I received a letter from a fan of Squire’s Corner who is going through a difficult time re-acclimating herself back into the dating world after a messy divorce. She had been reading not just this column but also my blogsite http://thrusquireseyes.squarespace.com. The subject of her email was; “How Did I Know So Much?” I was flattered by this as I don’t think anyone can know so much, especially not me. I don’t carry any special psychology, social or philosophy degrees but I do have a BA in English so that just makes me a half-way decent writer. In response to her complimentary claim, I told her that my writing comes from my experiences, those that worked and the ones that haven’t. This column is all about helping others in some small way or at least giving them a fresher or unlikely perspective they hadn’t considered before. With that in mind, this week’s column is all about defining relationships.
Relationships are not only about sharing your life, but a way of teaching you things about yourself. And if you don’t learn from your past mistakes, you will repeat them once again. It can be heart-wrenching when things go wrong and even though both parties had great intentions going into something, the universe may have other plans and the hope is that the breakup is amicable. My own recent experiences have found me reflective, beginning the arduous task of analyzing my accountability and trying to learn from the things that could have been avoided, if I trusted my gut. Sometimes we compromise too much of what we value or need in a relationship because we are afraid to be alone and too often, we try to be what our partners want us to be and lose ourselves in the process.
One of the ideals that I believe in whole-heartedly is to know thy self. It’s crucial in any type of relationship to be honest with your partner as well as yourself. And when you start to feel like things are a miss, trust your instincts, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. What’s equally as important is to be wary when patterns change. This usually means something is going on with your partner so be a careful observer. You may want to keep a log so when you have that deep conversation, you have a frame of reference as to what they may be doing that’s affecting you and the relationship in general. Don’t be surprised if your partner may be feeling the same unrest as you.
Another thing that I feel is paramount to defining the relationship is to re-examine it as time progresses. Know the difference between your needs, wants and desires, as these can change overtime. And if you are working with multiple partners, primary roles can change quickly as new partners are added in the mix affecting your perception of the situation. A healthy conversation goes along way when there is a breakdown in trust as well as communication. Also, keep in mind it’s not just about defining the relationship when it has already begun but also during the dating process when you are getting to know each other and what things you may be looking for at that time as this definitely changes as you mature.
Whether going through growing pains while defining the relationship, be gentle with yourself as well as your partner. Continue to take stock of the knowledge of what you’ve gained so far and file the things you might have lost in your recessive mind. And if your navigating the single life, remember, there are no winners or losers in a breakup only the realization of what has passed and the importance of moving on slowly and confidently. Re-assess all the factors you learned from the experience, good or bad as that will prepare you for the next person who comes along and gives you that wonderful smile that says; “Yes, I’d love to get to know you better.”
As always, any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org