How do we know that we’re choosing the wrong person? This question bothers people especially for those who are about to take a vow of marriage.
Frankly, no one knows exactly who the right person is.
But the real question here is not how, but why.
Most of the divorced couples shared one common experience; they suffer the price of marrying the “wrong person.” As a result, many relationships have broken up.
Because we don’t know exactly who the right person for us, we all likely to commit the same mistake. The uncertainty and latency of so many factors that play a significant role of “being right” in the process of choosing the perfect person, makes it almost impossible for us to marry with a perfect one.
However, perfection is not really the issue here. The real cause is our cognitive appraisal or the way we see circumstances in our daily life.
In other words, it is our faulty evaluation of people we meet every day that causes the problem. It is our mind that makes faulty reality not the actual consequences of our action.
Below are examples of faulty thinking that most people might have been committing.
We think we chose the wrong person.
Do you know who you really are? This question freezes us sometimes. It is an indication that we don’t really understand ourselves.
An intimate relationship is a process of linking ourselves with other people. It is some sort of connection that binds us with someone we love.
This connection process requires harmony. Unfortunately, harmony sometimes becomes an expensive commodity that we can’t afford.
Failure to adhere cohesiveness on both parties creates conflict. When there is conflict, we tend to interpret things in a conventional and automatic manner. We then begin to attribute the consequence of an action to something.
For example, if the relationship did not work, people put the blame on their partner. They think that their husband or wife is not the right person to live with for their entire life.
But the truth is they’ve missed the whole picture. They don’t really understand who they are.
If we don’t truly understand who we are, we will find it difficult to relate ourselves to others. We will most likely fail to connect ourselves with someone we love.
Because a relationship is about interaction. How can we effectively interact if we don’t know the real image of ourselves?
If we don’t know who we are, then most probably we have no idea where we’re heading. There will be no goals. Where will we bring the relationship that we have?
Knowing oneself is pretty subjective. It is up to you how you will define yourself.
Nonetheless, your personal perception of yourself will greatly affect your relationship.
So examine yourself clearly.
To know more about yourself, try to answer the following questions:
- What makes you happy?
- What are you passionate about?
- Do you forget what you hate doing?
- What makes you proud?
- How’s your relationship with other people?
- How’s your relationship with your parents?
- What do you think the purpose of your life?
- Do you really trust yourself in difficult situations?
- What is your greatest fear?
These questions may be insignificant to you, but if you give it a shot it will help you discover your true personality.
We think we understand other people.
Aside from knowing our “own self”, understanding other people is equally important. Like knowing ourselves, understanding other people may be more complicated.
To fully understand other people we need to consider a lot of factors. These are usually in large scale. It involves examining the environmental context of a person. It is the only way to grasp the whole picture.
We need to remember that we are being molded in our immediate surroundings. We were taught by our parents, we learned to speak the language that our neighbors are speaking and we inherit almost everything society had to offer.
Therefore, our family and the society we grew from have a great impact on our personal attributes.
Needless to say, to understand other people we need to bring their familial and environmental background together.
The problem is most of the time we often give our judgment based solely on our personal evaluation.
Despite how good you are, you can’t really understand an individual just by looking at his/her personal characteristics.
The problem in our society today is that we live in a fast-moving world, always in haste. People make decisions so fast.
In fact, some people enter into marriage almost instantly without knowing the person thoroughly.
Knowing someone’s behavior or personality requires time. We don’t talk about days and weeks here, but years.
Here are the few tips to understand other people.
- Evaluate different personalities
- Keep an open mind
- Understand yourself
Learn more on this topic here.
We think we can change someone we love.
One of the biggest mistakes of people engaged in a romantic relationship is the illusion of changing other people’s behavior. This is both difficult and insulting.
Changing other people’s personality is harder than changing “you”. No one can really change other people unless they decide to do so.
I remember the story about a little boy who was asked by his mother who would he like to be when he becomes adult.
The boy said that he wanted to be a soldier.
His mother was intrigued and asked him why he wanted to become a soldier.
The boy replied;” I want to change the world”.
Time went by and the boy reached his early adulthood and became a soldier.
At some point in his life, he came across with people who asked him what he would like to accomplish in his life. The man said that he wanted to change his country.
When he reached old age, people asked him the same question.
He replied; “I want to change myself”.
The story of the boy reflects the reality that changing our external world is much harder than changing ourselves.
Therefore, it is almost impossible to change your loved one into someone you want him/her to be. This might not be the act of love. In psychology, this is called the conditional positive regard.
Love, on the other hand, is unconditional. We accept someone into our life without a string attached.
Love is total acceptance.
If you are in a conditional relationship right now, get out of it. It’s illogical and unfair.
Free yourself from illusions.
We set our standard so high.
We all have standards in all aspects of our daily experiences.
In the context of an intimate relationship, people tend to set high standards.
We tend to dream a perfect man or woman to marry.
Perfection defines all attributes of a person we want to be part of our life.
Men want to marry the sexiest and prettiest woman in the world. And women want to marry the most handsome man in the world.
The problem is there’s no perfection. It is another illusion.
Perfection does not exist in reality; it only exists in the mind.
Most broken marriages were built on the same illusion.
When we were single, we tend to find the perfect someone for us. But we couldn’t find one. So we end up with someone else who does not satisfy our standard.
Life maybe smooth and free-flowing at first, but when we come across with someone who seems to fit our standard, we tend to direct our attention to her/him.
Conflicts may arise… then comes the divorce.
Perfection is a mistake and dangerous in a relationship.
Nobody is perfect. So no relationship is perfect too.
We all have mistaken at some point in our lives.
There’s nothing we can do about it. What we can do is to minimize the possibility of failure. That’s it.
Stop seeking perfection.
We chose the wrong person because we are in haste.
No one wants to live alone. It is a universal norm that governs all human beings.
We want to do things with other people. We are happy to make things with our friends.
Because we love companionship, we find ways to have someone to live with.
An intimate relationship is an ultimate example of this.
People are excited to have someone to marry that’s why they tend to make quick decisions.
As a result, they end up marrying a person they don’t really know.
Well, good things happen at the first stage of their marriage. But because they don’t really know each other, there’s a high risk of impending conflict.
As I mentioned above, knowing other people is far more difficult than understanding our own personality.
It takes time.
If you think you know your loved one just because you’ve been dating for several months, think again.
The truth is you only see his/her surface values. There’s more to discover.
To avoid the problem, we need to understand that an intimate relationship is a complex process. We should educate ourselves before entering into it.
But the most fundamental step in achieving smooth and successful relationship (marriage) is to understand our own self-image.
Who am I? If this question takes you several minutes to answer it only means one thing; you are not that certain about your own “self”.
Understanding your true “persona” allows you to effectively relate to other people.
Ultimately, an intimate relationship is all about connecting yourself with someone else. If you don’t know who you are, you’ll find it difficult to make your relationship successful.
To love is to accept.
Don’t change someone you love if you really love him/her.
Stop pursuing perfection.
Good things happen to those who wait.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.