I have noticed a peculiar phenomenon in a few of my clients and friends who have got engaged. I call this ‘donning the life-long goggles’. These life-long goggles (similar to the old-school rose-tinted glasses but a slight reversal) can cause significant problems if not recognised and removed.

What is the impact of the goggles?
The goggles will go on almost at the instant of the accepted proposal (sometimes even before)– often without either party noticing. Prior to donning the goggles, things are often going swimmingly (excuse the pun) – yes, there’s the odd niggle around the loo seat being left up and taking a long time to get ready, but nothing that could possibly be a deal-breaker.

HOWEVER, as soon as the goggles go on the happy couple’s filters change.  These niggles, when viewed through the life-long goggles can become deal-breakers. Suddenly, the loo seat being left up isn’t just the loo seat being left up, it’s the loo seat being left up every day for the rest of your life. And the slightly extended time it takes to leave the house is no longer just that, instead all of the minutes every day for the rest of your life are added to make years and suddenly it’s too much to bear!

This adjustment in the way we view things can lead to arguments which blow up over nothing and sometimes even a question mark being raised as to whether the whole thing was a good idea in the first place.

So what can I do about that then?
It’s quite simple really - recognise that you’re wearing them, and take them off. Realise that something that used not to bother you at all has been blown out of perspective by you and your goggles. A good way of getting things back into perspective if you’re having trouble is to think hard about four things that you love about that person. Really get a sense of those qualities and think of specific moments when they exhibited them. Then try and think about the niggle. It’ll probably be back in its box with the goggles. 

Where else do goggles affect things?
Pretty much everywhere – we all view the world through our own pair of goggles. You may find yourself putting on the ‘it’s going to be a bad day goggles’ the first time something goes awry in the morning. These will filter for everything else that goes wrong, and filter out the potentially good stuff along the way. These enable you to label a whole day as being bad, rather than a contained incident – hmm. I have noticed a fair few Facebook statuses recently stating ‘good riddance 2012 – what a bad year’ – really? A whole year? Every day? Or was that your goggles talking? 

Thought for the Day
Think about the goggles you’re wearing and what they’re doing for you. What are you filtering for?

Happy people tend to wear optimistic goggles – the ‘what’s going well goggles’, or perhaps even the ‘rose-tinted glasses’ of yore.