WHEN AM I QUALIFIED TO BE IN A (ROMANTIC) RELATIONSHIP?
"If I 'do' relationship, I lose self-efficacy. If I don’t go into a relationship (or don't seek one), I develop self-efficacy. In my case, should I forget about trying to get into a relationship and just do things for myself or should I try to do both? I just have to have the excitement of a relationship!
Based on what I’ve seen in working with you, I would recommend that you fill up your life with other things. Recall how things have not worked out in relationships, besides the initial thrill.
I don’t mean to be negative, but it would appear that you need to learn certain things before getting into a relationship and adopt some viewpoints that will work to clear up predictable difficulties. (It is not about you, just what I think any person needs to learn to do well in a relationship.)
If you think what is written below is "a bit too much" and beyond what humans can do realistically, read some of the comments below.
YOU WILL BE QUALIFIED FOR A RELATIONSHIP WHEN:
__ You’ve learned to control your temper/anger/rage and can be sure you won't "let 'er rip!".
__ Able to let go of having to control the other person (and getting angry when he/she doesn’t do what you wanted).
__ You would not expect him to do anything unless you were specific with him/her, and
__ he/she accepted your request (but there was no demand that he/she do so)
__ When you have truly learned how not to blame (80% at least)
__ And you fully understand why blame is a false concept (and can explain it to another
__ Never insist that the other person apologize (that is strictly a component of make-wrong), for
the person is unlikely to have done whatever they did “wrong” with any malice.
__ When you have learned to not inflict pain on another to get the person to do something
__ Have written out all of what you expect in a relationship (and showed it to the other person)
__ I have realistic expectations.
__ You have truly learned compassion for another human being and yourself
__ You are self-sufficient such that you do not “need” the relationship, so it is only a bonus
__ You have read the top recommended books on relationships (on this site) and
__ You can honestly say you will do what is recommended
__ Know the Time Out Tool and use it in all relationships (such that no impatience or anger is
allowed to go beyond the initial irritation level)
__ You are willing to be authentic and honest with the other person, not fooling him/her or
playing prince/princess. You do not get the option of putting up a false mask.
__ Dropping all mind-reading and guessing about what is in other people’s minds (most of the population thinks they are accurate on this, but the smart people realize no one is capable of doing that accurately nor are the foolish enough to think that their perceptions are reality)
__ Stop, discontinue, cease, desist in ever talking about how bad your past was and how that is the reason you are the way you are. Never speak of it unless in counseling or a problem-solving situation where it can be dealt with objectively and effectively.
__ Never complaining about other people’s incompetence, rudeness, how they should ____, etc.
__ Take 100% responsibility for your own emotions, never, ever, ever blaming them on the other (since you have learned the no-blame tautology)
__ You are capable of listening to the other person without interruption, without lettingyour anxiety
7% of marriages are happy. We are an unskilled bunch of wishful thinkers, who fail to anticipate reality.
Remarkably enough, people have not educated themselves in the very basics, and certainly not enough to reach satisfactory competence! Nor have they set up a plan for their seeking, finding, preparing, and being married stages! And it's a major part of our lives! Remarkable!
Basically, most of their efforts are based on the titillation of pretend romance, unrealistic hope and possibility, sex... but not on substance.
I recommend that people attain a level of substance - and have a partner who has also reached that level and is committed (like "really, really") to making the right choice when we all get to Stage 3. (Use search engine to find 'Stage 3' and any other items mentioned here.)
I recommend that you get to the point where you are sufficient unto yourself and not trying to get someone who will "complete" you by providing what is missing. Do not attempt to create a successful relationship from two half-people - believe you me, that does not total to a whole person!
Many a time, I have seen people jump into a relationship when they would have been much happier just being with themselves and following their own passions.
And I've seen it over and over and over and over... [How soon we forget!]
HOW REALISTIC ARE THE "REQUIREMENTS"?
Of course, we exist on a spectrum with two extremes, neither of which we will be at. The question of how far we can realistically go is most reasonably answered with a criteria of being "80%" along the way (or more, but we don't have to be some paragon of whatever it is that is best). But the real question is not "how good am I?" or "am I good enough?", but it is "have I learned enough to get the results I want?" and, if not, "what more should I learn and is it worth my time?"
The process is to first notice what is going on in relationships that are closer by observing how you do using the criteria above - and then decide if there is something you'd like to do to improve your experience in that area and/or to improve your capacity for relating.
(When one is constantly stuck in the paradigm of whether one is good or bad, right or wrong, smart enough or dumb, etc., one is stuck in judgment, which is a huge waste of time, methinks. The paradigm of "where am I and where do I want to be to get the results I want" is the one to use if one wants to have a life that is of the highest attainable quality. It would be helpful in life, as well as in relationships, for you to thoroughly ground yourself in this area: See Contents/Links Syndrome of Blame/Fault/Wrong/Anger/Punish/Control. )