If you’ve ever been in love, you know how easy it is fall into being a pleaser or a yes man. It’s fun for the first three months, until you feel the pangs of expectation weighing on you. You learn quickly how important it is to start out with honesty about the things you really like or want in a relationship. If you’ve not learned it, here’s your opportunity.
Honesty: Often, the first three months of a relationship are awesome and love-filled because neither party is being completely honest with themselves or their new potential partner.
It’s a lot of fun to be in love with love. But eventually, the gloves come off, the truth comes out and then there’s an air of resentment because someone feels misled. No matter what kind of relationship you want, it will be negotiated. If you’re looking to hook-up, say it. If you want a committed relationship, say it. While being direct makes some people uncomfortable, you can rest assured that whoever it doesn’t scare off, will like you for who you are. Remember: you can only be as honest with someone else— as you are with yourself. It’s important to say, “I don’t know.”, when you don’t know.
Freedom: Much like a two-year-old, setting limits in a relationship gives freedom.
People really want direction while getting to know someone. They need to have parameters set to contemplate the moves they make, either directly or indirectly. Knowing what you want or are willing to compromise on is a gift to the people you spend the most time with. Being able to communicate it? Gold. Nothing is a relationship killer like not being on the same page with your date. If communication isn’t your strong suit, write down your thoughts and feelings first, and then read it aloud until you feel comfortable sharing it.
Trust: The building blocks of trust are requests made, heard, and respected.
It’s not necessarily that the requests are honored or that you like them and will comply, it’s that you heard and responded to them. Research has shown that acknowledging a person’s small bids for attention in a relationship keeps the connection solid. But what if your partner can’t stop talking and needs your attention all the time? Although it may be uncomfortable, let them know directly what kind of time and energy you have for them.
Be willing to say, “I don’t have the time or energy you’re asking for.” This gives them the opportunity to decide what they want and need, and to make a deliberate decision. Whatever you do—make sure that you don’t make assumptions about what the other person needs. Let them tell you by being clear about your own boundaries.
Solidarity: Real unity in a relationship is created from the safety that comes from knowing what to expect from your partner and spelling out the limits from the beginning.
Just because you have many things in common with your date, doesn’t mean you feel safe in the relationship. Believe it or not, safety in a relationship is something that everyone seeks. Some people take refuge in feeling safe that their lives won’t be taken over by the relationship and others like to have all the information. Letting your date know what you are or are not willing to do or speak about— begins the process of understanding. Solidarity comes from understanding who the other person is, not being like them.
Sincere Affection: Letting someone see the real you, is the best way for them to fall in love with who you are.
Face it, the biggest obstacle to finding love stems from not loving every part of yourself— the good, bad, and the ugly. We tend to hide from others what we struggle to embrace in ourselves. So, be mindful that you’ll attract the dates that mirror you in some way, and most often the traits you like least about yourself. Conversely, the instant love we feel for someone at first meeting isn’t about them— it too, is connected to seeing and embracing the things we appreciate about being who we are.
Representing yourself truthfully from the very first meeting with someone allows for a real affection to emerge. Anyone who is repelled by you is not for you. Dating and making connections with love interests is about truth and numbers. The more you put yourself out there as you are, the more quickly you’ll find someone who is in alignment with you. It doesn’t serve you to shy away from statements like; I don’t like that, I won’t do that, I don’t want that. You’re not being negative—you’re setting up the path to your heart.
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