Or in this case, the relationship.
One of the questions asked most often pertains to where a relationship is going. Be it a marriage that is off the tracks, a new dating partner or a long standing lover, everyone wants to know "where is this going!"
A little curiosity is a reasonable thing. We may be tired of a lover who cannot seem to commit or a husband who cannot decide whether he is down for being one anymore. Its important to evaluate the relationship and its trajectory to ensure that you are not giving too much of yourself or loosing self respect.
Notice how I didn't say "wasting your time"? That is because each relationship, no matter how long or short, happy or sad is a learning experience and scoff at that all you want but each one is vital to your evolution and journey on the broader level but also the romantic one. We practice EVERYTHING! We practice playing golf, we practice walking before we master it, hell we even practice kissing on our hands before the planting one on another! Why would love be any different?
What happens, however, when our natural curiosity begins to veer into obsession? When we become too focused on the destination we can really slap a big ol' STOP sign on any connection. But how do we know whether we are just idly contemplating the "what if's" or veering into being obsessed?
This is why I have created a list of things to keep in mind when contemplating the pace of a relationship. These are things you want to avoid, remind yourself of or generally keep in the back of your head when it comes to assessing your relationships pace and destination.
Before I get into that don't forget that I am offering up a lowered rate for the summer months!!! Additionally new callers receive 5 free minutes (you MUST email me prior to coming in for a phone or IM chat!) and existing customers who rate and leave a detailed comment receive 2 additional free minutes!!!
Alright...now on to that list :0)
~Relationships are and should be organic.
What does this mean? It means that just like every plant grows differently, every outfit looks different depending on the person wearing it and every child has their own unique personality, relationships too are not one-size-fits-all!
Just because your best friends sisters girlfriend got engaged after only 6 months of dating doesn't mean that you are doomed to become the crazy cat lady because your boyfriend of 3 years has not yet proposed. Every relationship and those within it move at their own pace and there will be times when your pace may be faster than theirs or even slower, for that matter. Which brings me to....
~Communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE!
Any reader that you speak with who is worth their salt is going to advise you to speak with the person you are with. We can certainly help you to understand the path ahead for the relationship but ultimately you need to be able to communicate your wants and needs with your partner. If I have to hear "but every time I bring it up he gets mad and goes MIA" I may scream. First if you are asking every other week whether you will get married, I would get irritated too, so lay off it for a bit (see my article on becoming too destination focused). If you rarely ask or this is the first time you have asked and they have that reaction? Well then the issue is not whether you will evolve in the relationship but should you.
~Not every relationship SHOULD evolve.
Lets be honest not all relationships are going to result in marriage and not all relationships should. One of the first things I look at when I check into the path for a relationship isn't just where its going but if it is a viable connection that should proceed further. Whether you are involved with someone who clearly doesn't have their heart in the relationship or who treats you poorly understanding that sometimes letting go is better than continuing to push things forward is the best method. Its also the most difficult. Where our hearts are concerned we all tend to get rather obstinate. Doing a status check to see if your relationship is indeed toxic will help you to understand both the connection and yourself better. Relationships should be uplifting, not something which bring you further down.
~Patience is a virtue.
My husband and I have been in each others lives for 8 years. We have been living together for 5 of those years and married for nearly 4 of them. What does this tell you? That sometimes the best things come to those who wait, and nurture them. We didn't always have smooth sailing and there were periods of separation as we each grew, learned a few things and experienced life but we came back to one another organically. If you are too afraid to have moments of separation be it a breakup or pause in the relationship or even physical separation to give one another space this hints at a much bigger issue with the relationship you have with yourself .
Additionally things do take time. Anyone can rush into something and then potentially regret it down the road but taking your time and learning about one another allows you to build a stable foundation so that when times are tough its not flight instead of fight. If you have just started dating someone and already you need to know where things are going its time to get yourself in check. Allow things to unfold and reveal themselves.
This should always be your first priority. If you have been involved with someone for a long time and they still cannot even bother to call you their girlfriend or introduce you to their family its time to have a talk. If you cannot get them to open up or even discuss the topic this gets you back to assessing whether things should even move forward. If they come in and out of your life and cannot be bothered to offer up some consistency then its time to take a break. Live your life, experience your life and if things come back around then you will know that things were meant to do so, but its an issue of timing. If they don't then you will know they were not right for you in the first place.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in relationships, aside from becoming too destination focused is to sacrifice ourselves. We cannot make a relationship or another person bigger and more important than ourselves. Our needs and desires are just as important as theirs. While we may not necessarily always be on the same time frame regarding moving things forward the ability to communicate these things is pivotal.