I think that at one time or another we’ve all been guilty of self-sabotage when it comes to love. That we’ve had a blind spot that we missed and it totally ruined what could have been a wonderful.
So I want to put out there the first of four major relationship blind spots you may have that could be sabotaging your love life (p.s. this is based on a My Love Thinks online course Head Meets Heart).
Before I state what it is, I want to mention that this blind spot is a little different than the other three. This blind spot is more of a widespread belief that is drastically influencing the dating culture.
So, maybe you’ve got your stuff together, but I challenge you to take a look at this blind spot and see if you’ve noticed yourself falling victim to this cultural misconception.
1) It is what it is and if it’s meant to be it will be
I saw this mentality all the time when I counseled college undergrads and graduate students. It usually went something like this:
“This girl I am talking to didn’t text me back. Last time we hung out, we had kind of got into an argument so I guess now she’s not into me.”
“ I’d say something like, “have you called her? Or reached out in any way besides texting?”
“Was there a resolution to your argument?”
“Has there been anything else that caused you to think the relationship wasn’t going well?”
“No, not really but I didn’t hear back so I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
At this point, I tended to push the client a little bit to examine their own passivity in relationships and whether or not it actually got him or her the result they desired.
Because so often the issues were so minor, yet the relationships they said they valued would be totally lost because of a lack of intentionality and assertiveness about what they wanted.
This is a pervasive mentality these days when it comes to dating!
As if relationships and the future of them are left up to fate, like people are passive bystanders in their relationships, that relationships are outside of your own volition and involvement.
Recent studies have found that external locus of control beliefs are up 50% among our generation of Millennials when compared to similarly aged adults in the 1960s.
What does this mean?
It means that more than any other generation in recent history, we tend to believe that we don’t have as much power over our own life…that things in our life “happen” to us and that they are beyond our control.
There is an upside to this belief, which is that we are able to accept things we cannot control.
But on the other hand, when this belief gets taken to the extreme and becomes the dominant approach to life it can lead to a passive acceptance of things that we actually should be doing something about! Like our relationships!
A 2013 New York Times article, The End of Courtship, portrayed this belief when Alex Williams, the author of the article, made a point about how casual hookups without any relationship definition or really calling it any specific type of relationship just keeps the stakes lower. Maybe the relationship will go somewhere, maybe not. You know “it is what it is” or “if it’s meant to be it will be”.
Do you see how this removes the responsibility? How you believe it removes risk? How, in some ways, you think it may serve as a protective mechanism? That if you don’t get too invested, exert too much energy, or get too involved that somehow you are safe from the hurt?
Unfortunately it isn’t working out this way.
Instead rates of loneliness, anxiety, and depression are at all time highs, especially among our generation of Millennials.
We crave human connection, but we can’t have these close, intimate relationships without putting some skin in the game. We have to take charge of our relationships and be intentional.
You see the reality is that our relationships require that we be active managers. Managers you ask?
Yes, it is so important that we are intentional in our relationships, dare I even suggest we have some sort of plan for our relationships.
Like have conversations about where they are going, about what you want out of a relationship, and about commitment.
Because sometimes just leaving relationships up to fate and having an “is what it is” mentality can unfortunately lead to nothing really coming to fruition in relationships that really could have been great.
Don’t miss out on real intimacy and true connection. So take some time to really think about how actively you are involved in managing your relationships.
Stay tuned for the other three blindspots!