The last complication (#7) in building a solid foundation is the “undecided male,” the man who is fearful of making a commitment. A young man may have even responded to a young lady’s eagerness by proposing to her but somehow he is not emotionally ready. This happens very often because of premarital sex where the young man has already gained some gratification and he thinks he doesn’t have to worry so much about making the commitment. A significant percentage of couples become sexually intimate early in the process of getting acquainted and the “goods” are delivered without much emotional involvement or connection being made. Another factor that contributes to the “undecided male” phenomenon is that the young men are immature and don’t really know what they want, except sex. Also the type of fathering young men have experienced is almost non-existent. If a young man lacks a male mentor, what concept of fathering will these men have as they grow up? Little or none. Look carefully at what can complicate your choices and decisions because if you do you will be better prepared to create the relationship you truly desire. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Last week I wrote about the confusion and anxiety over the more recent approaches, such as the Internet, to search for love and mentioned that we would be focusing on the 7 paths to strong and lasting relationships. The first path is to build solid foundations. I also mentioned the first complication within that path as being a sense of unpredictability in how to go about searching for one’s soul mate. The second complication is the images of what we want not being shaped by our inner needs but by Hollywood, the fashion industry, and the media. Unfortunately the “shopping list” of demands of what people want in a mate is comprised by expectations of “must-have” features that spring up from who knows where. These expectations could arise from our inner needs or they could come from the culture surrounding us. The detailed, picky specifications that people express about ideal mates can become obstacles that prevent them from connecting with reality. Physical attraction, for example, does not always translate into a long-lasting profound relationship. You do not find your lifetime partner as a result of only an initial attraction. In fact that initial reaction can be brought down a few notches when we listen or speak to people and get to know them. In our society we do indeed have a tendency to “judge a book by its cover” and we really don’t look inside. We stay on the surface and this impairs our ability to get know someone on a deeper level. As a counselor when I am told things like, “I am sleeping with a stranger” or “I don’t know this person anymore” or ” This isn’t the person I married” it can mean they fell into the trap of only knowing someone on a superficial level. The stuff of real relationships is being able to see into another person’s heart and to find the treasure that lies within. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Here are some ideas about emotions you might want to consider. There are about 8 primary or basic emotions. These include anger, sorrow, joy, surprise, fear, disgust, guilt/shame, and interest. People seem to be born with the potential or readiness for these emotions. Other types of emotions are learned and are usually some combination of these basic emotions. Some emotional experiences are a reaction to events in your environment, for example becoming angry when someone criticizes you or feeling happy that a loved one is coming to visit you. Other emotional experiences are primarily reactions to one’s own thoughts, actions, and feelings. For example guilt at feeling angry, shame at not doing well on a task, or pride at some achievement or reaching some milestone in life. Emotions come and go like the waves in the sea. Most emotions only last from seconds to minutes. Emotions are self-perpetuating. Once it starts, it keeps restarting itself. When an emotion seems to stay around, it is called a “mood.” Emotions can be useful or destructive. They are rarely neutral. If you are in need of some counseling or know someone who does, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.