Every day when I scroll through posts on Facebook I see complaints about how a girlfriend or boyfriend—or husband or wife—has been abusive or unfaithful or just plain acting like an ass. Or maybe all he or she wants is sex and no commitment of any kind. I frequently overhear such complaints in restaurants or stores or in other places where I happen to be, also.
You’re heard them, too. Maybe you’re one of the people making the complaints. Do you have a significant other who doesn’t treat you right? Have you had a string of such people in your life?
When I hear these things, I always wonder where the complainer met the person he or she is complaining about. If you’ve managed to find several of these people in a row, did you meet all of them in the same type of places?
If your father or mother or both were sent to prison and lost custody of you as a result when you were growing up, do you think taking on a recently released convict as your mate and having a child or children with him or her is really a good idea? Is it reasonable to think this person will make that much better a parent than your own did? Or that much better a husband or wife or lover?
If your boyfriend is disrespectful to his mother or your girlfriend to her father, can you really expect better treatment yourself? A person’s attitude toward and treatment of his opposite sex parent is one of the best indicators of what kind of mate he or she will make. I realize some parents may deserve it, but as a general rule this is true.
Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing again in the same way and expecting different results. Could this possibly apply to your selection of significant others?
Where are you meeting the people you fall in love and develop relationships with? If you’re meeting them in bars and clubs, they may be exciting. They may be the life of the party. They may tell the funniest jokes. They may be handsome or beautiful. You may even take them home and find them to be wonderful in bed. But does that make it reasonable to assume they will be good and faithful mates.
If they were out partying and looking for someone to hustle into bed when they met you, don’t you think it might be reasonable to expect them to continue that behavior while they are supposedly being true to you? If their exes have restraining orders against them, are you sure they’ll never do the same thing to you that brought about the restraining order?
Think about where you’ve met potential lovers in the past. Have you continued to use the same sort of venues to look for other lovers? Does that even sound like a sensible thing to you?
We live in a fallen and imperfect world. There are no guarantees of finding Mr or Ms Right anywhere. But wouldn’t it make some sense to try to tilt the odds a little more in your favor by where you look?
If you meet someone in a library, for instance, he or she won’t be perfect any more than you and I are. But at least you’ll know that person can read and enjoys doing it. Wouldn’t liking to read be a little bit better trait than being able to down more beer than anyone else?
If you meet someone in a church, he or she won’t be perfect, either, but at least that person probably believes in God, and if it’s a Bible-based evangelical church—like a Baptist or Bible church—odds are pretty good he or she has submitted to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Again, not a guarantee, but don’t the odds sound better than with the person who sings loudest or tells the funniest jokes in a bar?
My wife and I are imperfect people. We have an imperfect marriage. But we’ve loved and been faithful to each other for 25 years now. Neither of us was looking for a recently released convict or the funniest person in a bar. I keep picking on bars, and perhaps that’s not totally fair. I’ve known very good people who spent a lot of time in bars, but I still maintain that’s not the best venue to meet Mr or Ms Right.
Shouldn’t you consider looking somewhere you haven’t looked in the past for your soul mate?
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Well Dave, having worked for a divorce lawyer for 30 years, I can add some stuff to that list. First of all, here’s a tip: if you just recently split up with your spouse, it’s NOT a good idea to bring your new sweetheart to your first appointment with your divorce lawyer. Yeah, don’t do that. You just look like a cheating fool.
And, second, if you met your current spouse when he or she was married to someone else, then they divorced and married you, but now they are cheating on you – don’t cry about it. You knew they were unfaithful when you met them. What makes you think they’re going to be faithful to you? That makes you an idiot as far as I’m concerned.
And men, if you’re dating a woman who has 3 kids from 3 different fathers, please, please, wear a condom. Every single time. Because, chances are . . . .
Anyway, I’ll stop with those 3, but I’ve seen enough stuff to make me swear off marriage or relationships forever. Good thing my husband was truly a keeper, or I’d be a single woman today.
I just may have to make this my very own blog post: “Dating advice from a family law paralegal.” Stay tuned.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Do it, Patricia. My observations are from afar, but yours are from experience.
Well thought out blog, David. I do not know if the audience of whom you are thinking will read this or if those people could apply it … too many times deeply buried psychological traits make us blind … but I think it is excellent.
I appreciate your points, David. Often times people, including myself, don’t (or do) realize that they tend to get themselves into the same problems by making the same wrong choices. Whatever their realization, they don’t choose a wiser direction, and the quagmire continues. If I can find that poem of wisdom regarding this issue, I’ll share it with you. The poem’s long been a favorite of mine. Keep on blogging!