When looking for a partner there a few key factors that we consider; attractiveness, social status, vocation, political/religious beliefs, attractiveness… Some things we don’t consider are: What ways do they show love? What do they find to be appropriate/inappropriate behaviors in a relationship? How much time do they enjoy spending alone, with family, or at work?
Both series of considerations are important, but we tend to romanticize our future partners into already having these qualities so when we meet someone who fits the bill of the first series, we happily assume that the answers to the questions in the second series will align with ours. It’s easy to put aside the long term considerations because we would rather allow the butterflies and excitement to lead the way. However, the making of a successful, long term pairing resides in the answers to these deeper questions. It is important to trust that if this is the right person for you, it’s never too soon to talk about these things. Once the relationship develops and these feelings fade out of hope and focus into reality, we can feel startled by any misalignments we face because we did not give proper consideration to their actual lifestyle and desires before diving in.
What is unfortunate, is the occurrence of the realizing misalignment after deeper feelings and attachment have begun. What results is an unhealthy relationship between people who care for each other but just can’t seem to make things work. These are characteristics of an unsuccessful pairing. Are the people in this relationship doomed? Not necessarily but I do advise that you not skirt these differences hoping they will go away. Be upfront and honest about your desires and goals. No room can truly be clean with a mess swept under the rug. The mess, or differences, need to brought into the open so that you can figure out if they have space in your relationship.
So, how do we effectively create successful pairings from the start? Try reframing the usual questions you ask someone when you’re getting to know them. Instead of simply asking someone what they do for a living, dig a little deeper by asking questions like: Do they enjoy their job? Is it long term or more of a stepping stone? How much time a week do they spend working and what would their ideal work week look like? Rather, than asking generalized questions about where they’re from and how many siblings they have, ask how often they get to see their family and if they feel they see them enough or too much. Don’t just ask what their hobbies are, find out if their hobbies are activities they prefer to share or if they’re solitary enjoyments.
Now, keep in mind that no one is perfect. In no way do I mean to insinuate that you will find someone who has all the proper boxes checked. The ideal is to have a more balanced picture of what your partner’s life is like, and then finding out how and where you will fit into it. Establish their baseline and find out if it works for you and with you. This is the best way to approach a new relationship and create a successful pairing.
If this is a topic you want to dig into and improve on, reach out to me. It won’t cost you anything to find out how Introspective Interactions can help you.
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or email me at christian@IntrospectiveInteractions.