'All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life
was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.’
- Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements.
Maybe not all but it’s a factor more often than not.
Assumptions that go unchecked quick as you like create negative thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to tension, stress, anxiety, conflict and worry which are the building blocks of doom even for the strongest of relationships.
Assumptions can manifest at any stage of a relationship - before you meet, early on and even after you are well down the partnership road - and all can be equally problematical.
You receive a text, have a call, see a photo before you meet. Whether you recognise it or not, you are already making assumptions of what your date will be like. More often than not, these assumptions will be misleading - you have little or no idea what your date will be like based on such a 'brief encounter'. Check out the film of the same name, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest of its kind, to see how assumptions can play out.
And then, if the initial contact has gone well and you like each other, we then worry about who is going to contact the other, how best to take things forward? Such assumptive thought processes - worry and overthinking - can be very damaging.
One established way to restrict such thought processes from causing too much damage is to use an experienced third party elite introductions agency, like Berkeley International, to manage you through the potential pitfalls.
Down the Line
While Berkeley can help navigate the early stages, avoiding assumption should be a lifetime consideration. If you are in a long term relationship, have you ever made the assumption that your partner knows what you are thinking and you don't have to say what you want? If the answer to this question is ‘No’ then you are probably lying to yourself. We all do, consciously or not.
We don't know what our partner is thinking and, whether we are aware of it or not, this oversight can make your partner feel unseen, unheard and misunderstood. The resultant erosion is gradual and inevitable but readily solvable providing you see the signs. Red flag Phrases like ‘should’ or ‘have to’ or must’ should cause pause, a moment to review the context followed by an appropriate question. For instance, ‘I should stay at home to look after the kids instead of going to work.’ If you’re assuming it is a given for your partner to look after the kids for whatever reason, then you are assuming your partner wants to stay at home, which may well not be the case.
So, try not to let time and familiarity take its toll. It is tempting for couples to fall into a rhythm where each does the same things - one books the holidays and all that goes with that, the other always empties the dishwasher - it is important not to assume that these roles constitute rules and continue to ask whether your other half wants a change or help.
To avoid damaging assumptive behaviour in relationships the answer once again lies in communication. Acknowledge that assumptions happen, give your other half the benefit of the doubt, learn to listen and ask good questions, and question what you believe to be true. And if taking these small but key steps doesn’t seem to be working, never be afraid to seek help from family, friends or professionals.