By Jens W. Pedersen
The author of this post, Jens W. Pedersen, coaches and consults on dating and love. Read his refreshing thoughts on why so many of us jump from one relationship to the next and what you can do instead.
Today many of us find it difficult to succeed in relationships, and there may be several reasons for that. Some therapists point out, that it is due to traumatic experiences that instilled a fear of being let down and thus we no longer put our faith in love.
But I would like to suggest a different reason that is rarely spoken of: It may be that your preoccupation with relationships and marriage is on the decline, so that being a couple is not the most important thing in your life anymore.
That phase is, in other words, about to be over and done with in your case, and therefore no longer holds such a strong grip on you. This is why you will lose interest in the partner. What should have been a lifelong interest and partnership, turns out to be nothing more than a short intermezzo, or a faint reflection of the romantic dream that you had hoped for.
Content in your single life
However, if you lack a good substitute for the life-content represented by romance, you might easily hang on to the past, and so, you repeat it by trying yet another partner and investing your feelings in that new love.
Nowadays we have consequently what has been named serial monogamy, where we periodically change our partner and start over. In this way, we go through the same phases of a love relationship repeatedly, but we find it hard to move on from there and attain a new sense of meaning.
The case may be that being two alone together is no longer enough for you. This does not mean that you completely wave farewell to having a relationship in your life, but you must supplement it with something more.
If you place a one-sided emphasis on the life content that your relationship or marriage might give to you, you expect too much from romance and so you are disappointed time and again.
What is your passion?
If you repeatedly find that your relationships are crumbling, I therefore suggest that you consider whether your preoccupation with relationships is in reality somewhat artificial or exaggerated?
The failed relationships may be an indication that you are moving out of the zone where being together as a couple meets all your dreams, and then you need to look for a new, alternative life content.
It might be another passion or a greater kind of love where you are thinking of doing something for others, i.e. charity, altruism and compassion. Below you get more ideas.
Consider what your new life content is, for example:
- Give your children a good start in life
- Enrich the lives of others by becoming a capacity within your line of work
- Create great music, art, architecture, literature, etc.
- Immerse yourself in a great hobby or interest
- Spread happiness around you with your fine sense of humour
- Fight for a better world with your political messages
- Fulfil your mission in life by …?
The search for new life content may well be fumbling and hesitant. That is quite natural. Transition phases are hard. When one era is over and life is about to take a new turn, it can be experienced as a loss of meaning or a sense of inner emptiness that persists until we understand what our life is now going to be about.