Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Why So Many Viable Relationships Fall Apart

Not counting the weeks before Christmas, the time between Valentine’s Day and Spring Break is when couples are most likely to break up. That includes divorce filings.

Although that might be a statistical anomaly, considering what needs to happen before you grab the phone to call the divorce lawyer.

Regardless, this is as good a time as any to take stock of your marital views. 

Especially when you consider that marriage rates have significantly dropped over the last 50 years. Perhaps you too share a mindset that’s keeping you from finding long-lasting love. 

So what’s causing so many people to split up or avoid getting hitched altogether?

Consumerism.

We still believe in commitment like we did 50 years ago. Most of us are still romantics. But us modern romantics also tend to feel that we shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best.

And that’s a new development.

So it’s not so much that we divorce or dodge the wedding aisle because we’re unhappy with our partner. We break up or avoid commitment because we think we could be happier.

We treat our romantic partners like a car on a lease. If they can’t uphold the promises we were told in the sales pitch, we end the contract and look for a better model.

“I’m not getting my needs met.”

That’s obviously a concern you should take seriously.

But for that concern to have any validity, it needs to be followed up with, “What needs of mine must my partner meet exactly? And are those all really needs I can’t meet myself?”

So many of us demand far too much of our significant others.

And it’s understandable.

Who doesn’t want to be with someone cool and independent who chooses to give you their undivided attention and unconditional love, while making you feel so excited that you couldn’t possibly imagine having sex with anyone else for the rest of your life?

Nobody in their right minds would say no to that. 

But real love doesn’t work that way. A romantic partner isn’t a gadget that works exactly like the box says that it came in. 

A human being has wildly different levels of performance.

Sometimes loving you will be your special person’s favourite thing in the world. Other times loving you is just another item on their to-do list. Sometimes you’re not on their list at all.

Painful, but true.

So the secret to a long, loving relationship isn’t just about choosing the right partner. It’s about being able to endure all the times they let you down. 

And that might sound unfair. Perhaps even wrong. But look at it from the other side.

Do you think you can be the perfect partner who’s always kind, attentive, generous, and filled with sexual desire for their mate?

If not, don’t expect the same of someone else.

Once you can embrace the human imperfections of your partner and take responsibility for your own happiness, then you have a far better chance of sticking together in the long haul.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach