Nurturing a New Relationship
Taking the Time to Get to Know the Person
I may be a little bit of a romantic with relationships—why they form and what makes the successful ones function. Reflecting on the people that some might know in their lives, some couples seem to embody what the "perfect relationship" should be. New or old love can bring out our admiration and fantasy filled thoughts.
There are plenty of negatives that can be conjured in our minds, I mean, the numbers don't look great but why do they fail? What makes a relationship strong and where is the point where it breaks like glass against the floor? Is it the person that is chosen? Distance? Or something completely different? These are all questions that can be mused when starting out with a new person. But, before heading down the doom and gloom road, shouldn't we learn about our new partner and try to understand who they are on an intellectual, emotional and surface level?
It is never easy to connect with someone new. We want to impress them and at the same time not compromise ourselves. When we might differ on some topics this can lead to some tension. Most of us would love to avoid conflict at any cost—trying to lead with our best foot forward with each step and showing that we are worthy of their time and attention. Where it becomes tricky for a lot of people occurs when we forget to stay true to ourselves and what got us to this point in the first place.
The person that was able to start the relationship, should be the person involved with growing and continuing to build themselves. I will use a very small example, but, let's say you are a creative person and love to play the accordion. Your new crush is not a fan of the music at all, but thinks it's cool you play. Slowly, practicing begins to happen less and less over time while putting more time and energy into this person. All the while, you're slowly getting rid of a piece that was maybe important to you on some level. What is missed is the change that takes away from who we are. A piece of ourselves that we can rely on in times of stress, contemplation, worry or any other aspect, it is a release and a reset.
To get back on point, the hobbies and things that you enjoy do not need to die because of a new relationship, they should be maintained. It allows you to have space from your partner that is needed and healthy when building something together. By striving to be your best self, it will make your partner more connected—if they are not being fully ignored or cast aside on the endeavor. It will help to sort out the one that will bring to the relationship and filter out the ones looking to take away.
Another component we all get stuck in, I am just as guilty as everyone else, is rushing too fast. We are excited! It is new and fresh, everything seems wonderful and we do not question or look too deeply into a persons flaws, words or actions yet. The world seems shiny and bright, plans are being made until we hit a wall and realize that the person might have different methods of organizing a home, ideas on kids or has a weird collection of spooky porcelain dolls. Whatever it is, we have found something we didn't account for and know we don't like or agree with.
How can this problem be rectified? Well, taking the time to get to know your new partner in crime and having some of those deep level, on the phone late conversations unfold can help. Not being afraid to disagree and work through issues will only strengthen respect and communication. Remember, tact is needed here, being outspoken and blunt might be great with friends, but if you truly care about this person you will acknowledge their feelings too.
We date for many reasons, but at the end of the day it is to find a permanent partner. Find out, if you can live with the things that you disagree on, what are your limits? Respect them and talk about them, what might not seem like a big issue for yourself could be for them. I know everything is still new and exciting like Christmas morning but after that wears off, are you going to like the person you see underneath?
The last bit here, trust me I am not good with crying and it is a skill I have had to work on a lot, but be understanding of their past, the "broken" bits that have shaped who they are now. Everyone has a past, sometimes it is okay not to know every single detail of them. In this situation, be a person that they can trust and feel like sharing with you is possible. This open line of communication will really make a difference as the relationship unfolds and grows. If you feel ill prepared to handle something that arises, talk it out and let them know too.
At the end of it all, there will never be a perfect way to take care of a new relationship but lead with kindness, truthfulness and usefulness and the rest will work itself out as it comes. Ask questions you are curious about, try not to get too lost in the clouds and enjoy what comes.