If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What if there is someone else out there for me? Someone better?” – welcome to being human. Think about it. We naturally question most big decisions, right? Is this the best deal on a car? Is this the best house choice? Is this trip worth this much money? What if I just left the perfect job for the wrong one?
Yet, when we question our relationships, we see it as some massive red flag that must mean something serious is wrong, and that our relationship is doomed (this is NOT referring to toxic/abusive relationships – in which case, yes – it is a red flag and can be serious).
There are 7 billion people in the world. Chances are, there IS someone else out there (probably several) that could be a potential partner. However, what are you willing to risk losing with your current partner in hopes to gain something with someone else? Meaning, is there someone else out in the world who is more attractive than your current partner? Ummm…duh. Of course! However, are you willing to potentially lose the emotional safety, for example, that you feel with your current partner?
When we don’t have the concrete data of how the “what if” situation could pan out, we tend to design it in our mind without flaws. So, let’s say you are questioning what life would be like with someone who has a higher paying job than your current partner. You’re daydreaming about the freedom you’d have and how your current financial stress would just vanish into thin air. You’re probably not thinking about the possibility that making more money could also mean more hours, more responsibility, and often higher stress levels. We don’t think about that part, because our fantasies (even non-sexual ones) are flawlessly created in our minds. I mean, why the hell would we conjure up a picture in our minds that sucked, am I right?
The “perfect” partner doesn’t exist. You know how I know? Because HUMANS. AREN’T. PERFECT. So, how the f*ck could we possibly put TWO imperfect people together, and expect perfection? Additionally, we are constantly evolving throughout life. So, what might be “perfect” for you in year one of the relationship, may not work for you in year five. This is the norm, but we don’t talk about it. Instead, we see thousands of messages on social media that preach otherwise.
It’s the old “80/20” rule that you may have heard. People sometimes lose the 80% that they already have, in hopes of finding the other 20%. I think we were designed to constantly seek a higher level of satisfaction in life; which on the surface seems like a cool thing. The downside is that we can’t compare our reality to a fantasy-based “what if” scenario, without our reality always falling short. A great exercise that I will often do with clients to ground them in their relationship, is to have them talk about how they met, what drew them to each other, and what they value about their relationship now. Unlike fantasy “what ifs”, we have actual data to reflect on when talking about our current relationship.
So, instead of asking yourself if there’s someone else out there for you, ask yourself what you would you be willing to potentially lose to find them?