Growing up reading the tales of Prince charming and their loving damsels, all of us in general have been solidly fed with the clich belief that “true love” is all that is required to glue two people together. But with time, having to experience the emotional rollercoaster of relationships myself and the hops from first dates to breakups and to some very long lasting relationships, along with being a psychoanalyst, my outlook on the recipe of the cement that is supposed to hold two people together has changed altogether in many different ways.
With time, one learns that it is only practical to understand the implications, requirements and expectations of a long lasting relationship. You wouldn’t want to ruin a candle lit romance in a single blow, right? Nobody does. But as most of us couples these days, seemingly have a very strong tendency to murder the romantic vibes in only a few meetings, provided the rate of breakups and the amount of streaming down mascara we are seeing these days, it is only intelligent to know how to not self-sabotage a potential romantic relationship, even before the shift from intros to a movie night happens.
A lot of follies that young couples are committing these days tend to fall into approximately a triple-triplet of categories and these nine septas of self caused destruction mechanisms are often labelled as ‘faults in our stars’. I mean, it’s only wise to place the blame on the stars, no? So sparing the stars for once and starting from the very beginning, and mind you folks that the beginning is not the first date, but the first meeting.
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER
While I totally agree that the first impression is not the last one but it undoubtedly is the first stimulus to trigger a possibility. So one must make sure that after the potential liking, they don’t stock things about themselves in the other person’s eyes that don’t exist.
And by that, I mean that it’s only wise to be yourself and not to be the stereotypical girl that is thought of as the ideal figure for a girlfriend or wife, because sooner or later, in order for a relationship to last, the facade has to come off and you will have to be comfortable eating food in front of each other.
2. TELLING TOO MUCH OFTEN ENDS UP IN TOO LESS
After the initial impression, comes the time of dating and sharing. But, there is a difference between sharing and over-sharing. So don’t go from ‘Hi’ to ‘the-names-of-our-kids’ in like 20 mins flat. Because that’s absolutely not called I’m- trying-to-be-comfortable, rather it’s called, “I’ll-talk-strangle-you-with-my-turf-even-if-you’re-not-at-all-interested.” So, avoid that!
Your potential partner does not need to know how many times you use the loo in an hour or how peanut butter makes you gag. They simply don’t want to know the chemical formulas of your anti-depressants and the therapists fee that comes with it. So, don’t go overboard too fast. Hold it slow and well-paced.
3. OPINIONS CAN GET ASSERTIVE:
(And definitely relationship-killing.) Being the ‘Yea-you-believe-this-but-I’ll-convince- you-that-my-opinion-is-what-you-call-a-fact-and-that-you-should-change-your-opinion-because-I’m-saying-so!” sort won’t get you anywhere. Everyone has their own religious, social, political and philosophical sanctuaries, and having an in-between agreement in these things with your partner is essential, but at least let them to first become your partner, perhaps?
So, keep the conversation light and let it build. Nobody wants to date a seemingly over-confident and highly opinionated fanatic. Seriously! No offence, but nobody wants that.
4. EX-TALK CAN EARN YOU ANOTHER EX
There comes the biggest destruction bomb shell, the “my-ex-was-a-bag-of-vomit” talk. Your ‘possibly’ new counterpart does not definitely need to know about how very low you think about a person who too at some point in your life was your ‘potential’ counterpart. Damages to know? And perhaps what the new one actually threatens to know is that you don’t think about your ex at all? Because you don’t want to build up the Maslow’s theory of hierarchy and prove to him that he’s here because the ex is not, right? So don’t make him feel like a punching bag or the therapist you could not afford to pay for.
5. DESPERATION is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO DISLIKE
You know that girl in your school, right? The one that was very very desperate to be a part of the crowd? And you absolutely don’t want to be like her too, right? SO, DONT BE. Really, man, there is a want, there is a desire, there is a need and then there is a DISEASE; the contagious epidemic of Desperation that has been known to eat away all the essence of curiosity, dignity and attraction from a relationship.
After acting like you’ll die if they leave, they are not going to want to stay, I swear. So be balanced. Like, I miss you but it’s okay for you to be away because you too need your space, like in an unsaid way. Don’t overdo the texting and calling and don’t expect immediate replies either, be more accepting and have faith. 15 missed calls and 20 texts don’t say ‘I love you’, what they actually say is, ‘I’m extremely needy and sticky and desperate and won’t let you be, without overcrowding your space.” So, desperation is a BIG No.
6. Social Media mishaps
Then comes the ‘partner exhibition’, the digital sort, where it is more abstract than it should be and more coloured than the actual picture which leaves one to overdone expectations and overdone disappointments. And of course, the instant change of your ‘single’ profile status to that of ‘in a relationship’, only to land back to ‘single’ when things don’t work out and giving a chance to everyone in your friends list, to know that you had a “failed fling”.
Why give people an opportunity to draw gossip from your life? Pushing the trigger in haste might end up murdering your ‘could be a solid thing’ relationship in cold blood, with a bonus of a number of eyewitnesses ready to testify your crime. So, build it up gradually, wait, understand and then make a move. Unless of course you think ‘clingy’ is still in fashion and that third parties help build love for people. (Note the sarcasm.)
7. JUDGING IS FUDGING
I admit that it’s almost a human tradition to judge but it still can’t justify itself for being under the category of unattractive. There is a slight and sometimes unnoticeable difference between keeping it a light note humorous judgment and to give a full-fledged shout out that you think of yourself as saint perfect and the others as designated trash pots.
So, don’t let the other person get the impression that you are too into yourself and that you have a very very small acceptance of anything that goes against your beliefs. You don’t want to give negative vibes by bluntly stating how you think that only you know how things should be and that you totally deserve to micro and macro manage everything and every one who by any means ends up in your social zone. So, don’t try the ‘what you think’ or ‘what they should’ on them, as these are severe danger markers.
8. REALISM MAKES UP FOR ALOT OF POTENTIAL DISAPPOINTMENTS
And then when you have finally built up a strong foundation and you are now into each other enough to expect a bit more than the previous record, make sure that ‘too much’ is not the case. The early romantic phase is like a ‘to be nurtured plant’, if you ignore it or block its sunlight, although it might previously have potential to bloom, it will wilt. So don’t let the cute phase illusion you into thinking that this is how things are going to be forever, because sooner or later reality has to come out and give things a swing.
What you need is to be realistic and accepting, that even perfectionists are not perfect and then yet again people slurp, burp and fart and although it may annoy a bit, it’s still only human. And to move on, you have to get over this activation barrier. Let them have a little privilege and get a little privilege from them.
9. MOULDING IS FITTING
My constant repetition of the fact that ideals don’t last forever is to make you realise that you can’t have your way in everything and anything. You are not going to fit in sure blocks and in sure others, they are not going to fit. And you will argue and to make it last, if you think it’s worthy of it, you will definitely have to compromise. So, both the extreme approaches of super subservience and super dominance are wrong. You have to be counterparts, cooperate and make it work.
10. DON’T LOSE YOURSELF
Some of us are afraid that if we disagree, we’ll scare the other person away. Know your partner. Sort out your fair grounds, the grey areas where you both can sit and disagreeably agree rather than agreeably disagree. There is a famous African saying, “Never accept a shirt from a naked man”, which means that if you think that by forgetting your own existence and getting your being totally wrapped around your partner is not going to make you lose your originality then you are wrong. Be the person they fell in love with. Accept their flaws and let them accept yours in return. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in another person and our relationship with that person that we lose our originality. So build up commonality without losing your individuality.
The care of these above-mentioned blunders is surely going to improve and perhaps even beautify things for you and your partner. You never know if your miss right is the Ella of Cinders or your Mr. right is the ugly beast, so try your fate a couple of times. Jump in the pool and risk it. Someday, perhaps a life guard might jump in to save you from drowning and be your saving knight in shining armour and then you end up telling your kids the story of ‘how I met your mother.’ So have faith and if you want it to happen give it your all. It’s never okay to have that one big regret forever in your mind. Stay Blessed!
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Do you think these follies can mar a potential romance?
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé