Standing Outisde Your Relationship for Objective Assessment

Weddings are popular affairs these days, and many of us working in the helping field are well aware that some couples are more fixated on the promise of the celebration day rather than the long-term requirements for the marriage.

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of the eHarmony dating website urges couples to proceed with caution when trying to determine if a match is forever. He recommends the following topics for discussion before couples make a life-long commitment:

Make sure the decision is your own – Only the partners in a relationship have the information required to make the decision of whether to stay together.

Verify your partner’s emotional health – Expecting that a partner’s personality or behavior will just change over time is a recipe for disappointment.

Consider the advice of friends and family – If someone you trust has real concerns about your relationship with a partner, it may be advisable to listen to his point. “Sometimes we have blind spots that can only be seen by others. When another person knows us well, they can often bring a new and meaningful perspective about us and our relationships; this perspective is frequently more accurate than we at first may think it to be,” Warren says.

Don’t rush to the altar – Warren admonishes couples to take their time when deciding on a match. “A bad mistake is a thousand times more devastating than the loss of a few weeks together. If you can avoid this ‘bad mistake’ by moving slowly, you will thank yourself thousands of times for your patience and reflection,” he advises.

Watch for changes in enthusiasm – Once the initial excitement of the new relationship wears off, there may be less attractive qualities that start to surface. Warren suggests paying close attention to these “crucial signs.”

Get professional counseling – Working with a counselor even before you are engaged is a tremendous gift to yourself.

Be completely honest with yourself – “You may want desperately to get married, but you need to assess the likely success of your relationship in the long term,” Warren advises. Taking a step back from the relationship is a vital part of objective decision-making.

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