hand, we tend to believe that he/she is incapable of any mistake, on the other hand, we have tremendous expectation from the person, which may not always be a healthy sign.
As I have stated in my earlier post “Relationship Goals” we are not ready for relationships. Most of us start every relationship trusting our new partner until the person gives us a reason to question his/ her actions. Once we find what we believe to be that perfect person, nothing else matters. We slip away from reality until something bad happens and we open our eyes and start looking at things differently.
Let’s take a small test.
You don’t have to tell me the result but just be honest with yourself.
Have you ever told yourself the following words about your partner— “He would never” or “she would never.”
What exactly does “would never” mean? Are these just words that we hide behind because they give us comfort or because we don’t want to think of the other possibilities?
Your partner would never do drugs, cheat on you, steal from you, lie to you, mistreat your kids or family. You can add to the scenarios.
However, we all know too well that these things happen. That the people we trust the most are also the ones that hurt us the most. Or, at least have the power to do so.
This is where the necessity of practicing common sense love arises.
What does that mean? A simple acceptance— we are humans who are prone to make mistakes and at times, we are repeat offenders.
Teaching yourself to change your thought process is difficult but that is the only thing that will prepare you for unforeseen bad situations in your relationship.
I wish someone had told me that a relationship takes work, literally, a full-time job without pay. Here are a few simple things that you should remember:
No one is perfect— So don’t start off your relationship tricking your mind into thinking that this person will not and can not do anything to hurt your feelings.
Love yourself— Make sure you are happy with who you are. Your well-being and interest are important. If you are not happy with yourself, it will be hard to love someone else.
Don’t be an idealist— Be practical. Instead of saying, “would never” change your mind to think “it may happen.”
Learn how to love your partner with all the imperfections. When you learn how to reposition your thoughts, you will gain mental control. Loving your partner unconditionally through the imperfections is perfection.
Changing my way of thinking is something that I had to do in my relationship. It was not easy, because you immediately want to withdraw and play tug-of-war in your head. Patience is of immense importance during this process. It is unfortunate how much we take care of our body but spend little time or thought on the well-being of our mind. But our mind needs cleansing too. We need to get rid of toxic thoughts to lead a happier life.