Sliding vs. Deciding
Another relationship concept I really like is sliding vs. deciding. Scott Stanley coined this term and I just found he has a blog by the same name: http://slidingvsdeciding.blogspot.com. If you are in Oklahoma, you hopefully have heard of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. The curriculum used by the OMI, PREP, was created by Scott Stanley.
Sliding vs. Deciding refers to how relationship decisions and commitment happens in modern relationships. Instead of making active decisions to chose the next step of a relationship, couples are often sliding into the next step. Sliding bypasses critically evaluating a relationship to decide if one should move forward and it gives the allusion that both people are more committed to the relationship because they have moved on the next step.
The great example of this idea is shown in living together. Most couples often start living together out of convenience then gradually more and more your things accumulate at your partner’s house until you decide not to renew your lease. Now the couple is definitely more committed physically (its harder to break up when you have to find a new place to live) but their internal commitment may or may not have increased. Often females are more likely to see the relationship as more committed and moving forward but the male’s commitment is often unchanged.
What’s the risk to sliding? The more you slide through your relationship, you are less likely to evaluate how the relationship is working and more likely to have a different outlook on where the relationship is going than your partner does. Often people find themselves in a relationship that is not working but now has a lot of constraints keep them in the relationship.
Not every choice demands a carefully thought out decision but when it comes to our relationships, the stakes are too high just to slide. If you found that you have been sliding through some major milestones in your relationship, it might be helpful to have a good conversation with your partner about where you each see the relationship now and in the future.