In my Love Essentially column that came out today in Sun-Times Media Local, I talk about reasons why men and women rush into relationships, and why rushing into relationships isn’t always wise. What baffles my mind, even more than single people rushing into a relationship is when divorced people do it. I really just don’t understand. It’s sort of like having a broken leg and cutting off your own cast before the doctor does because you just don’t want to wear it anymore: in other words, you just don’t want to be single!
6 Reasons People Rush into Relationships and Why it’s a Bad Idea, by Jackie Pilossoph, published today in Sun-Times Media local
I can’t even count the number of times I hear that someone is getting divorced, and no more than a year or two later, that same person is getting remarried. What’s so baffling to me is why people jump back into a serious relationship and then a marriage so quickly, without really taking the time to heal, rediscover themselves, build a life that makes them happy, and most importantly, learn how to be alone.
However, it’s not only certain divorced people who treat relationships like the 50-yard dash. Young, single people do it too. Here are six reasons people sprint to “I love you,” and even, “I do.”
1. The clock is ticking. I find that when a woman hits 30, she begins to panic if she is single. No matter how successful women are professionally, the urge to be a Mrs. and have babies is still very much like the 1950s, and the thought of getting too old to have children often provokes women into thinking they are in love, when in fact what they really are is desperate.
2. All of their friends are in relationships. It’s no fun to sit home on the weekends because all your friends are out on dates or double dates with their boyfriends/girlfriends. So, I think many men and women decide to jump into a relationship for guaranteed plans every weekend. It’s also nice to have someone to take to all the weddings you start attending.
3. Their ex is in a serious relationship. I could site specific examples of men and women whose spouse’s left them for someone else and got married, who then dove into a serious relationship. I almost see it as a need to “catch up” to their ex, or prove to the world and to themselves that they are doing just fine because they are happily in love.
4. They’re sick of dating. No one likes a string of bad dates when all you seem to meet are psychos, weirdos, freaks, stalkers, liars or cheaters. So, when men and women meet somebody who seems normal, and a person they connect with, they rush into the relationship because they are thrilled they can finally stop kissing frogs.
5. They don’t know how to be alone. So many men and women really don’t know how NOT to be married or in a serious relationship. To them, it doesn’t seem “normal” to go to a movie alone, or to sit at a Starbucks by themselves, or even to stay home alone on a Saturday night and rent a movie. Being in a serious relationship almost guarantees you will never be alone:a thought that is sadly terrifying to a lot of people. I wish more people knew how to treasure “alone time.”
6. They crave “happily ever after.” We all desperately want that fairytale ending, which is understandable. Therefore, people who rush into relationships are trying to manufacture or force this much sooner than what is natural. They want it to be real, and the fact of the matter is, if it’s too soon, it just isn’t.
Here’s the problem with rushing into a relationship and why it’s a bad idea. Rushing leads to disappointment. Why? Because when the newness of the relationship wears off, you find yourself in deep, and you realize that you hardly know the person. You fell in love with the idea of him or her, and now he or she is showing you who they are. I truly believe it takes a lifetime to really, really know someone, so the more time that goes by, the more you are learning.
The benefits of going slowly pay off. Not rushing means fewer surprises (bad ones), more realistic expectations, a better friendship, less fighting, less tears, a much more real and meaningful relationship, and so much less disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong. I love love! I love romance and red roses and saying I love you 50 times in one night. But, I have to believe that rushing to the jewelry store six months into a relationship can likely lead to waking up one day and saying, “What the heck did I just do?”