A month ago I attended the annual conference for UTCFR (Utah Counsel on Family Relations) to present the research that I've been doing over the past couple of semesters on the affect that media use has on romantic relationships. In addition to presenting my own research, I got the opportunity to attend other sessions of the conference and hear about some great Family Life Education programs across the country. One of my favorite presentations was about Sliding or Deciding in a relationship, and it was presented by Dr. Galena Rhoades. She showed this video that I really love:
Sliding - The commitment in your relationship follows constraints that you put on your relationship.
Deciding - Falling in love, committing to the relationship and then putting the constraints on it.
Dr. Rhoades has been involved in an extensive research project of individuals throughout stages of their life; single, in relationships, and marriage. A great explanation of their findings and what it means for your relationship (whether you're single or already married) can be found on the Before "I Do" website. It's a fun resource to explore, I got lost over there for an hour or so a couple of weeks ago.
I took three pages of notes while Dr. Rhoades shared her information with us, but I had one big takeaway during the time she was speaking.
In dating and relationships, experience matters, but not in the way you would think. Experience in breaking up with people may make it easier for a person to end a relationship, even in a marriage setting. Experience increases alternatives in your relationship or perceived alternatives to the person you're with and the issues that you may be having. When you're building a house, having an architect with lots of experience is a good thing but in a relationship, having a partner with lots of experience might not be.
Are you sliding or deciding in your relationship?