So many clients contact us because their relationships have gotten out of their control. They feel hopeless and helpless because their romantic partner has total control and they have none. How did they lose control of their relationship in the first place?
When we meet someone and begin dating it is crucial that we focus on the important issues when choosing to take a chance at a relationship. Many people are looking for “instant relationships”, but the dating phase is there for a reason. Before you emotionally, physically and psychologically invest yourself in someone it is important to learn whether or not they are looking for the same things as you. Now granted, the first words on a first date should not necessarily be “Are you ready to get married?” . However, the question “What are you looking for?” is acceptable. Not everyone will provide a truthful answer. They could think they are ready for a relationship when in reality they are not. You will be much better off in the long run if you discover this in the beginning, before it’s too late. You don’t want to find yourself in a relationship that is only making one of you happy. It is important to ask the right questions in the early stages.
Questions to Ask When Dating
1) Are you looking for a relationship?
2) What does being in a relationship mean to you?
3) What do you expect out of a relationship, and what can someone expect out of you?
4) When would you consider monogamy appropriate?
5) How long would you need to be with someone before you would consider yourself in a relationship?
6) How long would you need to date someone before you would consider being monogamous ?
7) What about your past relationships do you miss?
8) What have you learned from your past relationships?
9) What about your past relationships do you never want to go through again?
Now of course you don’t have to drill someone all these questions in the first hour of meeting them, but these answers are more important than knowing where the person went to high school, their favorite song or color, or what kind of car they drive. These are the “road signs” of what you can reasonably expect from this person if you decide to take the relationship “journey” with them. If you let them drive solo without any input from you, you given them complete control of where the relationship is headed.
Keep in mind while this person is sharing their thoughts on the subject, don’t be afraid to speak up. Let them know what your feelings are so they know what to expect from you. Otherwise you are giving them all the control. We are all in relationships with everything and everyone around us, but are they defined in such a way that our needs and desires met? Yes, we have a relationship with our postal delivery person. They bring our mail to us and deliver our mail when we send it out. That works for us. You know what to expect from them, they know how to meet your needs, and everyone’s happy. The same needs to go for your romantic relationships. Stagnant relationships can be blamed on silence. No one is expressing their needs yet waiting for the other one to “magically” figure it out. Take control and stop leaving it up to fate or fairies.
When you start a new job, you get your job description, your salary, vacation time, sick time, benefits, advancement opportunities and when you can expect raises. Could you imagine just starting a job without knowing that information? No. Then why start a relationship without knowing pertinent information? How can you have any control without that information? Let’s say your new job said you would get a raise in 90 days or that your benefits would kick in. But then nothing happened. Would you just wait around for the company to “remember” or would you bring it to their attention? Of course you would, say something! So why would you be afraid to discuss the fact that your relationship isn’t evolving? Why leave it up to someone else? If you leave everything up to someone else, you relinquish control. If the company promised you great things, and great changes, but nothing ever happened, how long would you stay before you quit and looked for another job? Surely not forever. So why are you waiting on promises with zero delivery before you move on from a relationship? Would you just complain about your job and how unhappy you are and expect sympathy from those around you if you are unwilling to speak up, change jobs, and stand up for yourself? No. If your loved ones are constantly hearing about your unhappiness in your relationship, yet you are doing nothing about it, they will lose any sympathy towards your plight as well.
People tend to say “When is our relationship going to get better”, or “When is our relationship going to change?” Note the use of the word “our”. Our means two people, one of them is you. If it’s your relationship, why do you have so little control over it? Why are you not changing it? Its yours, isn’t it? How did you allow your relationship to go in a direction you didn’t want it to? Why do you have something you don’t want? Take responsibility for what is yours. And realize if you can’t fix it, it is time to let it go. Don’t you owe it to yourself to make yourself happy? Why leave it up to someone else as if you have no control over your own happiness? Ask yourself if your partner is happy or content. If the answer is yes, then the question becomes “Do happy people make changes?” No. If you are happy with your house do you buy another one? No. If you are happy with your job do you go find another one and quit? No. So why are you waiting for the happy person to make changes? They won’t, they are happy. It is up to you. Take back control over your relationship and of your life.