I recently saw a TV news report of a couple who started a relationship online. After a period of time they decided to meet. He flew to her city. He came into the terminal carrying some roses. They hugged and said to each other, “It’s good to meet you.” He then got on his knee, showed her a ring, and asked to marry her. She said, “Yes!”
When interviewed by the reporter, the gentleman said, “This shows that when in comes to romance you shouldn’t listen to your head but your heart” Really?! This may sound romantic but consider the following:
- He was really saying, “Listen to your emotions.” Regardless of popular thinking, love is not just a feeling, it’s a commitment. Just imagine living your personal life and business life solely on feeling? What would happen? I’ll be honest with you, there are days I don’t feel like being married but I am committed to my wife. That gets me through any negative feeling until I return to a positive feeling. The problem is many people want to bail on a relationship when the feelings aren’t warm and fuzzy. I met a friend in a restaurant for breakfast on a Saturday. He worked all night and I had been up late on Friday spending time with some teenagers (I was a youth pastor at the time.) Ray was having some marital problems. He told me “I don’t feel like I love her anymore.” I told him I had been up late the night before. When my alarm went off I told myself, “Man, I don’t feel like getting up! I’m tired. I can meet Ray another time.” I asked him, “Ray, do you know why I got up and came here today? It’s because I’m committed to you as a friend, regardless of the feelings.”
- When It comes to marriage, Americans are event-driven. The average cost of a wedding today is more than $30,000! And it takes an incredible amount of time to plan a wedding. Everything focuses on that one event, as if a great event means a successful marriage!
- To few couples invest time and energy in relationship coaching way before the wedding. If considered it is an after thought, “Oh, maybe we should do the marriage counseling thing? It couldn’t hurt.” It certainly wouldn’t hurt. Couples who get good pre-marital coaching early in the relationship have a 30% better chance of a successful marriage than had they not done so. Considering the divorce rate, wouldn’t it make sense to have a better chance for success?
It would be interesting to follow that couple at the airport and see how they feel a few years later. Yes, some people can have long-term relationships through love at first sight but the odds are against them. The chances are that one day they will wake up and not feel that romantic flame. One or both may end up on a plane ride to follow their heart. In the process they leave behind a broken one.
(c) 2016 Wally Johnston