Have you ever gone shopping in a store that you weren’t too familiar with? You searched for a specific item but to your dismay they didn’t have it in stock, or worse, they didn’t even carry the item. I remember going into an auto shop looking for durable glue.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with wrong relationships?” Well, bear with me for a second.
Unfortunately, the particular auto store that I visited didn’t sell durable glue. So obviously, it wasn’t on the stores’ shelf. No matter how long I stuck around or how often I demanded the glue, it was impossible for the sales associate to sale me an item that the store didn’t carry. After searching long and hard I finally found a fabric glue from Wal-Mart that worked perfectly for my project!
Attracting the Wrong Relationships
In relationships, don’t we all look for certain qualities and characteristics? We have expectations, standards and desire a degree of emotional connection. Right? Now, have you ever been in a relationship and noticed that everything was just fine in the beginning, UNTIL you got to know the REAL person? In other words, you got to see what was on that persons’ “shelf.” Items that lie on a persons’ “shelf” are rarely superficial, in the beginning at least.
Let’s say that everyone has an invisible shelf. Come on, use your imagination, I’m going somewhere with this. This figurative shelf is nothing more than a person’s essence. We all have items on our shelves: values, morals, personality traits and other qualities that make us who we are. What’s on an individual’s shelf is largely influenced by upbringing, life experiences, society and other factors. I often share with my readers that I’m a visual learner so let’s use the picture below to illustrate the point.
Let’s say random cute guy meets random cute girl and they hit it off. At some point in their relationship many of those shelf items will be “exposed.”
Sometimes we look for things in people and we become disappointed because what we look for is simply not on that individuals shelf. Whether it be affection, love, attention, gratification or any other “thing” that we look for in a person. We may even try to change the person or change ourselves in hopes of making the situation work out.
In high school I dated this guy who wasn’t very expressive or emotionally in tune. I expected him to be sensitive about certain issues but instead he had no sensitivity or compassion; which upset me. He was very attractive, funny and confident but the qualities that really mattered to me were not on his shelf. After trial and error, heartache and heartbreak, I finally realized that before I jump into a relationship because of the superficial things, it would be wiser to slow things down and get to know the individual to see if the items on his shelf correspond with mine. Granite if a relationship is worth it, we can sometimes compromise and coach our partner to exhibit certain characteristics and vice versa.
I’ll leave you with a powerful quote that my pastor uses that resonated with me. “Availability DOES NOT equal suitability.” In other words, just because something is available and accessible doesn’t mean we have to “jump on it.”
Who wants to waste time in the wrong place? What’s on your relationship shelf?