Amy M. Spagnola


StupidCupid47 Series: Why You Can't Hurry Love

Rushing into love is like go into a fiery building with the hope of saving a rubberband--it's stupid, a waste of time and you're only going to get burned. There are many celebrity couples who have demonstrated all too well the tragedy of expediting the natural flow and ebb of a relationship--there's Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian who wed just one month after meeting. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon eloped after a four week lovefest. Then, there's Katy Perry and Russell Brand who were seeing each other for three months before they tied the knot. Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy got pregnant after two months of courtship and wed soon after.

What do these celebrity couples have in common? They're all divorced or in the process (WTF?! Lamar).

Now, this is not to say that lightning fast marriages don't turn into lifelong relationships. Sometimes they say, 'when you know, you know.'

The problem with rushing to the altar though is that there isn't enough time to bond and generate those shared experiences that create a foundation for a healthy and strong relationship. While there are many perks to companionship, knowing that your partner snores, enjoys guacamole only on the side and can't stand country music, are vital details when it comes to creating permenant couplehood. You CAN'T rush companionship--it's something that takes time.

Distance = Love Delusions
The brilliant Mark Manson posted an article about his lovestruck friend who pursued a girl on a whim halfway around the world, and was so captivated that he was going to rearrange his life to make their relationship blossom. Upon reuniting with his love interest, the guy found his dream girl was immature and entitled; as Manson says, "distance allows us to idealize others." There is a level of infatuation that blinds us from reality and keeps us safely compartmentalized away from the pragmatics of cohabiting and building a family unit.

Sometimes we crave love and stability so badly that we become love missiles and will find any new target, whether or not it's the right one. Many people find that they become jaded or disheartened by the process of dating, they get tired of starting over or they rebound into a rushed relationship.

And misplaced love hunger can hurt. Hurt it does! After all, rushing into marriage, babies and families can lead to lifelong struggles and hinder future possibilities. And desire and sexual infatuation can seriously cloud all reasonable judgement and common sense. Love is an overwhelming emotion and lust is a strong stimulus, but it's important to distinguish between the two. True love doesn't happen in a few weeks or a few days, it's only after there have been shared holidays, family interactions, fights and bad work days. Love is not something that can be created from a few steamy sexual romps and a handful of romantic gestures.

Rushing love is not only perilous for all the lack of shared experiences and emotional investment but because fast forwarding ruins the romance involved in the process of dating, getting engaged, being engaged and getting married. Speeding through these steps is shortchanging oneself out of beautiful love milestones but also the excitement of each stage. Even if she's the right girl and he's the right guy, playing fast forward can distort a natural process. Also, sometimes it's the process of going through these drawn out stages that changes our perception of the other person and can blunt the desire to follow through with aspects of the partnership progression.

In my own personal dating journey, I've learned that someone's character is only evident after significant time has passed. I didn't know my one ex-boyfriend was a cheater, porn-addict and alcoholic until a few years into our relationship. I didn't know he was afflicted with a porn addiction until the day we broke up. In the beginning, I thought he was a nice, sweet and smart guy who was working at a small college and was eager for a monogamous relationship. My own blinders as well his hidden behaviors made me misjudge him and our union. And most people are on their best behavior for the initial stages of a relationship.

And Baby Makes We
Rushing ruins the natural progression but also makes people feel forced into something that didn't evolve and mature on its own. For instance, any Teen Mom episode will clarify how a baby wildly changes the dynamics of couples and creates hardship that casts a shadow on otherwise fun and carefree twosome. A baby redirects a new relationship from lighthearted and easy into a territory that requires stability, compromise, responsibility and financial depth.

Babies often create such disharmony that the strongest couples can barely weather the side effects of a screaming newborn. Often called a "baby bomb," the sleeplessness, sacrifice, sex detoriation and social ramifications of a little one can cast a sad spell on an otherwise loving pair. Babyproofing a marriage has become a favorite topics of media outlets as if to insulate parents-to-be from feeling helpless, stifled and confused by a mini-me.

For those who have embarked on parenthood without a concrete foundation, there are intense challenges ahead. A baby is a team sport. Many of the families I'm exposed to these days have returned to the 'it takes a village' mentality. Time and time again, I see families living almost as extended units--new parents with grandparents, in-laws and even nannies are being added to the mix. Or these family members live in close geographic vicinity.

Raising a child with a stranger can be daunting and difficult. After all, not only are you getting to know this new little life, but also each other. The bottom line? Love is not easy to come by and it requires quality time and shared experience. A quickie marriage, a quickie baby or a quickie anything is likely to create dysfunction and regret. Just ask Britney about her 55-hour marriage.

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