Dating Tip #6: Be firm

Ah, the disease to please! The angst of adapting, the cost of compromising. All generally prevalent for the first 3 months of dating and the last months of parting. The curse of women (or men) who love too much. The broken hearted who pay painfully for the pleasure of painting a premature future. The disappointment of divorcees and divided families. If only we set, and kept, the boundaries we believed in, before we forgot the failure of being firm.

When you don’t care, the stakes don’t matter. In much the same way as you can afford to be generous with someone when you know they can’t hurt you. How many of us bend over backwards for others when we need or want our partners to like us and love us? How many of us forget how easy it was to dismiss the guy we weren’t interested in, or to ditch the job we didn’t want? Why? Because it didn’t matter in the beginning or it simply was important at the time. The odds didn’t mean a damn because…we…simply…didn’t….care! And when you have nothing to lose, before you get invested in someone or something, you have power. To chose, to be, to enjoy, to be respected.

It took me a long, long time to believe that men need to hunt. That women need to allow men to hunt.  That men need to chase and that women need to learn to prolong that chase. Till death us do part, in fact. Twenty years of dealing with the regrets, mistakes and pain of so many people who simply failed to understand the value of sticking to boundaries. The more you value yourself, the more you need to stick to your principles and make someone prove their value to you, instead of giving up your worth for theirs. Too often, too quickly and too easily do we allow ourselves to be taken in, or settle for less than we deserve.  It is a statistical fact that the nature of a relationship is determined by the boundaries, or lack thereof, that we set in the beginning of a relationship. We all know, after the fact, that it is far easier to train a dog in the beginning, or to set a routine with babies, than it is to try and get them to change afterwards.

The more direct, and clear your communication and actions are in the beginning, will steer the course of your relationship. The harder we have had to fight or achieve something, the more we value we attach to it. A stitch in time, saves nine. Trust me, I have been there, I know. And counselled enough people over the past two decades to make a judgement call on a statistical truth. Make your intentions, your boundaries and your communication clear in the beginning, and stick to them. Or live to regret them.

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