Home Ask Dr. Kathleen® What is the importance of optimism in a relationship?

What is the importance of optimism in a relationship?

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Rhett, From the time we are young, many of us wonder if we will find someone to partner with for a lifetime. The moment we slip that ring on our finger the optimism begins careening downhill like a runaway vehicle. Before you know it, “optimism” creates a list of desires: a car, a home, a child, a new job, an education, and happiness.

You begin to build your life around this optimistic view of what you and your partner can have. This works for a while, but then reality enters the picture. Your partner doesn’t make the amount of money you planned on; your credit report goes south along with your hopes for that new home. For some, plans for a child go off track when they face the painful dilemma of infertility and the choices and costs associated with this crisis in their marriage.

We start out our relationships with our lapel pin of optimism, but it can quickly get lost in the laundry. If one doesn’t focus and create an intention of continued optimism in a relationship, it can evaporate, and as this occurs the fractures begin to take their toll. It is difficult, if not impossible, for only one partner to hold the optimism in a relationship. Optimism is a virtue that is best shared.

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