Give yourself time to know your partner

Elaine Paige sang a song that has the following lyrics:

‘Nothing is so good that lasts eternally. Perfect situations must go wrong but this has never yet prevented me wanting far too much for far too long. Looking back I could have played differently, won a few more moments, who can tell? But it took time to understand the man, now at least  I know, I know him well…..isn’t madness he can’t be mine….in the end he need a little bit more than me, more security….no one in your life is with you constantly, no one is completely on your side, and tough I move my world to be with him still the gap between us is to wide…Looking back I could have played things some other way, learned about the man before I felt I was just a little careless…

Those blue moments when you listen to a music and it makes you think about life; were you came from, where you are , where you are heading to; the dreams you dreamt of, the people who were there with you, the loves you loved and the broken hearts you had.

In the end all is good, it is all just part of life’s learning process and each bump in the road, as they say, just makes us stronger.

The song talks about getting to know someone before you fall for them. Of course it doesn’t work that easy in real life. That’s why it is called ‘falling in love’ because you, literally, fall for it, you don’t just waltz into it tip toeing, you literally just stumble on it and fall. However, as improbable as this must sound, give yourself a chance, as much as possible ~ while the brain still have some kind of control over your heart ~ try to learn more about the person you are about to have a relationship with.

Observe his behavior with friends, family, co-workers, strangers, with himself and of course with you.

Funny fact –  I went out on a date with someone last summer and as we got into the restaurant in Providence we had to wait for a table ~ no surprises for a Summer Friday night at Federal Hill in Providence ~ the hostess came and asked if we wouldn’t mind to sit at a table while the bus boy finished cleaning – not a problem – as I turn to my ‘date’ he was already walking ahead of me – as I sat (he was already comfortably sitting on his chair checking the menu), the bus boy was still working on cleaning the table and a napkin fell on the floor, while bending to pick it up the napkin, a glass from his tray fell into the ground breaking and upsetting my ‘date’. The boy apologized and run to get a broom to clean up the mess. My ‘date’ turns to me and say  ‘….this stupid foreigners….’, really??? My heavy accent wasn’t a clue? Or the fact that my ‘date’s’ name was Jorge; what a disaster that night was! No need to say that it was a very short night – and there was no second date.

There is no such a thing as perfection in a relationship, but there is a perfect relationship – which is the relationship that works for you. A relationship is made up of two imperfect people that makes one perfect relationship to each one of you.

A successful relationship is made of two different beings who understand, accept and respect each other’s difference and still work on the similarities to create a strong bond from that point on. It is one where two individuals, with different backgrounds, experiences, history, cultures, learn, teach, talk, listen, communicate to each other in an openly manner not just about themselves but how they see each other.

In a relationship, regardless of what type of relationship, there is the need for respect of each other’s individuality, the glue that  holds two or more people together are love, trust,  understanding and acceptance.

Love for the person as they come for who they truly are, as they are. Trust that this person will hold your heart and feelings as carefull as if was their own heart. Understanding that you both will seldom think exactly the same things at the same time. Acceptance to focus on the important things and let the small stuff alone, the same way you would like the other person to accept you.

However, in order to know these things you must have time to know the other person. No, time is not a measure of how much you know someone. You might know someone your whole life and still know nothing about them. So yes, you can know a lot about someone in three months in continuous contact, open communication, doing things together and becoming friend.

With that said how to know if you see the person in front of you as they really are? How can you know you trust and respect a person you are, at least at this time, thinking about choosing to live a life with?

Not every person who makes our hearts skip a beat are meant to be lovers, many relationships should stay at the friendship level and many more should not even get there if the alloted time was given to each case carefully and intentionally.

We live on a society of immediate satisfaction, where everything has to have an immediate response, where one have a relationship with multiple partners at the same time. Where commitment is just a word lost on the murmur of so many others and, on the other side, where people run out of a relationships without giving it a chance to let it grow and blossom.

On my failed dinner example mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, I just had one too many character issues that are a priority for me, and Jorge showed early on that he had no respect for others in inferior position, and the whole night was spent criticizing others and talking bad about past relationships and people in his life. There was not much left there to even try a second date.

In order to get to know each other, as pure, and on their original ‘skin’, as we can, there is just one way, attaining and honest and open friendship is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.

If the person you are dreaming of is not a person you have known for a while , or if he or she is a product of our internet faceless age, give yourself a chance to get to know this person, not for their words, or most common for their looks or bank account, but by their actions, not for the facade we all put up when we first meet someone, during the courtship dance, but for who they really are after the wall of flirtation comes down. Taking this little extra time to work this step, before you fall heads over heels for him/her is an antidote to miserable relationships and an outrageous number of divorces and infidelities.

There are ways to learn about a person by asking questions, then literally listening to their answers, right from the beginning. Try to take your fascination and feelings aside and imagine this is just a person you met, be smart, use your best clear judgment.

Observe their body language, learn what they mean, it is human nature to do more non-verbal communication than verbal communication, so pay attention to what is not said as much as to what is said. Remember that words can be manipulated to reach what we want, but our body language, our movements, expressions, physical reactions…well, that is a little bit more difficult to fake, not impossible tough but harder to pretend.

The most common mistake man and woman make when getting into a relationship is believing the flaws they immediately see are okay, making excuses that they can deal with the other persons faults and flaws, or worst yet that they can change the other person to become what we desire – usually it turns out to be the other way around.

When you ask questions and the answers you hear are things you don’t agree with because of your education, beliefs, your goals, friends or family, these are signals that says in a subtle way – talk a little more deeply about the issue or maybe is clear enough that you just run, run as fast as you can – If you decide to change you faith, believes, education and family goals for the sake of having, or to maintain a relationship, it is also your choice. But never fool yourself to believe it all will be okay. It will be just a matter of time until you pay the price for betraying your true self.

Be aware of the “Charmers” – these individuals are professionals in their mind game – they know exactly what to say and when to say, they are like wild animals out for a dinner hunt, they attack with precision, they can smell their targets and they strike for without clemency.

They are master on masking themselves to get confused with other ‘regular’ people. Like a wolf on a sheep’s skin, they are masters on the art of disguise and will act and say all the right things to convince you that it is ok to fall for them. It doesn’t matter how much experience you may have or how much you think you know. I have felt their grasp myself – even with all the experience I thought I had – they like to control the situation and usually have you apologizing for the mistakes they make, to have you making up excuses for their long-lasting lack of  fulfilling or simply sticking to promises made. They need to feel strong, and will have no consideration for you. If they need to step or walk over you to attain the power and control they so want, they will not think twice.

I like to call them ‘the relationship vampires’ – you probably have met one of those out there as well, sometimes I think there are too many of them out on the wild. Believe me, they will suck your blood, before you have a chance to figure how they got that close to you.

But assuming you meet a good and honest person, who actually have a heart and is not a narcissist, who is in the same wave length and is looking for the same things that you are, what can you do to find out if you and this person can click? Well as soon as possible without being to forward try to talk about:

Their Friends

Usually we surround ourselves with people like us. If your friends are mean and bullies chances are you are a mean and bully person yourself;  if your friends are good people at heart, chances are you are a good person as well. If your friends have healthy character chances are you have a healthy character as well.

In this case – differently from the chemistry you learned in school – similar energy attracts the same type of energy. Friends can be a good lead to find out about your possible to be partner’s character and values. It can be a prized source of resource in the beginning of a relationship.

Their Family

Do they speak good or bad about their family? Keep in mind that we all have problems with our families, not all of us have had wonderful and loving families, but it is not usually the first information you give out on a date. Having bad relationship with families, or coming from a broken family doesn’t make one necessarily bad, but observe if there is anger, physical or mental abuse from the person in front of you towards their parents or siblings.

Their Ex.

Is he/she speaking negative about their ex? Of course it can happen after your relationship has evolved and you are both more comfortable to talk about what has happened to end a previous relationship, but has he/her a good term relationship with their ex? Is he/she willing and able to let it go – maybe it is too soon – are you the rebound person? Does he/she assume responsibility for their own faults. Remember it always takes two people on a relationship to make it work or to make it fail.

What are their plans for life?

It might be a tough one for a first date, so approach the issue with cautions if approaching at all. May be a better approached on the third or fourth date. There are common goals that are important before entering a relationship. Do they have plans to have an exclusive or open relationship? Do they have plan to marry someday, have kids, establish a family? What type of career they have or look for? What dreams he/she plans to achieve? Make sure they are in its majority in tune with your own plans for life.

What values do they have?

Do they have faith in something? Do they have family values? How do they rank honesty and loyalty? Do they have character and courage to stand up for their own beliefs and ideas, or are they just a marionette that go wherever the winds blows? What are their morals? How they behave with people in public and in private.

Are they truly free to get into a relationship?

An understatement isn’t?  Well, you would be surprise of how many ‘cons’ are out there. I had a man ask me to move to Florida with him and live together while he was still married to someone else. So my new mantra is ‘better be safe than sorry’. Be clear, don’t assume it is understood. If they are separated find out if there are legally divorced, how long it has been and if children are involved, let him/her talk about it. Learn how it works between them (kids , ex and the person in front of you). Do you really want to be involved on a nasty divorce situation.

What are their interests when they have free time?

It sounds silly I know, but it is a very important and valid question, what if they answer that they love playing video games on their free time and that is all they do – are you a video game kind of person? If so, perfect for you, you just found your match and a possible partner to play with, but, what if you are not? Do they spend every single free time drinking with friends, or watching TV, or golfing? Do they have different and various interest? Do they make time to enjoy themselves alone?

Do they complain a lot? Or say rude things? Do they use foul language a lot?

Is this person the type of poor me, my life suck, all is wrong, the world is out to get me,  and I am the only one doing something right type of person? Or is this person the type that sees opportunities and possibilities, even in the worst of the conditions that life throws at you – which one do you think you would be a better match for you?

These are all things that will have a large impact in someone’s life and at this time this someone else’s is you, so don’t skip this step, consciously move forward and set the first stone of a strong foundation to support the weight of a great relationship.

Listen and pay close attention to your instinct.

When we have feelings for someone our brain is, usually, the first one to shut down and our hearts takes control of almost all of our senses. It is natural and many times dangerous.

Your gut instinct is one of the senses you usually don’t lose, so pay attention to it. If something sounds weird, or make you think “…wait a minute…these words, or acts, or behavior are conflicting with what I think or know about this person…”,  coming back over and over to you, BE ALERT, your instinct knows better than your foolish heart, so listen and listen carefully to it.

Take the time, pay attention to you future partner’s clues, don’t dismiss the nagging feeling, it can be a life saver and also save you from a heart-break in the future.

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