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If you ask anyone who has been in a romantic relationship, they will tell you it’s not all fun and games.
Yes, you get cute dates, someone to talk to and a close friend. You also get arguments, misunderstandings and tension.
There are a lot of mistakes you can make in relationships. How can you prepare for these mistakes if you’ve never experienced them? Do you just have to wait until you’re right in the middle of it?
Thankfully, no. Dr. Henry Cloud, co-author of “How to Get A Date Worth Keeping” and “Boundaries in Dating” wrote a book called “Fantasy” that addresses common “dating diseases” people struggle with.
One of these diseases is “dating from a vacuum.”
Dating from a vacuum happens when women have “some sort of loneliness or a need to find validation of themselves — or even meaning — in a relationship with a guy. Many women give men way too much power to prove to themselves that they are lovable and desirable and even to make life worth living. They feel as if life is somehow not complete if they are not in a relationship with a guy.”
This description may seem a bit harsh and unrelatable, but consider this example. Amy is a college junior who gets good grades, has stable relationships with friends and family, and is in a committed dating relationship.
Everything seems to be going well for Amy, but she starts to notice tension in her relationship with her boyfriend.
As she tries to resolve this tension, it begins to work its way into other areas of her life.
Soon, she is afraid of losing her boyfriend, hurting the stability of her relationships with her friends and family members, and undermining her performance in school.
She shares these fears with someone who asks her why she is afraid to lose so much when the issue is her relationship with her boyfriend.
As she thinks about this, Amy realizes it’s all connected. She’s afraid to lose her friends because she worries they’ll see her differently. She’s afraid her family will be disappointed in her. She’s afraid that without this relationship, she’ll lose her motivation to perform well in school.
Amy is dating from a vacuum. She began this relationship looking to fulfill something she felt was missing from herself. Now she feels dependent on it and believes she would be lost without it.
Have you ever found yourself in Amy’s shoes? Here are some resources to help you to get through it:
Feeling valuable can influence your emotions, decisions and mental well being, so finding your value in things that last is important. Are the things you find your worth in satisfying you?
Sign up for our email series to learn more about placing your value in things that are truly satisfying.
Shaping that foundation is critical, here are two helpful questions we should ask ourselves before a relationship spontaneously begins to grow.
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