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The Great Disconnect between our Hopes and Reality

There is a disconnect between a (young) person’s dreams and expectations of the desired partner, and the reality who they eventually choose to spend their lives with.
What do we do with this?

Such dreams are part of the self, part of our values and beliefs. They are ours alone, and therefore our responsibility! They demand acknowledgement and careful nurturing.

It is painful and disappointing to realize that the person we find ourselves with may not be who we had hoped for.

We have to ask ourselves, why did this happen? Did we let impatience take over our judgement? Possibly due to instant gratification,- and now find ourselves caught on its hook? Or else, did we never learn to take our dreams and values seriously?

In that case, we need to take responsibility for our error of judgement. Even if severe, and with far-reaching consequences!

Forgiveness of self is paramount; otherwise, disappointment can lead to bitterness, with destructive behaviour following. This could be in the form of self-medication; such as using addictive substances (alcohol, drugs, excessive smoking etc.), workaholism, sex addiction, overeating etc.

We need to acknowledge that we are human; which means making mistakes, some serious.

Is the answer simply to get a divorce and to try again? If there are children involved, the consequences can never fully be repaired.

Apart from this, what have we really learned if we choose this solution? That we need to choose smarter? Easier said than done! Definitely, that our dreams and values are important!

Nevertheless, the road to maturity also involves becoming less self-centred and more loving and caring towards others. “Love your neighbour as yourself”, says the Good Book (Bible). Wisdom which has been proven since centuries.

This then means that without truly loving ourselves first, knowing that we are loved, we do a poor job at loving someone else!

Part of self-love is first to be true to our values. Because they are part of our authentic selves. As well, we ought to expect those who say they love us to respect and value this part of ourselves. If there is a disconnect, letting go is the most loving thing to do; for ourselves and others’ sake. This shows maturity.

Secondly, self-love also means forgiveness of self for our past (and present!) mistakes and acknowledging our humanity’s frailty.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to go through a burial ceremony (symbolic or even literal, using a token symbol of our lost dream, burying it in the ground, or casting it into the sea).

Only then can we start accepting an alternate reality and learning to love it (a process). As the song goes: “Love the one you’re with.”

You never know the happiness that may await you!

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