Relationships

Is Comfort the Correct Goal?

by Wendie Trubow, MD, MBA July 12, 2016
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I recently started wondering whether aiming for comfort was the correct goal.

I was speaking with a friend of mine who is dating two different men (simultaneously) and trying to figure out which one she likes better.  Here’s the background:

One of the guys (whom I’ll call Joe) is financially successful, dynamic, and is someone with whom she would have an interesting and out of the box life (minimal footprint living space, living in a South or Central American country during winters). He is also waaaay outside of her comfort zone and is not the type of guy she has ever dated. He seems really into her, but because he is so successful, she is nervous around him. He’s also pretty controlling and likes to monopolize her time.

The other guy (whom I’ll call Adam) is much more laid back, has an easygoing job, and with him she would lead an emotionally comfortable life. He also adores her. With this guy, she’s not nervous at all and finds it very comfortable to be with him. However, he has NO money, and isn’t particularly driven. But she did tell me recently that she was extremely comfortable with him (and fell asleep better when she was with him).

My friend, by the way, is the total package.  She’s beautiful, smart, driven, athletic, caring, and just generally amazing.

Our conversations go something like this:

Her: Sheesh, I don’t know! It’s time to choose one, but it’s so hard to do; I like them both! Whom should I choose?

Me: Neither. If one of them were the right one, this would be a much clearer conversation. Perhaps you are looking for a third person who combines many of the qualities these two men have?

Her: Ugh. I’m so comfortable with Adam, it’s just so easy to be with him.

Me: That’s great! And, with him, are you your absolute best self? Is he his absolute best self? Do you make each other better people?

Her: Well, no… but he’s super caring, and I’m comfortable with him.

Me: OK, comfortable is great, but what if it’s the wrong measure?

Her: Whaaaa?

Me: If your goal is comfort, then yes, focusing on how comfortable you are with him is a good thing to focus on. However, you’re a woman who wants to make a tremendous difference in the world. What if your standard for measuring your relationships was whether it supported you in being your best self… instead of comfort?

This question was so far outside of what she was expecting to hear that she was completely thrown off. I personally don’t think either guy is the right one, and she was getting sidetracked, since the questions she was asking herself weren’t powerful questions, and as a result, were not ones that lead her to being able to powerfully choose.

When you are deciding on whether to leave your job, whether the job offer is the right one, whether the house is the one you want to live in, or whether this is the person you want to date, the questions you ask will lead you to your answers!

If comfort isn’t the goal, here are some questions that you may want to consider:

  • Does this (job, person, house, trip, etc) match my goals for myself?
  • Will this (job, person, house, trip, etc) match the future I am creating?
  • Will this choice expand my appeal (or will it diminish me)?

Rather than asking if this is the right person, job or new house, try asking yourself those questions, and see what answers you get!

Have a topic you’d like me to cover? Email me directly at info@fivejourneys.com.

Originally published by Huffington Post.