When it comes to a great romantic relational dream, what’s the primary difference between someone who is simply a dreamer, and someone who achieves a relational dream? A great romantic relational dream stands up to a simple test.
We live in a society chocked full of adults who fall into the category of being “single again”. Many of us have been deeply, and perhaps permanently wounded in past relationships. The thought, for many of us, of achieving a “happy ever after” relationship has become little more than a fleeting ideal that wafts in and out of our relationally bruised imagination.
Great relationships, even in middle aged years, have little to do with an asset base, or level of income. Impoverished people often make great relational partners, because they are willing to work at making a relationship work. Interestingly enough, the most dysfunctional grouping of single adults falls into the category of high income earners, who have placed their primary focus on career, falling behind in the development of personal relationship skills. — James C. Tanner
In 2009, Author John C. Maxwell published a book entitled “Put Your Dream To The Test – 10 Questions To Help You See It And Seize It”. While his book focuses on many traditional life dreams, it correctly stresses the importance of testing a dream. Even as we establish great career dreams or lifestyle dreams, we can and should identify great relational dreams.
It’s easy to lay on the banks of a slow stream and daydream the great “if only” dream. Some of us walk through life chasing the proverbial romantic “pie-in-the-sky” dream. Some of us hold onto idealistic dreams, or we formulate great locked in, written in stone career dreams. Inevitably, at some point in time, we all make the same relational mistake – we formulate our dream relationship based on what our dream partner looks like. We fail to focus on the caliber of partner we, within ourselves, are willing to bring to the relational table.
Many of us fall into the same relational cycle of meandering through one relationship after another, seemingly starting great but quickly reaching a point where we believe our partner is not a great match for us, and we walk away, or find ourselves walked away from. Healthy relational choices are born out of great relational dreams. Dreams that can stand up to a test.
A great romantic relational dream is not about some hypothetical partner who may or may not even be on the scene in our current lives. A great romantic relational dream is about you and I, as individuals. Am I willing to become the best version of a relational partner that I can be?
The Relational Dream Test
- Is the focus of your relational dream where it should be…on you? Only in the world of robotics can we craft another entity according to our wants and wishes, apart from who we are. A healthy and vibrant relational dream must begin by placing the focus where it should be, on the kind of relational partner you are willing to become.
- Is your romantic relational dream really YOUR dream? I grew up in a home where as a young child I often heard my father say to us, “Be yourself”. As children we often interpreted that as meaning, we had better do as Dad tells us, but in reality, he was telling us early on to be an authentic version of who we truly are and want to become. My father was calling us to take ownership of who we really were. Do you have ownership of your relational dream? Are you being authentic in the presentation of who you are, and the kind of partner you want to be?
- Can you clearly see your romantic relational dream? Are you REALISTICALLY able to visualize the kind of relational partner you want to become in the next 5 years, 10 years, and 40 years? What qualities can you bring to the relational table right now, and what are the areas in your inner life where you possibly need to do some work?
- Are you looking to others to turn your romantic relational dream into a reality? We have already established how a great romantic relational dream needs to be focused on the changes you need to make as a person, but often, and especially with women, we being to lean on our social circle to define for us what our relational dream should look like. Dangerously, we also look to our social circle to tell us that the areas within ourselves which if being honest with ourselves, we know needs work, really isn’t that bad and we can afford to let it slide. Great romantic relational dreams require us to be honest with ourselves.
- Are you passionate about your dream? Some of us enter into relationships because a third party has pushed it onto us, and in our desire to not disappoint this third party, we embrace it only to fail in frustration, due to a lack of passion. For a great romantic relational dream to happen, we must be passionate about the dream; it must call us forward if we are going to become the best partner we can be.
- Have you crafted a romantic relational dream road map that will get you to where you want to be? If all you do, is repeat what hasn’t worked in the past, then guess what will happen in the future? Phil McGraw once said, “If you want to fall in love, then at some point in time, you have to be willing to throw yourself in front of the love bus!” If we stay closed off in our own little world then we can’t expect great potential partners to find us.
- Are you willing to pay the price for your dream? Today, surveys tell us that 70 percent of single adult respondents have stated how they would gladly sacrifice their career goals to be part of a happy relationship. Are you willing to make the changes necessary to allow for the room needed to accommodate a happy romantic relational dream?
- Do you experience the confirmation of happiness as you work towards your romantic relational dream? If life is all drudgery, then we all too quickly give up and move in other directions. As you progress in the direction of turning your relational dream into a reality, are you finding a swelling sensation of happiness within you for the positive growth you are making as an individual.
- Are you bringing around you the right kind of “supports”, and not “props”, required to make your relational dream happen? Are you reading the right material? Are you hanging with those who through their own life and relational examples can encourage you to stay true to your path?
- Is there room in your romantic relational dream for someone else? Life is always fluid. Change always happens. If we are going to be part of a great relationship, then we must be willing to make room for the individual characteristics, habits (good and bad), areas of maturity as well as immaturity, and possible baggage that comes with our partner. Too often, in our desire to chart out a great relational dream, we incorrectly write in stone a plan which does not make room for an imperfect partner, or worse yet, makes room for the kind of partner that only exists in the movies.
Great relational dreams can become a reality, but we must be willing to put our dreams to the test, in order to determine if we are pursuing a fantasy, or achievable reality.
About The Author — James C. Tanner is a highly published writer, author and former business coach who has written heavily on topics related to business, marketing, and psychology. He has written and taught business skills courses for clients such as the Government of Canada. He is a former professional Investigator who specialized in cult and occult related crime with a targeted focus on the ritual slaughter of animals. He is currently working towards his M.A. in Clinical Counselling.