Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why We Lust and Why We Love

"I never knew until we were married."

from Susan Dunn, Dating and Relationship Coach

Probably the most important decision you will ever make in your life is the person that you marry, and from all reports, making a good choice in this area appears to be getting even more complicated. Our 50% divorce rate speaks to this. And, more dour, is the fact that this rate is raised due to the VERY high rate of failed second marriages, i.e., those who can't choose right the first time (or create a lasting relationship) fail to do so the second time.

I just finished reading a book that claims your strongest attraction (let's call it lust) is for someone who reminds you of a relationship you had with a parent. They contend this does not always make for someone you can comfortably live with.

The other choice, according to the authors, one of whom is a psychologist, is to choose someone for which the attraction is not so strong.

These are two options, yes, but I take issue with one of the premises.

If you've ever been around dog breeders, you will know the phrase, "Nature knows a good niche." This is an explanation for why some female dogs will not allow male dogs to breed with them. The gist of the saying is that the female knows that male dog isn't going to make good puppies for her.

Studies show that many of our mating patterns and courtship patterns are hard-wired. They do not relate so much to nurture (your parents, or reason, or words, as they do to hard-wired evolutionary things. I think our strongest attractions ("lust") are for those where, well, nature is knowing a good niche, i.e., perhaps this might be nature's way of telling you who you might make good kids with. Whether or not you buy that theory, the question remains -- Is this a reason to marry someone?

No, it is not.

There has to be a certain amount of physical attraction, obviously, but you have to think hard about who you can live with -- daily. And with whom you can raise those kids.

Lately in doing dating coaching, I've heard more men say that they divorced (or were divorced) "because we fought over the child-raising."

It's a good idea to check out the other person's values, and observe how they live their lives and treat other people before you take that big step. Time is one crucial ingredient, and then seeing the other person in a variety of life situations.

One male client of mine married a woman of another faith, let's call it XX. He said, "The funny thing is, I didn't even know she was XX until we had kids. Then suddenly all our friends had to be XX, everything had to be done the way XX's do things."

Can you tell this sort of thing before? Well, it helps to get some consultation. Call me for coaching - relationship, dating, emotional intelligence, transitions, decision-making.

Choosing a life partner, spouse, or mate is serious business. When you're dating and trying to choose a spouse, let me guide you. Call me at 817-734-1471 or email me at and let's start the new year off right.

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