Dating in the Real World

I have a confession to make; I gave in and started watching dating “reality” TV shows in the last couple of years. I admit it is fun to watch the fun and all-expense paid exotic dates and trips around the world and the over-the-top ridiculous relationship faux pas that people make. But, as someone that is passionate about building long lasting healthy relationships, let’s be honest, I don’t think they have the best process of finding long-lasting love, and their track record of less than ten percent of relationships staying together after the show suggests that there’s a better way. 

So, how can someone find a long-lasting love in the real world? In some ways we need to do the opposite of what our reality TV show friends have done. 

1. It takes time.
While it would be convenient to find Mr. or Mrs. Right after a few short weeks of knowing someone, it usually takes far longer. People usually show us their best self at first, and it takes time to feel comfortable enough to take off the mask and reveal our true self. Research suggests that it takes at least six weeks before we start to feel comfortable; but, in my experience, I would say it takes at least a year to really know someone. While some people do meet and marry very quickly and they live happily ever after, I would say that is not the case for most people. 

2. Enjoy every day life together.
Exotic dates can be fun; but let’s face it, in real life we are in the routine of life (school, work, etc.) 99.5 percent of the time. It’s good to see a potential partner in many different situations and see how they respond to the stresses of everyday life to really get to know them. 

3. Get to know the important people in each other’s lives.
Our families taught us much about how relationships are supposed to be as we were growing up, so getting to know a potential partner’s family (more than just meeting them once) is important. 

Play detective and try to discover as much as you can about the person you are dating from other people’s point of view.  For example, how do they interact with friends, past romantic partners, children, etc.? 

Finding lasting love can be an exciting journey; but, by taking the time to really get to know someone, you can feel more confident in knowing if you are really compatible enough to make the relationship last. 

To learn more about building safe and healthy relationships see http://healthyrelationshipsutah.org/.

Article by: Naomi Brower

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