How to find a middle ground
There are many potential causes of conflict in relationships, especially in the early days when you are first finding out about each other’s boundaries and values. It is impossible to always agree on issues so there will be times when you both have to be understanding of the other person’s perspective, and agree to disagree. The ability to do this in a way that respects both people is often the deciding factor in whether a relationship stands the test of time.
Middle ground on money
This is a highly contentious issue in relationships but also one of the hardest to talk about, especially when you are first dating and getting to know each other. Dating can be expensive and if the person you are dating is more affluent than you, it may mean you have very different expectations of the ways you will spend your dates.
Don’t be tempted to go along with dates that are beyond your means in an effort to impress someone. You are setting up expectations which you will be unable to fulfil further down the line, as well as building up a lot of stress for yourself along the way.
Come clean with your date. If they judge you on your wealth then they probably aren’t the best match for you. Most people will respect you for your honesty and want you to feel comfortable and happy on dates. For example, the compromise may be going somewhere more expensive once a month rather than every date.
Middle of the road feelings
Often one half of a couple is keener on pursuing the relationship than the other, especially in the early stages when you are dating. Different people take different amounts of time to form an attachment, but it’s important not to let an imbalance in feelings put you off giving the relationship a go.
The suggested middle ground is to give it six dates before you make up your mind. This way your nerves will have settled and you will be able to make an informed decision, having really had a chance to get to know the other person.
If someone is very keen on you but you don’t feel the same, don’t be tempted to say you do because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. This is one area where you should always be true to yourself.
Respect of differences
Our values are the things that make us unique and are defined over time based on our life experiences, culture and background. They are not things to be compromised lightly, so it can be very difficult if you get involved with someone who has opposing values.
The key to finding middle ground when it comes to values is respect. Can you each respect the other person’s viewpoint and resist the urge to try and convince them that you are right and they are wrong? Can the relationship move forward in terms of marriage and family if your values are very different? These may be difficult questions to answer but they are vital to the health of the relationship, and ensuring that neither of you end up feeling compromised and resentful.
Middle of the bed
Physical intimacy is what separates a friendship from a romantic relationship, but there are no rules as to when physical intimacy begins between couples. Some people are keen to get physical straight away while others want to wait until after they are married. Between these two extremes lie most people and it will vary enormously.
Conversation is the key. Talk about ‘it’ before you do ‘it’ and be honest about your feelings, even if they differ from your partner’s. Only in this way will you be able to find a middle ground where you both feel valued and respected, and true intimacy can grow.
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