In the 1960s-70s, the classic game show “Let’s Make a Deal” put contestants in a challenging spot. Audience members were invited to make a tough decision: they could have and retain a decent prize shown to them, or choose an alternative prize or two that was hiding behind a curtain, a door, or some other concealment. Here lied the dilemma: do they stay with the known desirable prize, or do they roll the dice and choose one of the unknown options? Perhaps that unknown prize is much better, like big money or a trip. Or perhaps it is a worthless prize like a goose or a lemon. As soon as they made their choice, they quickly found out if their choice was a good one or a bad one. In a similar way, someone in a committed dating relationship has to decide is the person they are with is good and acceptable enough to commit to and marry, or not. If not, the hope or assumption is that another future person would theoretically be better and have more to offer. How does one make this choice?
A relatively new term that relates to these kinds of dilemmas is “FOMO”: a fear of missing out. I’ve thought about how the “fear of missing out” relates to dating, relationships, and marriage. From what I have seen in therapy, in wards, and in society in general, there is often a fear of missing out relationally. In one context, being single can lead to a fear of missing out on companionship, connection, and closeness with another. This fear can lead a person to try to cling to an otherwise unhealthy relationship for fear of being alone. However, there is another form of FOMO that occurs as well at the same time on the other side—the fear that settling and staying with a relationship won’t be as good as a possible relationship with another future person, and that this decision to remain in the current relationship would lead a person to miss out. It is a decision to end an otherwise good, solid, decent relationship in hopes that there may be better out there. With this fear of missing out, good relationships are ended, often to disastrous results. Other times, ending things was ultimately for the best with unhealthy or mediocre relationships.
Do You Stay With Your Current Relationship or Not?
Here are some subjects to consider when deciding to remain with a decent current relationship or to move on:
*Religiosity: is the person you are with active in church and have a testimony at a solid level, compatible with you?
*Money: how does your dating partner handle money? What is their career, income level, and financial expenses? What about their spending, budgeting, and saving habits? How would their financial situation blend with yours?
*Looks: are you strongly attracted to your partner physically? Or do you lack feeling a spark towards them? Are you “attracted enough”, or is it a stretch or a strain to feel attracted enough?
*Personality: how does their personality mesh with yours? How do you deal with communication, conversations, and conflict resolution together? Can you compromise when dealing with differences? How do they deal with anger, frustration, and stress? And how does that work with your own ability the handle these things?
*Family/Extended Family: do they have kids and do you? How well would all of these kids mesh together? How about their parents and yours? Extended family and friends? How would you and your partner interact with all of them? Do you fit well together with these greater relationships or not?
*Physical Affection/Future Sex Life: how physically affectionate are you and your partner together? Is it at a mutual, happy level or is there a mismatch? How about libido and interest in a future sex life? Ideally there is a compatible match in these ways.
Please consider all of these kinds of issues when deciding if you want to commit and marry this person you are dating, or perhaps break up the relationship because for you there really could be and is someone out there better for you. Examining all of these different points of consideration will help you answer the question of: is this person good for you or would you be settling and missing out if you stayed with them? The answer depends and could go either way, depending on the answer the points about. The decision on whom to marry is a huge one. Perhaps the most important decision you will ever make. So please approach this decision wisely for the best results. Add some prayer in there as well, but remember that ultimately this is the plan of agency and it is up to you. Finally, remember as well that in the end, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).