I have always loved the idea of being in love. What does that mean really. Recently I have found out it is nothing that I could ever imagine!
Its a wonderful thing don't get me wrong. However, I am realizing that its not always fuzzy feeling and great nights of wine and movies. There are times when you tummy is in a knot. Not because something is wrong, but because we have feeling we do not understand and are foreign to us and our brains kick in to warn us we are in unfamiliar territory.
I now believe in a rule I never knew existed. The 3-6 month rule of dating. The "honeymoon" period if you will.
So many women (more so then men ladies, sorry to say) are looking to jump into relationships and lock up that guy. Now, if you are sitting there feeling offended, ask yourself truthfully if you have either had this experience or felt this for a man before. Why? because if you didn't the above statement wouldn't bother you. and don't feel bad if you have. We all want that sense of love and security. Even men do, altho they express it differently (that's a whole other article;).
The 3-6month rule is a healthy one. the first 3 months is exploration. Do you even like hanging out with that person stage. the next three months are all about getting to know you. Getting to the point where you can devulge your secrets. the deep parts of you that you couldn't possibly tell any other but this one special person. Now, granted I am a firm believer in full disclosure when you first meet. Ugly relationships, mistakes, who you were and how you got to be the you that you are now. However, there are deep personal things that only get shared with that one.....special.....someone. If you can do this, you may have found him or her.
Why do I say "may have found?" because there are other factors. My biggest factor is respect. Can your new partner let you be who you are? We all have quirks, likes, dislikes. Can your partner live with yours, and can you let them be free enough to be able to live with theirs.
How do we find out. Communication is key to this. I am fortunate. I have a talker in my life. He is amazing. He makes me dig deeply into who I am. Are we perfect? Nope! just the way we both like it.
The recognition by both sides of the couple that relationships can be difficult and debates, discussions and long chats are actually healthy parts of a relationship is what makes them work. ON ONE CONDITION...........
I learned from a friend of mine who has been married for 30 + years that when we sit and converse with our partners we need to be information gatherers. This means that we are not debating or critiquing but allowing the other person to download their data to our computer.
If the data is corrupted, in other words we see or hear something we don't agree with, or what we think might be a red flag, it can be addressed in that moment, but gently. Acceptance is the all......
.......And questions are a must. If your partner is really into us they will ask questions.
If we are really into them, as hard as it may be we will answer.....honestly.....truthfully. However, once its discussed, and the information has been filed, there is no need to bring it up again. Reliving experiences with ex's or painful situations is not something one needs to continue to bring up in a new relationship. Put it out on the table then move on. Create new memories that can be relived over and over again.
Remember, it is really hard, no matter how long a couple has been togther to share. It can be hard to admit our mistakes or our part in them. no one wants to be the bad guy or be in the wrong. We ALL love to be right.......correction. We are all terrified of being wrong. Why? because we have been taught from an early age that being wrong means that we are not smart, we've done something terrible, or that we are uneducated. Being right means we are in control, responsible and it comes with a level of respect.......in our heads that is. When we speak our deepest truths and become vulnerable enough to share, that is truly to be respected. We are saying we trust that our partner will accept us for who we are, and all the stuff that comes with us. Its not an easy task. The person we can do this with, who will accept us for our flaws, quirks, and past is the one we may want to seriously consider before those who love us for our good qualities alone.
sustainable relationships are made by those who are able to accept regardless. There are things about our partners that are going to drive you nuts! perhaps they don't like
a word or statement that comes naturally to us. if that's important to them perhaps in time that may dissipate from our vocabulary. but do they love us enough to accept that it may take time to root it out and be gentle about it when it creeps back into our statements? or if the offensive word or statement is a fave?
What it boils down to is collect the data. Don't judge it, debate it, or criticize it in those wonderful moments of wine and cheese when the two of you are laughing over your ex's and the silly wonderful mistakes you have made that make you who you are today.
In being able to confess these things freely to a special person is healing. It helps us know that there is someone out there who is ok with our lovely selves and our icky selves. Someone who is giving us the freedom to be the amazing us that we are.
Its all we can ever ask from a partner. Give me the freedom to be who I am and allow me to change with you as I get to know you and you get to know me.
Lastly, the key element to all of this without which none of it means anything at all......Be gentle. Remember that the partner that is confessing is opening a wound that's been wrapped up for a while or may be learning a new way of behaving because the relationship means so much to them. Allow the person listening to have their space. Allow them to comment, integrate and ask questions that you must muster up the courage to answer even if it doesn't put you in the best light. Do this, and your romance will last a lifetime and more.
further reading: Every relationship is successful for the same exact reasons