We’ve all had failed relationships and suffered the inevitable postmortem of what went wrong. Are you starting out a new relationship? Do you want this one to be different? What can you do to make better choices?
Questions like these can haunt you. Here are some things to consider at the start.
In the first rush, blush and crush of excitement that a new romance engenders, you are often blinded to everything else. This is a great time, and by all means enjoy it. Alongside the pleasure of connection is the process of getting to know the other person. Look into the future and think about the qualities you want in a relationship. How are you going to ascertain whether the person has these qualities or not? Finding out whether someone does, takes time. You need to see them in many different situations before you can assess that accurately. Listen to what they say about themselves, whether boastful or deprecating. Do their actions match their words? How do they actually treat people: the waiter, their friends, other movie-goers, you? Your observations will give you a much-needed balance to the passions of a new connection. So take your time and wait for their true character to show through.
I was having dinner with Donna Thursday night and she was bitterly berating her most recent dating partner.
“He reminds me so much of Arnie,” she sighed, “And you know how that ended. I don’t think this is going to work out.”
“But you’ve only seen him three times,” I remarked.
“I know, but he came late, and you know how much I hate that. He had a good reason, but it still bothered me. Not only that but it took him two days to call me after our second date. He may not be interested and I don’t want to get into a relationship where I’m more involved than the other person. Been there, done that!”
I laughed and thought to myself, “How is she ever going to develop a relationship? She’s so filled up with her past experiences, that there’s no room for new ones.”
Don’t make the same mistake and be too hasty. Try to see each person as new and experience them for who they are. If you are jumping to conclusions too fast, or seeing the new person in terms of your expectations, you will miss out on the chance to have something new happen. Leave time for different experiences and stay open to what is actually in the present.
And then there’s sex. Nearly everybody likes it. And it creates powerful feelings of intimacy. It’s great for bonding two people together, and nature has her own mysterious reasons for choosing partners, too. The feelings of deep intimacy during sex may not reflect reality when taken into the context of the whole relationship This bonding can interfere with deciding if your partner is really a good match.
Deal with this in one of two ways. Either defer sleeping together until you have established more of a relationship, or take care that the feelings engendered during sex do not cause you to overlook failings in your partner as the price for your sexual pleasure.