Almost everyone hopes and strives for a long-term relationship, but few are ever able to find and cement a mutually satisfying, compatible bond that lasts the rest of their lives. Those who place great importance on the fantasy of permanent, romantic bliss may see this as a tragedy, but we believe that’s an erroneous, dysfunctional perspective. |
Short-term relationships end for various reasons, including people changing and evolving or regressing at different rates over time, the shattering of illusions resulting in broken alliances, and “good” and “bad” love karma and personal timing: most connections, we have discovered in our work, have destined beginning and ending times.
There are many reasons couples stay together for longer periods of time, but we’ve found, generally, that there are four main categories of people who seek or remain in a longer-term relationship, which include three terrible reasons for doing so:
1) Singles seeking financial security or couples who can’t afford to break up yet. It’s common for couples to remain together because creating a second household would be too expensive. The divorce rate during the recent economic downturn has decreased, and reduced incomes is the number one reason.
All facades aside, financial security as the primary motivation for entering a relationship makes the connection a business relationship, not a love relationship. Adherents to the traditional American marriage model and those with a sense of entitlement deny it and express outrage when we point it out, but this sort of arrangement is essentially matrimonial prostitution. Please note, we believe how anyone chooses to live their love life is their business (not the government’s, and not society’s), unless they are being dishonest and, or using or abusing someone. We’re just calling it like we see it.
2) Those who are afraid of change, being single or alone, or are seeking happiness outside of themselves. These types will wait it out until they are forced to change, or they will end up feeling alone and isolated, even while in a relationship, because of their fear.
3) Those who feel a marriage or long-term relationship is a requirement to be a good parent. Unfortunately, a bad relationship will take the focus off a child and all will suffer in the process. Because of this, we recommend a child contract (which protects the child along with the primary caretaker) instead of a marriage contract.
4) And finally, most couples get married assuming they have what it takes to remain together, but then realize months or years later they lack the most important element, which happens to be metaphysically oriented: The good love karma of their predestined life circumstances that allows them to experience, for the most part, a harmonious, happy, long-term relationship. We estimate this is only about 15% of the population.
Is there something wrong with you if you don’t experience a rewarding longer-term or life-long relationship? It’s easy to think so if you get caught up in what you are “supposed to do” as a “normal” member of society.
Great importance is placed on life-long relationships. This is unfortunate since everyone has many soul mates and what is learned from a relationship is more important than its duration. Just because it ended doesn’t mean it “failed.”
If you aren’t involved in an ideal, longer-term relationship, don’t fret. Perceptions and expectations about the way love lives “should” be cause more misery than almost any other issue.
Instead of comparing yourself with those who seem to have what you’d like (remember, appearances can be very deceiving) and generating regret and despair, accept where you are, be grateful for all you have such as relationships with friends and family, learn to love yourself and occasional solitude, and refuse to buy into romantic fairytales.
Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
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