Don't Force Your Worldview
by Frank Kermit
Each of us views the world a certain way. It encapsulates what we believe to be right, and wrong. The worldview of each individual can change over time as our life experiences teach us about the world, teach us about the people we interact with, and teach us about ourselves.
In dating, it is important to find someone who shares your worldview. This can be very challenging if you have never taken the time to figure out what your worldview is, and more importantly, if you have never actually challenged any worldviews you had because they are the views you were brought up with.
For example, if you grew up in an environment that values sexual abstinence before marriage and took on those beliefs as part of your worldview as a child, they may not have been beliefs that you ever challenged. Then one day, as an adult, you enter the world of dating and find that not everyone you wanted to date shares in your belief systems.
For the first time, you may question if those beliefs are in your best interest. You may start to weigh the positives and negatives surrounding waiting until wedlock. You may even start to question other beliefs tied into your upbringing including whether getting legally married is even necessary in order to live together and raise children, which are separate beliefs than those about whether or not to have sex.
In the end, you may decide to abandon all your previous beliefs. Or you may decide to enter a period of experimentation where you explore your own boundaries to see what works for you. It is also possible, that after careful consideration and challenging your beliefs that you decide that even if you did not seek out those beliefs that were thrust upon you as a child, you do in fact find they reflect your values and intend to stick to them because they are in fact in your best interest.
In fact, people who challenge their belief systems (their worldview) tend to have a stronger faith in themselves and their beliefs once they resolve their own doubts about it (a challenge to a belief system may represent a doubt in the belief system).
As a dating coach, I am less concerned about the specifics of your worldview — if it already works for you — and more concerned with 1) do you know what your worldview is? 2) Can you articulate it enough to communicate exactly what you mean? and 3) Are you aware of why you have this worldview?
If the only reason you choose a vegetarian lifestyle is because all of your friends are vegetarians, then your “why” reflects your actual values (the value of approval and acceptance of your peer group, and not necessarily a value of the benefits of a vegetarian diet).
With all that said, the point of this article is that when you date someone and it turns out that your worldview and the worldview of the other person are very different, it is important to remember that it is good to communicate your worldview to give the other person an understanding of it, and it is also good to be open to hearing and trying to understand the worldview of the other person. You do not have to agree with the opposing worldview, you just have to be open to understanding it.
The mistake some singles make, is trying to convert the worldview of the person they are dating, instead of either accepting the difference, or simply breaking up with the person and seeking out someone with a similar worldview.
If your worldview encompasses a lifestyle focused on a career and personal enjoyment instead of having children and raising a family, well that is OK. If your worldview requires you to have children and raising a family at the expense of career advancement and some personal enjoyment, well that is OK too.
One worldview life is not necessarily better than the other. The key is to find someone to date that already shares a similar worldview to your own, and not try to force, trick, shame or guilt a person into living your worldview.
Be respectful out there.
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