As a follow-up post to our article from last week titled “How to Pick Your Life Partner”, we talked about the main reasons why great people remain single due to societal expectations, pride, or a lack of experience in dating, which means they never really quite figure out what it is they want in a partner.
The opposite can happen though – where you settle quickly into a relationship with someone who isn’t right for you, and end up in an unhappy, unhealthy marriage. The following is a list taken from the same Huffington Post article from February 25, 2014 about the different personality types that are in grave trouble in their relationship search. If any of these scenarios/personalities sound familiar, start making some adjustments ASAP so you find yourself in the right union with the right person, for the right reasons.
The Hopeless Romantic
Your downfall is believing that love is enough of a reason on its own to marry someone. Romance and love are certainly keys to a happy marriage, but without many other crucial commonalities, those will not be enough. The Hopeless Romantic repeatedly ignores the little voice that tries to speak up when their partner does something to damage the trust, integrity or quality of the union, or when you two are fighting more than you ever did. If you feel worse about yourself in the relationship but are sticking through because you “love” the person, that’s when it’s time to cut the ties. When Hopeless Romantics make themselves believe they have “found their soul mate”, they put on those blinders and keep them on all the way through 50 years of an unhappy marriage.
Fear is one of the worst decision-makers when it comes to picking the right life partner. Unfortunately, the way society is set up, fear starts infecting all kinds of otherwise-rational people, sometimes as early as the mid-twenties. The fear our society, parents, and friends inflict upon us lead many to settle for a not-so-great partnership: fear of being the last single friend, fear of being an older parent, fear of being judged. The only thing we should be fearful of is marrying and having children with the wrong person and being stuck with that decision the rest of your life. This is the risk fear-driven relationships take when a decision is made under that kind of pressure.
The Easily Influenced
Choosing a life partner is deeply personal, enormously complicated, different for everyone, and almost impossible to understand objectively. So, other people’s opinions and preferences really have no place getting involved, other than an extreme case involving abuse of any kind.
The most unfortunate example of this is someone ending a relationship with someone who would have been the right person because their family wouldn’t approve, or because of some influencing external factor (religion, money, status). The Easily Influenced feels compelled to end things with an amazing person because (fill in blank) may not approve.
On the contrary, the Easily Influenced may stay in a relationship with the wrong person because of the same factors (parents, society, friends). They may love the person you’re dating and think they are “perfect for you” but deep inside you don’t feel the same way. This person may fall victim to others’ opinions and end up with a life of misery.
The Shallow ****
The Shallow Person is more concerned with the “checklist” in their life partner than who the person really is. Things like beauty, height, age, job prestige, wealth, accomplishments, education or maybe a novelty item like being from a powerful family or speaking several languages take precedence over their inner qualities: kind, loyal, giving, loving, emotionally available, honest.
Sure, everyone has criteria that are important to them, and some should definitely be deal breakers (lying, cheating, a criminal past, different goals for the future) but a Shallow Person prioritizes appearances and resumés above the quality of their connection with that person. The Shallow Person’s checks and balances system is off internally when they marry the rich jerk over the sweetheart with an average income level.
The Narcissist comes in three, sometimes overlapping varieties:
1) The “My Way or the Highway” Narcissist
This person cannot handle sacrifice or compromise. They believe their needs, desires and opinions are simply more important than her partner’s, and they need to get their way all of the time. In the end, the Narcissist does not want an equal, legitimate partnership. They want someone to “hang out” with while they do the things they enjoy. The Narcissist inevitably ends up with a pushover with self-esteem issues and the combination ends up as a disastrous and unhealthy marriage.
2) The “Lead Character” Narcissist
The Lead Character’s tragic flaw is being massively self-absorbed. He wants a life partner who serves as both his therapist and biggest admirer, but could care less about reciprocating. They want someone there to feed their ego and dote on them. 90 percent of the day’s discussions centers around the Lead Character’s, with little or nor regard to what their partner has to share. This type of narcissist ends up with a sidekick as his life partner, which makes for a terribly unrewarding marriage.
3) The “Needs-Driven” Narcissist
We all have needs and like them to be met, but problems arise when perks become confused with needs and are used to pick a life partner: she cooks for me, he’ll be a great father, she’ll make a great wife, he’s rich, she’s great in bed. Those are great qualities and all, but those are only perks. And after years of marriage, when the Needs-Driven Narcissist is accustomed to having those needs met, it’s going to be an awfully boring ride.
Allowing a motivating factor to consume you into picking a life partner rather than going with the genuine, authentic and healthy qualities to marry someone will no doubt become a terribly reality if any of the above are used in the decision to settle down.
People are living a lot longer than they used to, so spending all of those in an unhappy marriage, a nasty divorce battle, or being tied to them forever because you’ve had kids with the person, wouldn’t personally be how I would want to spend 50+ years of my life.