Can you fall in love with the wrong person? With someone you’re not meant to be with?
“In reality, there is more to forever than simply finding someone who you feel extremely connected to. We have to stop allowing this surge of feeling to act like a compass towards healthy relationships…when life throws us some less than perfect situations we need more than more than an emotional upwelling of exhilaration.” –Bianca Sparacino
OK I may have watched the majority of the Bachelorette premiere on Monday. Don’t judge me. I’m a big fan of Jo Jo. Did the producers force her to give a rose to a couple of those jackwagons? They had to. Also, did she know she gave a rose to a Erectile Dysfunction therapist? I loved the part where Jo Jo had never heard of the viral vine “Damn…Daniel.” And that guy tried to explain it to her. He sounded crazy when he asked exasperatedly (like that word?) “Have you been on the internet in the last 2 months?” But really how has Jo Jo never heard of it?! Isn’t she up on pop culture?! She’s the freakin’ Bachelorette!
Can you fall in love with the wrong person? I think we all want to answer “no” but we know better. Yes. A resounding YES. Most of us have “been in love” with someone who was the wrong person. Sometimes we know at the beginning they were just plain wrong for us but the chemistry or attraction is so strong we stay. We say we will just “see where it goes” and before you know it, you love someone who is terrible for you. I often disorder my loves and loves things in the wrong order. In the same way I can misorder the criteria by which I am making my decision. One of my mentors Jim Cunningham sent me some thoughts on this a while back. I mustache you to read them. Don’t shave them for later. (Bachelorette and Cunningham jokes)
This is one of my wise mentors Jim. In his favorite outfit
“Our culture tells us that falling in love is the acid test of relationships. And if you love someone a LOT you should obviously marry them. Love is NOT the most important factor. You can love pizza, college basketball, and your aunt Hilda (the one with the mole who always tries to kiss you on the lips). And just because you love someone a LOT, that does not mean that they make you a better person, or that they will partner with you in your life’s calling, that they will be faithful to you, or that they don’t have tendencies or traits that will cause the relationship to be a disaster. No, there are a lot of reasons to marry someone, and although I’d recommend that you love the person you are going to marry, it is simply NOT the #1 factor. And here’s the thing… once you decide that you love someone, you’re going to have a very tough time being talked out of marrying them. You won’t listen to your friends, your family or folks who speak into your life. You’ll feel that either they, “Just don’t understand,” or “Our love can conquer all.” When you think the relationship is going the direction of marriage, you simply MUST have folks in your life who can speak their mind about it, regardless of how tough that conversation may be—parents, mentors and very close friends MUST be allowed to weigh in. They are not in love with your “perfect mate” and they will see clearly enough to tell you that this is a disaster waiting to happen. They won’t have the massive blind spot that falling in love creates in your life. Marriages fail for many reasons but some of them are at a huge disadvantage from the start because they were based on a syrupy view that “all you need is love.” That could not be further from the truth. There are a dozen reasons to marry or not marry someone that count far more heavily than infatuation. I have decided that I simply will not officiate a wedding if the best answer the couple can give me to the question “why do you want to get married” is “because we love each other.”
One quick story in response to Jim’s insightful thoughts. I had a close friend who got engaged to a girl that his parents, siblings, 2 best friends and I didn’t think was the right person. But he was smitten. Somehow I was voted as the person to talk to him about this. The danger: he marries her anyway and remembers for the rest of his life that you tried to talk him out of it—that you “didn’t like her.” This friend came to his senses and didn’t go through with it. He is now happily married to someone who is the “right” person.
I will be taking June off from posting due to my work schedule. Have a great month!