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Living Well Leads to Relationship Success
Before you start down the road towards happy, lasting love; it is important to assess your readiness to form and sustain an intimate union. Otherwise, you place yourself at risk for the devastation that comes with any failed relationship.
Of even greater concern is the risk of repeated failures resulting in a pattern of unhappy, unhealthy or brief encounters. For these can bring a decrease in self-esteem, loss of hope for happy love and/or a belief that you are somehow flawed or incapable of finding the right one for you.
Readiness involves a number of factors. Each person must evaluate their own feelings, behavior and dating/relationship experience, to see which ones they need to focus on.
I will be discussing these in this series of articles titled "Living Well Leads To Relationship Success." This is Part 1.
Hurrying Up Slows You Down
Do any of these behaviors/thoughts sound familiar?
anticipating/fantasizing that every date will be "the one"
overlooking gut feelings that something might not be right because you are unhappy being alone rushing into involvement with someone (anyone) just to have a significant other
The need to have a relationship NOW can be due to:
expectations you have placed on age and other "right" indicators for marriage
a need to do what all your friends are doing
a desire for the lifestyle that marriage and/or family brings
all of the above
Being positive and hopeful about a new person in your life is healthy and natural. It's when you let that sense of urgency take over that you can venture into a problem pattern.
Healthy relationships take time. They require:
Individuals who are OK with who and where they are at the present time
a stable environment in which to grow
nurturing and time for growth
Being OK with who you are does not necessarily mean being happy about your single state. It's really about being a "happy" person in general. I am defining "happy" in this context as a state of adequate satisfaction with who you are and what you've achieved up to the present time.
Ask yourself these basic questions:
Do you have a good social support system?
Is your professional life satisfying?
Do you use your free time to pursue special interests or passions?
Do you feel good about yourself in general?
Chances are that you answered "yes" to at least a couple of these. If any of them were a"no" or "unsure"; then take the time now to look closely at them and begin to formulate some ideas on how you might address that area (s) to make it a "yes."
A stable environment for relationship growth includes a positive attitude, true availability and other qualities that are present when an individual's life is in order.
If a climate of instability is present due to financial, work, family, personal or other problems; true openness and sharing will be hindered if not impossible. These issues create a static that interferes with the ability to communicate, be vulnerable and to know what you want and where you are going.
Therefore, it is important not to rush into a relationship with the hope that it can "fix" these problems. Instead, begin to address them now so that they will not pose a block to the building of true intimacy in a future relationship.
Relationships have stages. Each stage requires a certain level of competency to move through and master. They progress at a rate that depends upon the readiness of the individuals and their ability to move to a deeper level of communication and intimacy. They need time and good care to develop a strong and healthy bond.
If you attempt to rush this process, and ignore the care and nurturing that is required, you risk losing even the chance to know where it could go.
Take your time. Make sure you know yourself and what you want. Make sure your present life and its demands allow for the time and emotional energy relationship building requires. Always make conscious and careful CHOICES about who you choose to date. Look for quality people who have compatible views and goals. Always do what feels right. Never ignore those deeper feelings that tell you to slow down and wait for the right time or person.
Isn't it worth a little extra time to avoid a cycle of failed relationships and wasted months or years rushing towards something that always eludes you?
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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