Twelve Questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether you are dating the right person
Show up honestly to these twelve questions and really listen to your answers. If you are still not sure, seek a few sessions with a good relationship therapist since possibly some family-of-origin ghosts are getting in your way.
1. Do you like who you are in this relationship?
2. Think of someone who loves you very much (parent, sibling, grandparent, coach, your child…) would they think this was the best you could do relationship-wise? If not, what’s getting in the way of that?
3. Are you growing in a way you like, or stuck in a place you dislike?
4. After a fight, can you get back together and talk about what the real issues were until you each understand what precisely each of you was upset about? In other words, do your fights bring you closer or build a wedge between you? *(see NOTE below)
5. Is there a healthy balance of give and take? If any of these statements are true, read number #6
- “I show my love by fixing my sweetie’s problems.”
- “My sweetie is just going through a rough patch.”
- “Love is all about giving.”
- “I’m sure my turn to receive will come.”
6. Do you know the difference between healthy helping & enabling helping? Healthy helping is stepping in when someone really can’t manage on their own, like driving someone to the hospital when they are sick. Enabling helping is preventing someone from experiencing the consequences of their own behavior or choices, like endlessly listening to your friend kvetch and complain about how much they hate their life – so you run around endlessly trying to make the edges better – when actually, your friend needs to make some drastic changes.
7. When you think about yourself 3 years out – do you feel excited at the thought you’ll still be with this person, or poundingly depressed?
8. Do you know, in your heart of hearts, you need to move on, but can’t bear the pain this might cause the other? If so, read #9.
9. As a parent, will you let your kid’s teeth rot in their heads rather than expose them to the dentist? Will you continue to enable this person to live a lie? If they’d be devastated by you moving on, they must think you love them more than you do. Respect them enough to tell your own truth. You will both be the better for it.
10. Are you stuck because you made some dumb decisions that have you all muddled up financially – like buying something big together (house, car, boat, time payments on a costly trip?) If yes, see #11.
11. Debt together is different from life together. Grow up, get out the spread sheets and talk to a lawyer if you need to get some teeth into independent repayment plans for these once joint financial commitments. You get to enjoy the consequences of your action which means you won’t make this mistake again – right?
12. Do you keep circling around to “But I love him/her?” Love is so much more than a fuzzy feeling. It’s a verb in the most life-affirming sense. Love is a crucible for growth like no other. If – despite your fuzzy, lovey-dovey, achingly addictive feeling – you can also check these boxes…
- It brings out the best in each of you;
- Your friends and family see you expand in confidence;
- You care enough to drill down to understand your differences;
- You willingly try on new ways of being;
- You allow one another to take risks and to comfort one another when you fall – you don’t wrap each other up in cotton wool and hide;
- You savor the moment and feel optimistic about the future;
- Your expression of love and your experience of love are fully congruent;
- You can show up wholeheartedly and truthfully;
- As a team you are more powerful than you were as two individuals;
- Your love is emotional (and chemical) yes, but also born of intellect (you’ve thought this through) and spirit (you choose to grow within this co-created crucible) and flesh (you willingly surrender your precious body into those arms for cherishing);
. . . why then, you might be on to something very valuable.
*NOTE ~ While the content of each fight can vary, the values you each hold that might have been compromised are often the same ones. So, if you can’t figure out what the real issue is now – before you make a long-term commitment – it’s like jumping into a swimming pool with alligators in. If you know there are there – better to get them out first.
Coming: Dating~How to call it quits