Relationship Firsts

Relationships are hard.  I don’t care what anyone says, they are hard.  I am not talking about friendships or relationships with your brothers or sisters or mothers or fathers.  I am talking about a relationship with your significant other; your spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, partner, companion, whatever you want to call it. They are hard.  I guarantee you talk to any couple; whether they have been together 50 years or 5 months, they will all say the same thing.  Relationships are hard.  The hardest part of a relationship may be the time between six months and two years.  I use that time frame because the first six months of a relationship everything is brand new.  You are discovering one another, there is magic.  You have the first date, the first kiss, the first time making love, meeting family and friends for the first time, going away together for the first time.  Seeing the man or woman you are dating naked for the first time can be the most magical moment you ever experience.  Waking up next to that person for the first time and realizing that it feels good waking up next to him or her.  Those are magical moments that you never want to forget.

After the six month mark though, life starts to intervene.  Gone are the firsts.  Things become old hat, so to speak.  You care very much for this person but maybe he or she has a lot going on his life and can’t make the time for you that was easier when things first started.  Maybe work is getting in the way.  Maybe previous relationships keep coming back to haunt one or the other or both parties.  If a relationship is going to work, you usually find that out between the six month and two-year mark.  Someone may want to move fast, yet the other may want to move slower.  One of you is a dreamer, the other is a realist.  Those things can get in the way of enjoying one another.  If one party has his or her head in the clouds and the other party is firmly planted on the ground, that can cause a problem and signals can get crossed and arguments ensue. If one party says I love you first and the other party doesn’t.  That can also cause problems.  So what does a couple do when they hit the first major obstacle of their relationship?  Well, that first hurdle is the hardest.  That is when you can tell if things are going to go further or if it’s dead in the water.

The key to that first obstacle and figuring out where things are going is communication. I am not talking about:  “How are you feeling?  Is there anything you want to tell me?”  No. In my humble opinion, it is about a frank open dialogue where each party can inform the other party about how he or she is feeling.  It isn’t hurling accusations and telling someone you are suffocating me.  It’s about telling your boyfriend that you can’t dream the big dreams yet.  That right now, settling for the smaller dreams is best he can do.  It’s about letting your girlfriend know you love them and are ready to spend the rest of your life with them, but you know she is not ready and you are trying to push too hard.  Communication in a relationship is informing your partner that you feel overwhelmed by the talk of the future and the past, you just want to enjoy the moment.  Communicating with your spouse is saying; I have to dream the big dreams, because that is what helps me focus on the here and now, so I can achieve the dream.

Sometimes, in relationships the best first is that first hard discussion you have with your new boyfriend or girlfriend.  It’s beginning to understand how the other person thinks and where they are coming from.  How to help bring you closer together, without falling apart.  Looking at the situation through someone else’s eyes enables both parties to see things that maybe the could not see before.  How dreaming too much can make the dream less magical.  Talking about feelings and “stuff” in one another’s lives makes the time you spend together a little more taxing.  Sometimes, it is nice just to be in the moment, not think about the world outside the bedroom door.  Ignoring the phone and Facebook and the text messages for a while and just enjoying the company of someone who you have a great connection with and who you care about a great deal.  In a relationship, understanding that the other does not come from where you come from.  You two are still two different people with two very different backgrounds.  Instead of getting angry and upset about it, work towards each achieving a better understanding of the other person, look at where he or she is and look at your life.  Don’t think he does not want to spend time with you.  Think to yourself, he is spending what time he does have with me.  Instead of saying she is planning my life away; say slow down and lets plan together, one step at a time.

One thing I have learned over the years, the more you try to force someone to see your point of view the more blinded the other person becomes.  Do not force your point on the other person, but show them what you are thinking and ask to see what they are thinking.  If you can have an intelligent conversation about what is bothering you both, then it is easier to come up with a solution.  In the end, what matters is that you come away from that discussion having both learned something about the other person.  If you both have a better idea of where the other is coming from; he will learn not to dream so big and she will have learned that dreaming is not a bad thing.  What’s important is he does not try to rush a relationship, which is just starting to blossom and his boyfriend is tries to give as much as he can with what he has to give, but that will change.  When the discussion is over, kiss one another, touch one another, hold one another and make love like it was the first time all over again.



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