I was having a conversation with a friend recently about some of the assumptions I used to make when I was single. With the benefit of hindsight, it's clear that these assumptions were way off base, but at the time they just seemed to make sense.
You know, like the one where you assume that he’s interested in calling you simply because he asked for your number.
Or the one where you assume he’s on the same page as you simply because you've been going out for awhile and you think everything’s going well.
Here I was thinking so many of the assumptions that I made were true for both people in a relationship. That they were just naturally the way both men and women started thinking about the nuances of things as just part of the dating and relationship process – when in reality, they were anything but similar.
Not just gender came into play, but also personality, cultural differences, and many other factors, and I started to see how the lens that we see everything through that reflects the stories of our lives comes into play here once again.
You think it must be what he’s thinking, too. You believe it’s the next logical step for him, too. You can’t imagine how it could be any different for him.
But the reality is, he’s not you.
I started realizing just how much of a problem this is for so many of us, when we look at how someone else behaves and we make our own judgment that has everything to do with us and our own filters, and nothing to do with him.
If it was just an observation on our part, that would be one thing, but the problem goes so much deeper than that. It’s because we make these judgments into the truth about our relationships, and then we start living that way, without even realizing how one-sided this reality that we've created for ourselves – the only reality we see - has become.
And when you live this way, when you make someone your world and close off all your other options simply because he’s telling you all the things you want to hear, you’re not seeing this for the reality of how long you've been together or how well you really know him.
Like when you start playing house with him before you have the committed relationship you’re looking for from him, simply because his lease is up or because you’d like someone to snuggle with at night. You’re missing the most important part - the commitment.
You’re making yet another assumption here based on your criteria, your view, your own filtered lens.
Here are 10 big assumptions that so many of us make that totally mess up our love lives:
- You assume you're his girlfriend just because you've been hanging out together.
- You assume he's interested in a relationship just because he’s flirting with you.
- You assume he hears wedding bells the same way you do because he’s asking you out.
- You assume he wants a relationship with you because he wants to have sex with you, even if he calls it "making love”.
- You assume he wants to marry you because he’s OK with living together.
- You assume you're exclusive (hint: You're not, unless you both verbally agree you are!)
- You assume that his telling you he “doesn't want to lose you” means he can give you what you’re looking for.
- You assume that having his baby means he’ll stay with you and become the man the father your child needs him to be.
- You assume he'll come back to you just because you decide to play hard to get.
- You assume he wants you to “rescue him” just because he tells you the sad story of how he’s never known love, or been cheated on, or had a rough childhood, etc., etc., etc.
The first step in changing these assumptions (that are really your belief systems operating that keep you from finding love) is simply to recognize them.
Hear yourself saying them in the unspoken thoughts you think when you find yourself in any of these situations.
Question the reality of what is, versus the fantasy of what you want it to be.
Is it real? Or is it just you wanting it to be real and reading more into it than what’s really there?
You don’t want the fairytale. You don’t want the lie.
You want the reality, you want the truth.
Even if it hurts, even if it’s not what you imagined. Free yourself by being willing to see the reality of what you do know, of what you feel, of what you see, of what his actions say even if his words don’t, before you go any further in a script that is just that; a fantasy and not the love and the life that you so deserve.
What assumptions have you held? You’re not alone! Let’s help each other recognize the ones we've been living by sharing them here in the comments!