How to learn more about the person you are dating
Many relationships end badly because the people involved really didn’t get to know each other very well beforehand. They accepted the public face of their date – the one that says the right things and has impeccable manners – but had never seen the other side, the one that suffers from road rage or has a meltdown when things don’t go their way. This is because from a very young age we are all taught to hide those aspects of ourselves that won’t get approval from the people we love or society as a whole.
The reality is we all have other sides to us – if these are seen and accepted by the person we are dating the decision to commit to a relationship will be built on much firmer foundations. There is less likelihood that you will feel duped or disappointment when you see your date’s true colours. How do you learn more about another person? Here are some suggestions.
The more you are comfortable sharing things about yourself the more you give your date permission to do the same. Talk to them about your hopes and dreams for the future – what your plans are and where you see yourself in five years time. Open up to them about the people and events that have influenced and informed your choices as an adult and don’t be afraid to tell them about your mistakes as along with your triumphs. Ask them openly about who they are and how they came to be where they are in their life right now and try not to judge them on individual events. The more open, honest and non-judgemental you are about your own past the more open you will be to hearing about theirs.
Invite them into your life
It is easy to see someone in the best light when you are both dressed up and in a nice restaurant but take a risk and invite them over when you are in your casual clothes and your house is not pristine. Let them see you as your friends and family see you and trust that if they can’t accept you as you are then it is probably best to let them go.
Introducing them to your family and friends is also a really good idea because they may see aspects of your date’s personality that you don’t see and they are sure to let you know if they think you aren’t suited. While relationships can survive if your partner doesn’t get on with your friends and family they have a much better chance of surviving if they do so it’s important to test the water early on.
Don’t avoid anger or stress
Life can be difficult and in order to know someone fully it is important to see how they cope with stress and anger. There is no need to create a stressful situation, things will arise naturally, but don’t avoid seeing someone when they, or you, are having a hard time – instead see how you can work together – it may be that your coping strategies compliment each other and what might have seemed overwhelming for one person is easier with two. If you avoid seeing each other when things are tough it will come as a shock when you are faced with a situation which challenges you both.
Take some time out together
Taking time away from the normal day to day routine and demands of work and family is an important part of getting to know each other. Having a weekend away without phones, computers and other distractions will mean you have to work together to negotiate where you go and what you do. The extended period of time in each other’s company will reveal a lot more than many dates will.
There are subjects that are still considered to be taboos – the most common being money and politics. As uncomfortable as it might be these are essential items on the agenda if you really want to get to know your date better. Probably not on the first date, but at some point before you make a commitment, it is a good idea to really explore whether your beliefs and values on these subjects are compatible.
Remember there is no rush, take all the time you need to get to know someone and trust your heart as much as your head to tell you if they are right for you.
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