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So What You Saying?
People are quick to throw all sorts of terms and theories when they are feeling “warm and fuzzy” or need a rationale for why they did not do what they are supposed to do in their intimate relationships. As a marriage, family, and sexuality therapist and educator, I’ve noticed that many of my clients either do not have a relationship/love checklist or if they have one, they allow their boundaries to become blurred when they begin to have amorous feelings. Here are a few “relationship/love” tips you should consider before entering into your next romantic encounter:
There are three essential components to being happy and ready to be in a relationship: A. Identify what you need to be happy with yourself. B. Identify what you may need to do to enable your partner to be happy. C. Identify what your expectations are of being in a relationship. Being “ready” to be in a relationship means that you are physically, emotionally, intimately, and spiritually open to sharing who you are with someone else. Likewise, you also need to be receptive to who you partner is and where he/she is at across all four of those dimensions. Many people want to be in love or in a relationship but most people either aren’t ready, or ready to have a partner who is ready.
If your partner minimizes, negates or judges you as a person, or your actions, you may want to proceed with extreme caution…or not at all. Sometimes we fall in love with people at the expense of forgetting/neglecting who we are. Instead, it’s important to be with someone who doesn’t prevent us from remembering and honoring those traits that allow us to be the special individuals that we were put on this Earth to be.
Too often when couples begin relationships, they don’t take enough time getting to know one another across different contexts. People behave differently in front of their peers, their families, and their co-workers, and it is important to have an understanding of how they interact with the different people in their different circles. Moreover, people behave differently over time. The way that a person treats his/her parents today may be significantly different from the way that he/she may have interacted with his/her parents growing up. One of your relationship tasks is to allow the relationship to move slowly enough to learn who you are really are giving your heart to.
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Photo Credits: clintonpower.com.au, insidespelman.com