First 30 Days Blog

17 aug

Authenticity

The honeymoon is over and we find that dining by candlelight makes us squint,

And that all the time

I was letting him borrow my comb and hang up his wet raincoat in my closet,

I was really waiting

To stop letting him.

- Judith Viorst

Many of us are “someone else” in the beginning of relationships lest the person we are attracted to really see who we are. Therefore who they fall in love with is not us at all and who we fall in love with are not them at all.

When we start to “stop letting them” do all the things we let them do, that is when the battle begins. They are shocking us; we are shocking them. We try to talk it out and find we are speaking different languages.

The rest of the relationship is devoted to battling it out with this person and sighing and dreaming of the person we fell in love with and waiting for him or her to come back. Newsflash: Who you are fighting with is who they really are. The person you are now dancing the destructive dance with is who they really are just as your person is who you really are.

Sometimes people give us hints as to who they really are in the beginning and we choose to ignore it. Later on it becomes a battle. We can’t say they didn’t give us the information. Sometimes the warning is more than a glimpse, it’s a billboard. Later we will find ourselves saying, “I should have known when….”

Yes hindsight is 20/20 but when we are willfully blind, it is not that we can’t see…it is that we choose to not see. We got into this relationship, we had hopes for it…we’re not too upset right now…it’s only one indiscretion, only one slip up…it means nothing…everyone makes mistakes…everyone is human….

Stop ignoring red flags that let you know, in living color, that you are not going to make it with this person. Stop excusing inexcusable behavior early on that you will not excuse later on. Stop being someone you are not. Be authentically you from the beginning and don’t give your heart away too early.

Use the early stages to OBSERVE who this other person is and allow him or her to respond and react to who you REALLY ARE. If you realize, several weeks into it, that you simply don’t communicate the same way, don’t see important things the same way, and are destined to fight over things neither of you will budge on…it’s NOT the relationship for you no matter how wonderful things seemed a few weeks earlier. Learn to distinguish between “good vibes” and “good early compatibility” and the ingredients to a successful, long-term relationship. Don’t be so swept away by the early signs of goodness that you miss the later signs of not-so-good.

To learn to be okay with who you are is a big step. But learning to figure out who someone else is…really is…is a bigger step. Before you start dating think about what you want and what things are non-negotiable. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Stand up for something or you’ll fall for anything.” If you don’t know who you are and what you want, you will just go with the flow in a relationship that has “DOOM” written all over it.

Without early authenticity and early objectivity, true love and good relationships cannot and will not develop. Stop chasing the drug of puppy love and learn to keep your head screwed on a little straighter during the early stages of courtship. Observe. Observe. Observe. Keep the checks and balances. Know who you are and what you want. And be ready to walk away when it’s clear that the relationship is never going to be all that you want it to be.

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Posted by Susan J. Elliott on August 17th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments Read related posts in , , ,

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