Both of the posts Vito mentioned refer specifically to cheating in a relationship, which is an obvious place that this comes up in a lot of people's lives: it's not that anyone (ok, most people) gets into a relationship thinking, "Well, I'm going to cheat on this person I think is spiffy!", but little steps and choices along the way bring them to the point of cheat or not, where it's then a matter of willpower ... and most of us - or at least plenty of us - don't have awesome willpower in that moment.
So I've been thinking about this a lot, and about how I, in particular, set myself up to behave like the person I want to be, or to fail at that. How do I today make the choice that makes my relationship stronger, even though the thing may not seem like that big a deal? But also, of course, how do I make myself make other choices I want to make?
I do this a lot, and I jokingly refer to it as tricking myself into doing what I want to do. Not owning a car is the biggest example of this in my life: I don't want to use driving as a primary form of transportation, but I know that if I had a car conveniently parked in front of my house, I would often choose to drive it to the grocery store that's only a few minutes' walk from my home, because it would be easy, and less work, and convenient. I don't want to be a person who drives to the grocery store that's less than half a mile away when I can perfectly well walk! So: I make that choice way way back a long chain of choices to make sure I do what I want in the moment of the actual choice.
And I see this in the way I and others engage in their relationships, too. It's so common to see poly couples fall into a pattern where a couple does all the life business with each other, and all the life recreation with their other partners, and then a few years later, they find themselves asking the question of whether they want to stay together. Maybe if we hadn't bought that car...?
This has been interesting to think about as I look at the choices I make today, what the foundations are for them, and the direction I hope they'll lead.
Do you think about things this way? If so, what things? Does it change how you live your life?