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The Lost Art of Serious Relationships: It’s Too Easy to Meet New People in Today’s World

The Lost Art of Serious Relationships: It’s Too Easy to Meet New People in Today’s World

Let’s face it, the dating world today isn’t what it used to be. With all of the social networking and online dating sites out there, finding a partner has become too easy. So instead of taking the time to really get to know somebody, everyone is too busy expecting the next, better option to come along. It’s part of the instant gratification culture – put in little to no effort and the perfect partner will just fall into your lap.

Dating apps give us the illusion of choice.

You probably have more access to dating websites and apps than social networking sites. In fact, the last relationship advice you received was probably to open an account with an online dating site. When you wake up in the morning, you check your calendar, check your messages, and check your dating account.

This easy access to potential romantic partners is a problem. Why? Because it gives you the illusion of choice. How many potential dating matches do you see in a day, or even in an hour? Hundreds! And how easy is it to swipe right on by their picture and keep looking for another, better option?

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Finding a significant other is not supposed to be easy.

Too many times I hear people criticize potential romantic partners that they’ve found on a dating app. “He has no motivation.” “I don’t like her personality.” “He seems too immature.” You can’t decide these things about somebody you have never met.

Take this relationship advice: you will never find someone who is a 100% match for you. That person doesn’t exist and finding them is not what falling in love and having a long-term relationship is about. It’s about finding somebody who is not exactly like you, loving them anyway, and learning to grow with them. Finding a life partner is not supposed to be a simple task; it takes effort and dedication.

You cannot just be yourself.

Being confident in who you are and what you want in life is a good thing. Deciding that everything about you is enough for a relationship and that you don’t need to change for everything to go well is not a good thing. The worst relationship advice you could ever listen to is to “just be yourself”.

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It’s true to a certain degree that you should just be who you are with no dishonesty and pretending. Too often, however, people think this relationship advice means they never have to change and that simply isn’t true.

It takes compromise.

Long term relationships are all about change. You can’t expect to be with somebody for the rest of your life and that neither one of you will ever change. Each person in a relationship has to put in some effort. Effort to get to know each other, effort to understand each other’s likes and dislikes, and effort to make compromises.

Unwillingness to compromise means you won’t find a lifelong partner. If you want to share your life with another person, you have to be ready and willing to accept change. Making a lifelong commitment to another person isn’t about giving up when things seem difficult or when you have to change something about yourself. It isn’t taking a chance on the next best person to come across your computer or phone screen, either.

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You don’t have to lower your standards.

Accepting this relationship advice doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards. It just means you have to be open to making changes in life and adapting to the wants and needs of another person. Because in a relationship, it’s about the happiness of two people.

Compromise, change, and adaptation means giving up that weekend spa getaway to go see the movie they’re really excited about. It means picking up the shoes they forgot to put away for the millionth time because they’re really exhausted from work. It means staying in for the night when your partner is sick.

You do these things because you are concerned for the happiness, well-being, and growth of your partner. And they do the same for you.

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Don’t be tricked by the seemingly endless supply of available partners. Finding and keeping a serious relationship isn’t as easy as scrolling through a list of pictures. It takes much more effort than that.

Featured photo credit: Burst via pexels.com

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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