One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is understanding the type of relationship I have with a person. I used to believe that every woman I took seriously was supposed to be forever. However, as I got older I started to realize that there is a reason, season, and lifetime for love.  In other words, everyone isn’t meant to be in your life forever. They all have a purpose and you have to figure out what their purpose is.

The Reason

Ever had someone in your life that is there to teach you something? That is their reason.  Furthermore, they could have numerous lessons to teach us. This can be hard to determine especially if you’re not readily open to the concept of learning (stubbornness).

I personally remember one relationship that taught me how to love myself. That was a concept I never considered because throughout my life I was told to love and cherish the woman I was with.  The idea that I should love myself was never considered.  As a result, I took a lot of abuse that I shouldn’t have. The underlying lesson I learned is that I am valuable and worth the best treatment. To expect the same level of love I give and to never settle for less.  Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW of

Reason (a project or one time activity, a “guardian angel” encounter when someone steps in and moves you out of a dangerous situation, a fleeting/swoop by lesson)

In every relationship I’ve encountered I began to look for the reason the new person was in my life. For example, one taught me a skill. Another motivated me into becoming an entrepreneur.  My first girlfriend out of college taught me to guard my energy. In other words, protect myself from those that would do me harm.

The Season

The season is similar to the reason. They both serve a purpose over a period of time. However, the season is typically months or sometimes years.  The underlying principle being a long-term lesson you need to learn. At the same time, some relationships aren’t meant to last because they should have never existed in the first place.  Their demise is inevitable but usually takes a season to dissolve depending on the investment of feelings.


That being said, the season is just like winter, spring, summer, and fall. They come and they go. Each season is vastly different.

Winter teaches you to dress warmly with layers. Spring teaches you to bring your umbrella daily. Then comes Summer, which teaches you to wear tee shirts and shorts to keep from overheating. Lastly, there’s Fall — the most difficult season to predict. One minute it’s chilly outside, the next it’s hot as Hades.  Nevertheless, each season shows you something different. As a result, there’s always a new lesson to learn. You should treat each person who is there for that (season) in this manner.


Who’s Here For a Lifetime?

When dating or in a relationship your partner will say…

I’m here forever

Umm… how the hell do you know that?

I’m extremely optimistic. However, reality dictates that they (your partner) couldn’t possibly know if they’ll be around forever. For all our efforts, relationships and dating experiences end or transition. They shift, wax and wane. Of course, when it comes to love, one moment you’re in, the next you’re out.

It’s important to realize, a lot of these changes are controllable. Lifetime relationships are not only based on the universal flow of things or God’s plan — but they are also based on dedication, effort, and communication. These types of relationships typically have two parties involved that have an uncanny ability to self-assess, reflect, and communicate their needs.

In addition, lifetime partnerships are very intentional. The goals are stated and executed. Even if plans go off track, a lifetime relationship will get through, maintain, and adjust according to a mutual solution.

How Do I Know?

There’s no foolproof science or process to determine the reason, season, or if your partner will be around for a lifetime. It is even more difficult from the beginning. As a result, you may have some bullets you need to dodge.

Ultimately, the only teacher is time, patience, and discernment. Knowing the signs and acting on them accordingly. Furthermore, understanding when it’s time to let go, and when you should stay — play a huge role in your overall happiness.