Love Fog Freya
I have love smog. I'm so confused. I've been dating my girlfriend for almost a year and it's NOT going well, despite it being so great at the start.
There was chemistry and we had lots in common. I thought that was enough. It's not supposed to be perfect, right?
Now she annoys me in lots of ways. She's stingy when we go out and makes me feel uncomfortable when we go to pay the bill. She's negative a lot of the time and a real downer. And she keeps on bringing up her ex-boyfriend. Go figure.
Why didn't I notice this at the start? Or was she just great at covering it all up?
Love Fog Freya
Hi Love Fog Freya,
You've got every right to feel confused. Now your headlights are on, some scratchy bits are surfacing it seems. Ouch!
I've been reading this book on relationships by Dr Barbara D'Angelis - Are You The One For Me? It's brilliant. I highly recommend it as a read for any person in a relationship. Sure, it was written years ago and addresses heterosexual relationships only, but I'm a firm believer that being human means we all just want to feel important and be treated with respect. What Dr D'Angelis says is in my opinion, applicable to any person in a relationship.
D'Angelis writes about commitment over compatibility. Think about it: we often commit before asking wise questions at the start to check on compatibility - yes, QUESTIONS! Not on the first date, but after a few weeks or so. If your partner doesn't like the questions, do you really think they're going to be a good communicator down the track? They should be enthusiastic over the fact you care enough to ask and are interested in them enough to get to know them better. This is maturity. It's brave, it's bold, and it's beautiful!
I suggest you ask your partner questions like:
1. How do you feel we can help each other grow?
2. What qualities are important to you in a partner?
3. Why do you want to be in a relationship?
Ask yourself these invaluable questions:
1. Is this the kind of person I'm excited for my family and friends to meet?
2. Is this person KIND?
3. Is this person someone I'd call my best friend - they've got my back?
4. Do I trust this person to be reliable and honest with me always?
As your partner answers, give your responses too. Be vulnerable and lead the way for closeness through openness. Note to self: write down the questions before you meet so you can remember them, but don't share the fact you made a list LOL.
And one more thing: keep asking questions throughout your relationship, no matter how short or long it lasts. It creates honest, open dialogue, which is the fastest way to get to the best place possible, despite any discomfort. Admittedly, it's not always easy, but once a habit, it's a game-changer.
I wish we'd all been taught communication skills at school. It saves a LOT of heartache down the track!