How do you know if the person you are dating is right for you? If the answer were obvious, there wouldn’t be so many advice columnists. How do you make your way through a fog of conflicting messages? What can you trust from your responses?
It’s important to listen to your feelings, both positive and negative. Perhaps you’re embarrassed by your partner’s boorish treatment of the wait staff at a restaurant. Maybe you don’t feel an intense flash of sexual attraction, but you are still interested. Could be you always enjoy their company even through they’re outside your social class, live 2,000 miles away or aren’t in your age group.
In building relationships, these gut feelings are very important, and don’t need any rational justification to be valid. But they can be about either of two people, and one of them is you. They might reflect your prejudice, your expectation or your previous experience. He doesn’t know the correct use of cutlery; she never folds the grocery bags; he never notices your haircut. Maybe these things are more about you and your demands and expectations about how the world should be.
Or maybe your gut feelings are about your partner. His treatment of the waiter is not how we should treat each other. Her white lies show she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions. His approach to money shows he always puts himself first.
Is this the right relationship for you? What to look out for. #relationships #love Click To TweetBy looking at your feelings in these ways, you can tease out what your core values are and how well your partner holds them, too. Without matching core values, any relationship has at best a rocky foundation.
Another way to look at your relationship is to ask if you’re in it due to need or want. We all have needs, and social connections are high on the list, but putting these early responses in perspective is important: how incomplete do you feel without a partner? If you’re relying on another person to fill that hole, then know that it never works for long, and it can cause you to overlook a whole bunch of failings in the other person. Work on yourself first and you will be entering a relationship to share, not to fill a void.
It takes time to judge how suitable your partner is. Over time you can start to see patterns, good or bad, in how they live in the world. You’ll see how they respond in difficult circumstances – a car wreck, an illness, a confrontation. If you started out with the intense attraction of falling in love, that can cloud your judgment for a while, but in time, you can better judge how compatible you are, sexually and otherwise.
Get some input from your friends. Don’t act on what they say about your partner, but don’t ignore it either. You can see things they can’t, and they can see things you can’t. Throw that in the mix.
Good luck in deciding. Don’t be picky and don’t be a patsy. Give it the time needed to decide if your core values match, but don’t remain undecided forever.