“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
~ Brené Brown
1. Accountability -it is what it is!
It is during the courting time that a person puts their best foot forward, so this very well could be a thread of a tapestry that evolves into a picture, a masterpiece or something that needs to be scrapped all together.
The truth is we only have the ‘now’ that is real.
The first step is to be accountable for this being the reality you are accepting.
If you want more that your partner is offering, then reassess, remember this is a choice, your choice. See what is now.
Unless your man is offering the commitment you desire, you can make a different choice.
If it’s not going anywhere, you may be entering a vortex of angst where you want one thing and he wants another. This inevitably creates a relationship of uncertainty and chaos, in which, eventually worsen if not breaks completely apart.
2. Ask! So that you can receive.
You deserve to know the truth and your partner deserves to know what you want. One of the first missteps couples make is they forget to ask. It’s important to remember to communicate, as he may not know what you want. What you believe to be obvious may not be so for him.
Do not assume you two are on the same page without asking.
Committed and long-lasting relationships require ongoing asking, collaborating, and negotiating. Ask your man what he wants, and what he believes you want.
If you are on different tracks, then you can ask how, and if, you can navigate your ways to get on the same path. Speak up and ask and keep on asking.
3. Accommodate by starting where he is at
Can you start where he is at and be open to allow the relationship to grow? Are you open to compromise the speed and progress of what he has to offer?
If you want to keep the relationship going, there are ways to make it work.
Observe and work to know each other’s desire with the intent to meet in the middle for lasting success.
4. Accentuate you have time.
You may choose to allow some breathing room for the relationship to grow, like a budding flower. Depending on the animation between the two of you, some things are worth taking time to figure out.
Allowing space and time to plant your garden of Eden, fertilize the union and stand back and observe what you can create is part of budding and maturing into a desirable and sustaining duo.
This is your journey and moving forward together towards forever or parting ways will come in the time you are ready to know… as long as you start with you, ask, accommodate his starting place and accentuate that this is the time to celebrate, explore and trust that you will know, as we all know more than we know we know!
Cheri McDonald, PhD, LMFT – www.aplace2turn.com
In a situation where your partner is not ready for a relationship, but tells you that he still wants to see you, there are a few important questions to ask.
The first question is: What does he want?
If he tells you that he ultimately does want a relationship, but needs more time, you may consider giving it longer if this feels right and you feel strongly enough for him.
If he is unable to tell you what he wants, that is a sign that he is not really in touch with who he is and what he wants in life. This could keep you waiting for a long time, and you need to decide whether or not you can wait.
The second question to ask yourself is: What do you want?
It is very important that you be in touch with your own priorities, needs, and wants in your own life. If what you really want is a relationship, and you think that you can get it here, then by all means, stay.
If you are not sure what you want, then give yourself more time to figure it out. Not everyone is meant to stay together; sometimes we are with each other for a time, learn and grow, and then move on.
The next question to ask yourself is: Are you going to get what you want?
Once this becomes clear to you, it is your duty to yourself to seek and put yourself in a position to have what you want in your life. That is your responsibility, and not the other person’s. People give what they can, and if they cannot give you what you want, you may want to consider other options.
The final question to ask yourself is: Can you compromise on what you want?
This is something that only you can decide for yourself. Sometimes we think we want something very badly, and then later change our minds. If you can compromise, fine.
But if, in your heart, you know that you do not want to compromise, stay on your course, leave if you have to, and go for what you want. You will never regret being true to yourself.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
What’s a girl to do when her partner/potential partner says, “I want to see you but I’m not ready for a relationship…”
This can be tough. My feedback on the topic will begin with the idea that there is no one (or even a few) right way(s) to do relationships.
The goal should be a compromise and an attempted meeting of each others’ expectations.
Relationships fall on a continuum from casual to committed and are seldom black and white. Even when the couple has agreed on a relationship, casual or committed, they look vastly different depending on the people that make them up.
Before considering ANY romantic relationship, KNOW YOURSELF and what YOU want.
Self awareness makes us better people and better partners. Another person can only know you as much as you know yourself.
While flexibility and compromise are great assets in relationships, I recommend people identify their “must haves” and “deal breakers,” and commit, for everyone’s sake, to sticking with them.
It is easy to consider (over)flexing on these when you first meet someone and are in the excitement of lust and passion. When those new feelings wear off, and you realize you extended yourself beyond what you were truly comfortable with, resentment and other unpleasantness often ensue.
Identify, write them down, and communicate them with any potential partner that you decide you might want to spend some degree of time with, over time.
All that being said, if you are free from the confines of societal expectations of relationships and open to what meets you and your partner’s needs, and additionally are a healthy-ish, self aware version of yourself, prepared to know and communicate your expectations, do whatever you want!
Maybe a committed relationship is your bottom line, and if it is, do not settle.
Maybe you decide casual will work for you now or long-term; communicate where you are at with it and what the limits are (for example, are you doing this until something else comes along?).
One decision/perspective I STRONGLY recommend against is starting in the casual, hoping to “persuade” the other person to get on board with your expectations.
If you accept the casual and it progresses for both of you, great! But do not start with hidden agendas. This often leads to a number of negative outcomes including disappointment, feeling manipulated or misled, and/or wasting time in a relationship that is not right for you and missing out on ones that are.
At the end of the day, it is tough out there and most of us are doing our best- keep doing it!
Peggy Steinbrunner, PsyD – www.horizonbehavioralhealth.org
If the man you are dating is not ready for a relationship but still wants to see you, ask yourself why you would want to hang in there with someone that is not fully available.
If you decide you don’t want to close that door, it is wise to go extra slow, and give it time.
This might mean reducing the frequency with which you see each other, minimizing your expectations, protecting your heart, and being intentional about how involved you want to be.
It might be difficult if you really like him, but building some capacity to wait, and tolerate uncertainty could be a good practice too. Be sensitive to your needs and how you feel.
Dating someone that is not ready is not ideal, and it might not work for you.
If he is not ready, it means that he is not available which can be hurtful if you have a sensitive or insecure attachment style, that can be activated by his lack of presence, consistency and availability.
It is sensible for you to take care of yourself first, and gage how much you can ‘hang in there’, while you determine how much you really want to date someone that is not ready.
You can also focus on building a friendship first which is not a bad idea, and keeping other dating options open, so all of your energy is not only going to him.
Take things with a grain of salt, have discernment, and asses realistically if him not being ready is temporary or a pattern in his life.
Juana Rincón, MA, LPC – www.unnidocounseling.com
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