Romance novels, chick flicks, fairytales— they all paint a story of the love in all its glory. The passions and the desire, the joys and the sorrows— it can all be so glorious and just make you feel alive. But being in love with the idea of being in love can put you in a precarious position— and it can be the root cause of a cycle of bad relationships.
A painter, a poet and a plumber visit Niagara Falls. As they step up to view the scenery, the painter says, “I wish I had my paints and canvas, I’d paint such a beautiful picture.” The poet says, “I wish I had my notebook and pen, I could write a beautiful sonnet.” The plumber says, “I wish I had my toolbox; I could fix that leak.”
The point is, we see what we want to see. That’s why there’s a real problem if a person is in love with the idea of being in love. When we look at a potential mate, we may not be seeing him as he really is; we’re seeing what we want him to be.
This could lead you to ignore some serious red flags about a person, and dismiss things that don’t fit into the fantasy image of the relationship you’ve created in your mind.
There are some definite signs that you’re more in love with love than with your current partner. One sign is having relationship after relationship take off like rockets, then falter and burst into flames.
Spotting the Signs
There are some definite signs that you’re more in love with love than with your current partner.
One sign is having relationship after relationship take off like rockets, then falter and burst into flames. Things move swiftly at first and it’s practically euphoric.
It’s so good in the beginning that when problems start arising you brush them off—just temporary setbacks (every relationship has them, right?). At some point, however, it hits you like a ton of bricks that the relationship is hopeless.
Another sign is finding yourself constantly making excuses for the person you’re with— not just to family and friends, but to yourself.
You ignore warning signs until the behaviors get so bad that they’re unbearable. Its denial— you want for it to work so badly, you don’t want to admit the problems are serious.
One big problem to be aware of is when you start compromising yourself— your values, your ethics, your dreams, your goals, even your own self-esteem.
When you’re doing this just to keep a relationship going, it’s a good sign that the relationship is not what you want it to be. You’re too busy trying to keep the rose-colored glasses on to notice the price you’re paying is steep.
What to Do About It
When you realize that you’re prone to bad relationships because you’re so anxious to find the love of your dreams, it’s a good time to step back and stop dating for a while.
The first thing you need to do is to face any fears you may have of being alone. Learn to love yourself, and you’ll find you already have the ideal relationship to take you through life. Anything else is gravy. You don’t need someone else to complete you.
You also need to think realistically about what you want and expect in a potential life partner. Don’t conjure up the image of ‘the perfect mate’; you don’t want a Stepford wife/husband. But do know what your values and deal-breakers are.
Finally, re-assess what a successful relationship is to you. Think about the pros – and, more importantly – the cons. This helps you start looking at love as a work in progress, and relationships as a give-and-take. Pretty soon, you’ll start dropping the 1950’s sitcom fantasies of the perfect couple and be able to see what would really be best for your life.