Making an ideal choice

Human tendency allows one to seek novelty in relationships but, while opting for a new partner against the old one, a 'wiser' consideration should be made through balancing rational and emotional standpoints

Making an ideal choice

I am in a dilemma. I have been in a relationship for the past five years but about six months ago, I met another guy who seems to be my ideal mate. It is not that I am unhappy in my current relationship either. But there seems to be more chemistry, compatibility, and chances of future relationships in the new one. My mind and heart are torn. Which one do I listen to?

We all tend to think that we're immune to falling in love with more than one person at the same time. Interestingly, we all have the potential to do so.

Usually, what would stop us is the commitment and the fear of hurting our current partner, coupled with the safety net, the time and energy invested. It's a human tendency to be seeking novelty and freshness in relationships.

The big question remains: should you ditch your long-term partner for a new spark? It can be quite hard to make a choice between an established relationship and a new one. Your mind and heart are bound to be torn between the two lovers.

There is no full-proof method but here are some points worth keeping in mind before you decide.

Don't rush: Slow and steady wins the race, or rather makes wiser choices in this case. Emotional decisions, when made impulsively, can often backfire. Be sure to take your time but also set up a realistic timeline by which you must be ready to make a decision.

Love or infatuation? Typically, all long-term relationships can hit a boring patch somewhere along their course, and it can be quite easy to be swept by the newness of a whirlwind romance. Try to understand if this is a real connection or just an attraction. If you constantly feel drained or stressed around your new connection even though the chemistry may be great, then you may need to consider it wisely.

Past: Understand the past relationship of the new partner. Notice if there is consistency to show up.

Red flags: Consider the positives and the negatives of each person individually. Refrain from comparing them against each other, rather see them just as individuals. Understand which pros and cons are the potential red flags in the relationships, for example: lack of loyalty, trust, abuse etc.

Review your current relationship without bias: Sometimes the reason to be swept away by another person is because your current relationship may have unresolved issues. At other times, it can be due to your own issues that don't allow you to commit for long. Observe the pattern. Communicate to your partner about your unmet needs. You can even try couple's therapy if possible before calling it quits.

Consider value systems, compatibility and future plans: Have you considered what does your partner want in the future? Of course, this is about you making a decision but try to understand what both your partners are seeking from life and this relationship. If this aligns with your values and future outlook of life then chances of compatibility are better.

Drop the comparison: It is impossible to compare old love with a new one. Just like it would be unfair to compare the mileage of a new car with the one you have had for many years that has taken you through many happy journeys. Love can feel very different at different stages of relationships. A new lover may be at their best behaviour knowing they have a prize to win, while your current partner may just be "themselves" and in their element. Imagine the new relationship down the line as your current one.

Heart and mind's battle: Listen to the wise you rather than the emotional (heart) or rational (brain) part. The wise you is at the overlap of where a balance between emotional and rational you meets.

Trust your gut and take a leap of faith: Eventually, don't listen to your mind or heart, but listen to your gut. Take a leap of faith and trust it fully.

Aftermath: After the choice is made, be sure to stick to it and not vacillate again. Be prepared for the aftermath and reaction from the partner you didn't choose. Accept and embrace the choice.

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