“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ? L.M. Montgomery
New relationships are tender and fragile. When we open our heart to a new person, we are doing a balancing act between hope and fear. At the same time that we’re deliriously out of our minds with new love, another part of us is looking for red flags in the other person’s behavior.
“Living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking. Loving might be a mistake. but its worth making.”
? Reba McEntire
Things that will mess up new relationships are if EITHER one of you:
- demand alot of time and attention – too needy
- only talk about themselves – which is NOT conversation
- press for sexual involvement before you know if you even like them or feel ready
- have addictions to substances, work or relationships/sex
- cannot be open and vulnerable
- who make jokes about everything, including serious stuff
- cannot reciprocate give and take
- lack initiative in planning things to do together – put all the responsibility for maintaining the relationship on the other person
- don’t know how to ask for what they want – require the other to read their minds
- blame the other person for their problems
- don’t know how to negotiate difference for a win/win result
- I confess, if their house is a mess and their personal hygiene is bad, that’s a huge turn off for me.
- argue religion or politics – trying to change each other’s deeply held values and beliefs
- don’t know how to manage anger or express their wants and needs assertively
- passive agressive behavior – “forgetting” to keep their promises or making a promise they have no intention of keeping
- still want to shop around…date others after a certain point – I don’t share. I date one person at a time, so I can get to know them. That’s just me. Other people can do otherwise.
- impatience – “you can’t hurry love.”
Since you can drive yourself crazy looking for red flags in other’s behavior, I advise two things:
- Check yourself against this list. If there is some characteristic or quirk in others that you just can’t stand, it’s likely that you also have it. “You spot it; you GOT it” sums it up. When you own up to that and realize this it is useful in specific situations only, it will stop bothering you in others.
- Develop skills to respond tactfully and directly to behavior in other people that makes you uncomfortable. If you attract needy people, learn how to set boundaries assertively and without guilt. If you attract partners who take little or no initiative in planning activities, speak up – say “your turn to plan our next outting.” Each think you complain about in others is an opportunity to develop a set of skills to better deal with these things!
Funny and Sad
“A man can sleep around, no questions asked, but if a woman makes nineteen or twenty mistakes she’s a tramp.” ~ Joan Rivers