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Relationship Stages: Pitfalls and Tips


SeattleSigh

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Okay, so many posts on this site are for those who are hurting, and I am very thankful for those posts. Probably wouldn't have made it to this point in my healing journey without 'em. Three years out, and maybe, just maybe, finally seeing the other side.

 

I am not there yet, but I am starting to be more positive about believing in the possibility of finding love again. As I move forward though, I recognize that there is so much I don't know about relationships, but I have learned it's often the things I don't know that get me into trouble. If I know it and believe it, I do it, so I want to increase what I know about relationships to increase my odds of success the next time around; if I ever love someone so much again, I want to do everything I can to keep her in my life.

 

So here's what I am thinking about: what are all of the stages of a relationship and what are the things that someone can do to help make it through each stage with a stronger and more loving relationship? Collectively, we have paid a high price for our experiences. What do we know?

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All that I have learnt:

 

- communicate more often, although everything has a time and place, err on the side that things should be said and not left unsaid

- don't worry too much about etiquette ie., when should I bring flowers, meet friends, meet parents, etc.. but go with the flow of things and don't rush

- the harder it is to say something, the sooner you should

- go with the gut instinct, say enough so that it is remembered but always communicate

- make sure the deal breakers are out in the open and discussed

- if attraction is there, you also need logical attraction (careers, distance, goals) as well as emotional attraction (values, beliefs, empathy) in order to have a healthy relationship and a chance of something more (Robert Sternberg)

 

Even if all that is done, things may not work out. That is life. I just learnt that and some of those above.

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Here is some of what I have learned:

 

Nothing ever moves forward without talking about it.

Don't make assumptions based on your experience --- their experience may be different.

Compromise and compassion go a long way.

NO ONE likes to be taken for granted --- thank you and please are under used and under rated.

 

Put away phones when together. Nothing says "you are important to me" more than ignoring calls/texts that are not.

Make time for each other...a "date night" if you will.

Hanging around watching tv is comfortable, but it isn't a date.

 

Listen. Listen. Listen.

Trust your heart.

Breathe.

 

If you have walked out in anger, walk back with humility.

Words will hurt more than you can imagine --- use them with care.

 

You cannot change a person. You can only change yourself.

Set boundaries and mean them. A line in the sand is worthless and will weaken your credibility.

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