Relationships are a bit like a gourmet dish; they take time, commitment and effort.
Each recipe—and likewise each relationship—is a wonderful marriage of many ingredients that sometimes must be handled delicately. Yet I witness first hand through my role as an intuitive relationship coach those who want to know when the relationship will evolve to the next level. I talk with men and women who are upset if a text isn’t responded to in the time they feel it should or in the length they deem acceptable. Infractions as small as their socks being pulled up too high (I kid you not—true example!) are used to justify leaving a connection before any real exploration.
We have become a “hurry up and microwave it” world about instant results, instant gratification and not applied effort; if there’s no “app” for it, our eyes gloss over and our attention is lost. Well, there is no app for love—there is no “easy button.” The difficulty is that conversations have turned into texts and arguments have turned into immediate reasons to leave.
We are all about the quick fixes—the “add water and shake” instant relationships—and have forgotten that real connection take real time. If you find yourself in a rush with your relationship or are going through potential new mates like wildfire, it’s time to evaluate whether you are so locked in the instant satisfaction that you’ve forgotten how to finesse and mold a brand new connection.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are evaluating the pace of a connection. They are designed to help you slow down and foster a relationship that is built on core principals which offer a sturdy foundation.
- Relationships must be respected as organic, living creations.
This means that just like every plant grows differently, every outfit looks different depending on the person wearing it and every child has their own unique personality, relationships too are not one-size-fits-all! Just because your best friend’s sister got engaged after only six months of dating someone doesn’t mean that you are doomed to become the crazy cat lady because your boyfriend of three years has not yet proposed or you are 35 (insert any age here) and not yet married. Every relationship and those within it move at their own pace and there will be times when your pace may be different than your partners.
It’s through communication on what you each want and when that you gain a sense of solidity within the connection.
- Communicate, communicate, And, oh yeah, did I mention…communicate?
We have all heard the maxim that relationships require communication, yet what ultimately destroys connections is a failure to put this to action which is destroying connections, new and old. Talking to your girlfriends, your coach, your family about your wants and need is fantastic. I encourage you, however, to remember that if you do not effectively communicate these same things to your partner they cannot possibly have a fair chance of showing up you.
This is not about texting them angrily or sending a novella through email—I’m talking about face to face communication. Do not worry about their reaction. The goal is honor how you feel and what you need by being exceptionally open and honest with your partner. The more honest we are, the more we know whether this is someone who is deserving of the place they hold in not just our lives but our hearts.
- Not every relationship is meant to evolve.
It’s sometimes difficult to accept that not all relationships are going to go the distance. There are various reasons why relationships are brought into our lives. It’s our job to look at what is here for us to learn, not force a connection to be what we want it to be. Just because you two may not end up at the altar, it doesn’t mean that you should immediately stop what you are doing and walk away. There is much to be learned and enjoyed from just spending time with another.
Let go of the need to reach an immediate destination.
- Patience is a virtue.
My husband and I have been in each other’s lives for 10 years. We have been living together for eight of those years and married for nearly seven of them. What should this tell you? That sometimes the best things come to those who wait, and nurture them. We didn’t always have smooth sailing and there were periods of separation as we each grew as individuals but we made it back together. We cannot be afraid to give the room and most importantly the time necessary so for each partner to explore life and learn about themselves. We must first foster a strong internal foundation so that our relationships externally can flourish.
Anyone can rush into or even out of something romantically and then potentially regret it down the road. Taking your time and learning about one another allows you to build a stable foundation that will allow for you to make reasonable and empowered decisions regarding where (and when) the relationship is going.
The best relationships are founded not through focus only on the destination but also on the journey.