When your liver is sick you might need a liver transplant. But when your love life is ailing, should you get a "Lover Transplant?"
For many years women have been coming to me for relationship counseling because of failed relationships. I provide them insight into the patterns they have developed over a lifetime of skewed thinking. Maybe they were abused as children and so believe they are responsible for any connection and if the connection is broken, it is their "fault." Or maybe they were abandoned and believe that all connection is fragile and they have no control over the outcome so they don't commit. Maybe they have never seen what a healthy relationship looks like because their parents didn't stay together, didn't commit to each other, and they passed down their brokenness to their children.
When there are no rules of engagement established early in a dating relationship, anything goes. What are "rules of engagement"? They are the boundaries and expectations you establish for yourself.
When you build a fence around your house, you know what the purpose of it is. Do you just want something pretty that shows others your property line, or do you want to protect your property, family, and the contents inside? Do you make the fence out of wood that is easily broken down or do you make it out of chain link? Do you add barb wire to ensure the maximum barrier to anyone entering? What type of do will it have? Can you see through it (transparent) or will it be solid and concealing what is behind?
Secondly, you must establish realistic expectations. This is how you establish who will be able to enter through your doorway. If you build a 12-foot Constantine wire topped brick wall around your heart is there a realistic expectation that anyone will be able to enter? Have a wall if you must, but be sure there is a door to enter and you hold the key. Know who you can trust and who you can't trust before you let them in. Don't just take them at their word, watch them. If the words and actions don't match, they are not trustworthy and you must watch them a little longer before you give them access. Don't be so eager to throw open the gates and invite strangers in. Time alone will reveal a person's character. They may say they are trustworthy, but their actions speak louder than words.Believe actions more than words. People will show you truly who they are.
Boundaries are designed to protect you from untrustworthy people, but you must know what makes them untrustworthy according to your own rules first. When you let them in before you know if they are trustworthy, then the walls were just for show and didn't protect you at all. They didn't break the boundary, you invited them in and they took advantage of your misplaced trust. The gift you receive from a stranger might just be a Trojan Horse; looks good on the outside, but what is inside is dark and destructive.
Women looking for love in all the wrong places will end up with men looking for love in all places with as many women as possible.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”