Sunday, September 30, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
I know that if you have waited a long time getting ready to be in a relationship, and especially if that biological clock is ticking, it is hard to go slow. Many of you want to have him hog tied, and on the road to marriage and babies withing a short period of time. I think you'll have a better chance of this happening, if you don't lay all your cards on the table. Remember my earlier post about desperation, this may be a good time to reread it, if you are feeling the urge to push the relationship too fast.
I found that if I wasn't always available, and had plenty of interests and pleasures in my life, that I had a certain mystery about me. My future husband kept coming back time after time, because I let him pursue me for quite a while. As we got to know each other more, I slowly let him into other parts of my life. What I tried to do for myself throughout the first year we dated, was to really enjoy myself and be authentic when we were together, and to not be invested in the outcome. By that I mean not concentrating too hard on whether we would end up together for the long haul.
By doing this, I allowed our relationship to unfold in a way that made me feel safe, to trust him, and to really be open and ready for a long term commitment. By not being fully available to him, whether it was about dating or about sex (which by the way can be really hot, if you keep it mysterious for a while), or about getting too involved in each others families, I allowed myself to have the security I needed. By the time I was ready to tell him I loved him, and move into a much more serious phase of our relationship, we had built up a good friendship, as well as a relationship. This may not have happened, or we might have not even stayed together, if I had jumped in with both feet from the beginning.
So my suggestion this week is to allow yourself a little time and mystery in your relationship.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I just read over my last post, and I was wondering if the word boundaries struck a chord with anyone? I know that most of you have worked hard to love yourself first, and in doing that have set some good boundaries along the way. Sometimes when we are faced with a new relationship, it becomes a whole new ball game where boundaries are concerned.
One coaching trick that I find works well for setting boundaries is the Body Compass, designed by Martha Beck, PhD. Our bodies are great predictors of what is right for us. They can also be used as an easy lie detector, but that is another story. To use the Body Compass takes some practice. To get skilled at using it, try to do it often.
- First, picture an event in your past that has been painful for you. Close your eyes and focus on this event. Then check out your body and see what you feel. Is there tightness anywhere. Are you feeling tired, or sore in any part of your body? Do you feel like you can't breathe or can't talk? Notice whatever you are feeling in your body, and what it feels like for you.
- Now picture an event from the past that was very happy for you. Again close your eyes, and remember everything that happened. How is you body feeling now? Does it have more energy, feel lighter, and freer? Notice whatever your body is feeling when you remember this happy event.
- Once you get used to knowing the difference between how your body feels when you are happy and when you are unhappy, you can use the Body Compass in any situation.
- When you are faced with a situation that is uncomfortable, and you are not sure whether you should set a boundary, or what that boundary should be, you can use this exercise. First don't make any quick decisions. Let your partner know that you need time to think about what you need to do.
- When you are alone and have had some time apart, check in with your body about the choices before you. Your body will ALWAYS feel more energetic, and freer when you are making a choice that is right for you.
Our happiest times are usually when we are being our most authentic self. Our unhappiest times are often when we are trying to fit the mold that someone else has designed for us. You can learn to be authentic and to have a relationship that is loving and right for you.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Okay, so let's say you meet someone, and you are interested in seeing where it will go. What now? First of all you need to really be clear on what you want. Is this person someone who is relationship material? Remember that list you made of the qualities you wanted? Take a look at it, and see if they have what you are looking for. If they have some but not all of the qualities, it might be worth dating them a few times to see where it might lead. If they obviously have qualities that you don't want, and few of the qualities you do want, don't continue seeing them. I can hear you going, "What? I spent all this time looking and now I find someone who I'm attracted to, and you say I should let them go?" Yes, I am saying you should let them go, unless you are capable of having a completely fun, expectation free, relationship with them. Because if you give up what you really want in a relationship to pursue someone who is not right for you, you will end up back here reading my first blog again. Save yourself the heartbreak!
If the person you have met has many of the qualities you want in a relationship, then move ahead and date them. Remember in my post about Internet dating when I talked about setting the tone for your date. Well I want you to continue doing that. Let me explain in a few short sentences what I mean by setting the tone.
- Take things at a speed that works for you. If you want to go out for coffee, and he wants to take you away for the weekend, go out for coffee. Someone who really likes you will respect your boundaries in dating. If they don't, they may not be right for you.
- Be open to new possibilities however. Say he wants to take you to the opera, and you would rather go to a Nascar race. Be open to the opera, and suggest a race another time.
- Take intimacy slowly. I know, again you are going to think I am a prude. I happened to come of age in the 70s, and was a part of that whole do your own thing generation, and have never been pegged as a prude in my life. But what I found is that if I respect myself and take intimacy at a pace that works for me, when we do become intimate, it is much more satisfying.
- If a person treats you in anyway that is not acceptable to you, you need to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. If a person is really interested in you, they will be willing to listen, and they will respect your boundaries. If they do not, then let them go.
Alright that is enough to think about for now. I know that these are hard steps to take, so let me sum it up in a few words. Check in with yourself on a regular basis to see how you are feeling, and let the relationship unfold in a way that feels good to you.