The Non-Negotiables

So let us talk about significant others.
My professor walks into class one day and tries to explain patterns between families.  He attempts to teach us the idea of differentiation (i.e. living life on your own terms) by asking the class:
"What is the main goal that 
people your age are trying to accomplish?"
Some people mentioned a degree, others talked about getting a stable career.  But the answer he was looking for was "to find a mate".**  Now maybe some of you who are in college, graduate school, or are in a career are thinking "not right now I'm not.  I'm trying to focus on my _______".  Which is all fine and dandy, and probably (half) true... but the reality of it is that although people our age have other things to focus on, this is still a big part of the goals.  Now don't think that when I refer to 'my age' that I'm saying 20-somethings.  This has been scientifically shown to be a phase that extends until your late-30-somethings.

So as I have been talking with a few of my in-relationship friends, their problems are all starting to sound a bit too familiar.  It has gotten to the point where I am giving the same advice across 3 very different situations.  Is this relationship going to go any further?  Sometimes I just want to knock each one of them on the head and ask them, "do you have your non-negotiables"?  These together make a very short list (3-5 items) of things that your future significant other MUST have (e.g. physical attraction, religion/culture, personality traits, intellect, emotions).

And although this sounds like such a stupid concept, and you probably are reading this and saying "duh" all of those relationships didn't meet their list.  Yes, we know he/she is nice, and thoughtful, and you love them, but you fight every 2 seconds of the day, and it's all about mind games, and they don't even believe the same thing you do.  Well here is a news flash:

So with that said, if you're finding that you're having a hard time in your relationship and your significant other lacks qualities that are not on your list.. chances are you shouldn't be together. And honestly,
I shouldn't have to tell you that.


**[SIDE NOTE]: Erik Erikson (cool name) was a fine young man that a had a lot of time on his hands.  He created a model called the Psychosocial Stages of Development. This will only refer to his 6th stage of development: Young Adulthood.  If you'd like to read more about these others stages, just click on the link above.

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