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Objectivity in Dating – Part III
How do people end up choosing an unhealthy person to date or marry? In my experience as a counselor, it is skipping over the time in a relationship when objectivity is at its highest. The following is continued from Part II.
Flaws are not bad; no one is perfect. But, some people are closer to being ready for marriage than others. If you marry someone who is farther away, you will need to invest more effort up front to have a working relationship. When someone like Sally is “in love,” he or she will more easily overlook flaws. This can happen because Sally let herself be in such a need to find a car that she is desperate to have the first one that appears to make her feel comfortable. Desperation directly results in a loss of objectivity. The longer she spends with the car, the more attached she becomes to it.
Be Objective, then Subjective
Attachment and passion are subjective. This is good because they can keep a couple together – after they have committed to each other. But before marriage and before going on too many dates, it is important to stay objective and evaluate a potential mate. This requires patience and being tough, some would say. When you are first meeting someone, this is the time you are most objective. The longer you know someone the harder it is to be objective. That is why it is so hard to break up with someone the longer you have spent together – you’ve already formed an attachment. Staying objective early on prevents you from getting into a relationship with a person who is not ready to be in a relationship – due to “maintenance needs”.
The process of selecting a date or a mate is a subjective one. It is supposed to be. But for these very reasons, it can also be a daunting one. Seeing a counselor during this time provides the added objectivity to help you sort through your values and feelings so you can make a wise decision. NRC counselors are available to help you find the right person and be the right person.
- Be willing to act tough (look objectively) on where you are at in your relationship (it’s maturity), while offering total acceptance of each other.
- Consider bringing your relationship in front of a pair of trained eyes, so you can work through any difficulties early in your relationship.
1 Cor 13:7-8
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another … in honor giving preference to one another.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.