Relationships are an undulating process of discovery, stretched over dates, serendipitous moments, shared glances and the comforting presence of someone who likes you, exactly as you are, or at least you think so. You want to take it to the next level, step it up a notch but that requires trust and you may have been hurt before; similarly, you may be dealing with a brittle heart, scarred and scattered over memories of past loves. While time will heal all else, there are little things one can do to help the process along, building trust and a lasting connection; be warned, some may require a vulnerable investment on your behalf.
Being right can be intoxicating, affirming almost, with many of us giving into temptation every day and correcting some inconsistency or mistake. While this is a desirable trait in a leader, life is not work and your new partner or love interest is not a fledgling staff member – You cannot and shouldn’t manage their feelings. Instead, take a step back and listen to their concerns, showing sign of positive feedback (non-confrontational questions, nodding etc) and spring to their defence when necessary. What about when you know they’re wrong? Be diplomatic. Acknowledge the merits of both positions but don’t commit to any conclusions. Use lines like, I understand why you feel like that…
Confide in Him
Laying it bare and investing in trust shows your partner you’re willing to be vulnerable, creating a level of comfort where they feel they can do the same. You sometimes have to make the first move, as different personality types will take their time trying to work out whether you like them enough to go all in. It’s always a gamble to trust someone, but start small if it makes you feel better. Try something like, “the silliest thing I ever did was pose with an adult toy in Naughty but Nice. I deleted the photo though, thank god!”
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
Judgement is an inevitable machination of social life. If your new squeeze decides he or she can trust you with something big (and confronting), use this opportunity to show you can accept them as they are and encourage continued communication. Criticising, making light or dismissing the feelings and experience of somebody you’d like to pursue is relationship suicide. They will unofficially check-out of the conversation and may the relationship, especially if they naturally place barriers between their feelings and other people.
Nobody is Perfect
Loving somebody truly is accounting for their flaws, recognising them and respecting the strength they lend to a balanced character. People are imperfect. Gracing somebody you like with your flawed persona then, is the greatest risk you’ll ever take, but one that can certainly pay off. If this is a long-haul kind of trip, they need to see the real you to fall in love with who you actually are. Insecurities, morning breath, OCD dish washer stacking, obstinacy, righteousness and other fun stuff, forms the person you are, informed by the experience that led you here. If they are right for you, they will embrace it and let their own colours fly.
There is no fixed formula for the perfect love, just as there is no fixed formula for the perfect person. Respect, trust and communication are the bedrock of a successful union – If you want to take things forward, open your ears, ready your heart and let go of the past.