If I really love playing tennis, wouldn’t it make sense that I would love to find a tennis playing partner? And if I want to find a tennis player how will I get introduced, in the real world, to tennis playing women? Answer: I will join mixed doubles leagues and teams to come in contact with and spend time with women who love to play tennis.
Intention and Open Communication Above All Else
Once a potential partner has been found your path forward must be intentional, honest, and clearly spoken. Relationships are a long series of minor course corrections, as we bring our life paths alongside of another person. We’re not changing ourselves to be with someone else as must as seeing how flexible we are in our desires and activities. Will we do what’s necessary to meet and match the speed and altitude of our new friend? And when things are out-of-balance will we have the courage and fearlessness to speak up? This is the hardest lesson so far. If both parties can reach towards one another when things aren’t working, you will have a much greater success of
- getting what you want,
- expressing what you don’t want,
- finding a compromise within the framework of this new relationship that might allow for flexibility and mutual growth required in a long-term relationship
Beauty Comes After the Heartstrings Have Been Plucked
In several relationships in the past, I have let beauty and sex drive a good bit of the bonding and negotiation of an early-stage relationship. This is a mistake. Let me explain.
We do want and need sexual chemistry to make a long-term relationship work. But, establishing the connection outside the bedroom is more critical to long-term success. Hot sex is great, but hot sex will not save a relationship built on weak life connections. Do you love doing stuff outside of the bedroom? Because I have news for you, most of your life will not be having sex. So, let’s say you’re having the best sex of your life with a person who continually flips out and exits the relationship emotionally. That can be fun for a while, but eventually, you will grow exhausted by the constant break-and-repair process that comes from insecure attachment with a partner.
Building the Flight Plan for Your Next Relationship
As you begin to establish your mutual respect and ability to navigate emotional hurdles, you are on your way to building a relationship that can last. And, it takes work. There are so many variables in our lives, that as we begin to align our lives with someone else, we’ve got a lot of planning to get things prepped for flight. Just like a jet aircraft, you’ve got to check all systems, validate the navigational plans, and check in with your co-pilot about the trip ahead. A relationship is no less complex.
Our systems are emotional, intellectual, aspirational, spiritual. Each of these core soul systems must be addressed in our plans for the future flight together. If one partner is buried in debt or work distress the other partner will have to make choices related to this system information. If one partner seems dysfunctional in some area (sexual, physical, emotional) there are going to need to be contingency plans for the future life together. This is how you build a flight plan, by negotiating and talking about how your emotional systems can be additive rather than subtractive as you move forward.
Staying with the Present Moment
As an aspirational romantic, I have a hard time staying in the present moment. But here’s the truth: you don’t want to miss any part of the courtship and energy that is building up between you and a potential partner. As best you can, it’s best if you remain focused on the current day and hour you are experiencing with this other person, rather than spending a lot of time and energy visualizing the places you’ll go together. The journey is in the now. Sure, dreams are good, and dreams fuel our passion and energy, but… You dreams can lead you astray in your love relationship.
You can only experience your relationship a day, a minute, a second at a time. There is no time machine you can use to check-in on your married life five years down the road if that’s where you hope you are heading. So, while it’s fun to imagine, and it’s healthy to check out some of your dreams with your partner, the real trick is to acknowledge those dreams, and then give them up for the experience of the present moment.
How can you love and express yourself right now? How many ways can you experience your bliss and joy in these early stages of the relationship? Can you begin to feel the love for this person in the mundane tasks of everyday life? Does washing dishes together inspire you? Can you imagine your partner on a bad day, and how much effort it will require to say “in love” when things get hard? Perhaps you can, but it’s better to pull your focus back to THIS VERY MOMENT TOGETHER. That’s all you really have. And if the relationship does not work out it is those future-dreams that will the most painful loses.
Letting Go of Relationships That Are Not 100% Right
The final part of finding the love of your life, is to let go of all other relationships. Do not compromise in your love life. Any little miss in your present moment will become a roadblock in the future if you cannot navigate and discuss it. Can you work things out without drama? Does this new potential partner have the same ambitions you have about work, leisure, and life goals? If they are different, how will you find the common path together?
Letting go of a near miss is very difficult. But spending time working on a relationship that is fundamentally flawed is time lost. Yes, perhaps you will learn, as I did, some valuable lessons that can better guide your actions in the future. But, perhaps you will just be biding your time in some sexual trap that feels good at the moment, but feels less good the minute you are not skin-to-skin.
Let go of any relationship that is not 100%. Let go of any relationship that does not have the potential to “go down the road.” And it’s essential you have this discussion early in the courtship phase.
I remember telling a woman in an early stage relationship, “I’m looking for a long-term relationship. I’m not interested in anything else.” She broke up with me a few days later. She did not want a “relationship,” she wanted a friend with benefits. That’s not ever who I’m going to be. Casual sex is a waste of time, in my opinion. I want to have meaningful and connected sex. I don’t want to have casual sex again. What’s the point?
Everything Either Leads Towards or Away From Your Lover
Make all of your actions intentional. Move towards your potential partner in all of your actions. Find out where they might be hanging out on a Friday night or a Saturday/Sunday morning and meet them there. It’s working out for me, at this moment. But we’re in the early stages of flight plan building. I’m hopeful and aspirational. I am also doing my best to stay in the moment.
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