About a decade ago I became involved with a guy who was in such hot pursuit of me I jokingly referred to him as “A Romantrix.”
Don’t bother googling that term. I made it up. For me “Romantrix” describes someone who dominates you so much with their romantic yearnings, they make it so romance has no choice but to happen.
This particular Romantrix inundatated me with love letters, flowers, candle-lit dinners, poems – and continuous promises to love me forever.
About 6 to 7 months into our relationship, I discovered he was cheating – making this term Romantrix even more fitting – because all that intense pleasure he brought soon gave way to lots of pain.
Shortly after our break up, I discovered a fascinating article in the New York Times—about the psychology of evil. The article highlighted what it called “The Psychopath Checklist”—a helpful list criminal psychiatrists use to test the potential of someone being a hardcore psychopath – capable of committing repeated evil and violent crimes.
Need to always be doing something
Feelings of high self-worth
Proneness to boredom
To my amusement, all these adjectives were also very appropriate to describe my Romantrix – an adorably charismatic, fun, active, confident guy — who also turned out to be a two-faced cheater.
The lesson learned?
Seeking strong character values always matters far more than personality (and other external allures), because “character” will always be the chooser of how someone behaves – and/or misbehaves!
Your relationship will always suffer if your partner (or you!) do not choose to put in the effort of strong character during challenging times like: conflicts, disappointments, stress, crisis, temptation, sadness, monetary challenges, illness, misunderstandings etc.
And the number one feeling you should seek —even before the feeling of love: the feeling of safety.
Without safety, you will never feel true love – because you’ll never feel comfy being vulnerable enough to reveal your true self – and experience true intimacy.
Plus a relationship is only as strong as it’s weakest link: how you handle challenges.
For this reason, you must prioritize finding a partner who embraces “strong character values” – because they will make you feel safe!
A person with “strong character values” is someone who appreciates being honest, communicative, empathic – and enjoys stretching who they are – embracing a passionate commitment to self development.
Plus, you too must be a person with “strong character values” – which means you too have a passionate commitment to self development!
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If you and your partner each value growing into your best self – then during tough times you will be open to discussing problems, listening with an open mind, empathizing with an open heart, talking honestly, meeting needs and evolving – so as to make sure the relationship is growing stronger and better – and so are each of you!
A person who embraces strong character is also someone who recognizes how a relationship is not simply a den of pleasure. It serves a double function!
You’ll think: “Hey this is no longer a den of pleasure. I’m outta here.”
But if your partner (and you) recognize that a relationship serves this double function, then you’ll understand that sometimes you have to leave the “den of pleasure” to head into that “laboratory for growth” – and that’s okay!
If you both appreciate strong character values, then you won’t won’t resent heading into the “laboratory for growth” – because you’ll recognize that growth is important – and that sometimes you have to put in a little effort to grow a relationship – and grow who you are!
You shouldn’t want a relationship where you each try to change who you are. However you should want a relationship where you each support one another in evolving into your best (and truest) selves!
You know what’s funny? How we all know that embracing strong character values really does matter in life and love. Yet, the media mostly offers relationship-boosting tips like:
“Buy these sexy clothes!”
“Be more successful!”
“Tighten your buns!”
It’s rare that the media ever comes out and strongly advises:
“Yo! Value good strong character values in yourself and others!”
It would be interesting to see that as a recommended “hot love secret” on the cover of Cosmo or Maxim, eh?
So, why doesn’t the media hype the importance of working on strong character values – as much as it recommends working on your buns, income and wardrobe?
Probably because it takes far more time, effort and patience to work on strengthening character values.
Plus it also takes far more time, effort and patience to truly understand another person’s inner character — than it does to quickly be lured into their sexiness, wealth and charisma.The truth?
When you take the needed time to prioritize getting to know a person’s inner character — before you jump into bed/relationship with them – then this means you’re also prioritizing protecting your heart and longterm happiness.
After all, a person’s character will always be the determinant behind if they choose to behave naughty or nice — thereby making you feel sad or happy.
Although you might feel as if you’re experiencing “love at first sight” with someone who instantly makes your heart beat faster, what you’re really experiencing is “infatuation at first sight” —because all you’re falling for is their superficial self – not who they are in their inner core – their soul – their character.
Nowadays, people who are interested in their physical health make sure that they take time to read the ingredients on a package of yummy, tempting food – to see if there’s longterm danger to their health if they allow this delicious food into their system.
If you want to find a happy, healthy relationship, then you should think of yourself as someone who’s interested in safeguarding your emotional health!
You must take time to find out what’s truly inside a person – before you let them into your emotional system!
You must remember: Just because someone is packaged as tempting and yummy on the outside, doesn’t mean they are good for you! It’s worth it take time to find out what’s truly inside of a tempting, yummy person – to make sure that they do not have lots of “bad character value ingredients” – which could then eventually create heart problems, headaches galore and a range of dangers to your emotional health!
What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read my tools for how to move on from a toxic relationship? Be specific! Many thousands of peeps read this blog – so, what you share could be a helpful inspiration for someone else! xo Karen
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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