Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is It Time to Change Our Habits or Change Our Partners?

Humans are creatures of habit (there is no secret about that).   We all thrive upon few elements that make us bond with the universe through seeking predictability in life around us, security, and fulfilling our basic needs.   First, people seek predictability and consistency in people around them because it gives them a sense of comfort in knowing life is running smoothly. When people and situations in life start going haywire, people have a sense of panicking over uncertainty.  For some uncertainty breeds anxiety, panic attacks, rampant contingency planning and more.   Those are the rare times when one's faith is tested in the universe because they do not know what or who is around the corner to change up their everyday routine.   Second, humans need security. Security comes in different forms from physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial and basically any form that accommodates an individual feeling confident and safe in the universe.   Not all forms of security may correlate to an individual’s self-esteem and confidence, though in most cases when one's lifestyle is in harmony with the universe they appear more secure in handling unexpected life circumstances around them. Third, humans have, do and will fulfill their basic needs to co-exist during their time on earth. There are no exceptions to the rule. Whether we are discussing raw basic needs such as water, air, food and sex or whether we are acknowledging the need of communication, attention and affection.
One challenge in relationships people face is when two lifestyles come together urging both partners to compromise in order to co-exist in the couple's physical and foremost mental space.  Women and men engage in creating these 'mental contracts' where they have expectations of what their partner will and will not do while dating or engaging in a relationship with them. Along with the expectations, they also create a negotiable and non-negotiable list for what may hinder their chances of sustaining a long term relationship.  The danger surfaces when these 'mental contracts' are not communicated to their partner.   So when one partner participates in behaviors that violate their partner's mental contract-fire works and some steam will rise eventually leading to debates, arguments and possibly some tough times along the road. 
The two most foreseeable outcomes include both partners communicating their 'mental contracts' explicitly to one another.   This will enable both individuals to voice their expectations and concerns that will lead both of them to acknowledge, consider and compromise in the future.   To the contrary, voicing such 'mental contracts' can also make the partners defensive in the relationship thus encouraging them to be in denial by understanding the stressors that are putting this relationship in question. In an ideal situation, one of the partners will approach the other by becoming proactive in improving the relationship by inquiring what measures can be taken salvage their relationship.
In another world when expectations are not communicated the partners' encounter frustration because their 'mental contracts' are not yielding the live results they were seeking in the couple's space.    Frustration basically is an emotional reaction to when an individual is expecting a particular outcome; instead something else manifests in its place.  Along with frustration, some individuals may develop the flight or fight response.  Either one or both partners will flee and/or avoid the situation at hand or they will choose to fight this out by exchanging their true feelings on this matter.  If neither partner chooses to act upon the opportunity to express their true thoughts regarding their habits for how they effect their relationship, both of them are engaging in a never ending cycle that will keep manifesting the same results in all their relationships.  If they keep repeating the same behaviors while expressing similar reactions in their relationships---chances are extremely low that their future relationships will be successful.
Relationships do iron themselves out with time, only it is up to the individuals to remain in the relationship or not. All relationships take effort no matter how great or small.
People have needs and if they are not met, there is someone for everyone to fulfill them.

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