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When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

Being a member of the singles’ squad is one difficult thing to give up on. People who are fabulously single often fall in love with their independence and they replace that need to be with someone by casually dating several people, each for a month or two tops. This dynamic lifestyle rarely gets boring or dull – each day seems to be another mini adventure you can’t wait to share with the rest of your squad.

Giving this up can be rather difficult, but if you’re thinking about it, this probably means that you have found a person who has the potential to make your “sacrifice” worthy. Chances are that you forgot how to communicate with someone you actually wish to see more of, which is why you should try to switch from a fling to a relationship. No one said serious commitment; you don’t have to become a magician who pulls off an outstanding disappearance act just yet.

Stop Playing Games

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    People who date for fun play all sorts of games – how far you decide to go with this depends on what kind of person you are. The furthest extreme that can serve as an example for what I’m trying to say is Barney from How I Met Your Mother and his Playbook, where he invents some rather creative scenarios to get girls to sleep with him.

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    Personally, I don’t know a person who puts in this much effort, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a real-life version of Barney out there. Well, in case you want to even consider being in a relationship, all those games need to stop and you need to be your real self when you go on dates.

    Make Peace with Vulnerability

    Which brings me to my next point – I know that it’s a lot easier to pretend you’re someone else because, if your date doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not the real you. This is the point when you need to cut the crap and expose yourself. You’ll have to risk not being liked.

    There’s a lot for you to gain, which makes that risk worthy; finding the right person to be in a relationship with is difficult and sure, you can get hurt, but on the other hand, you can find a partner to share your life with.

    Look for a Partner

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      When I say partner, I mean exactly that; you shouldn’t be searching for a protector to take care of you, nor should you do the opposite and look for a project, a person who you will work on. Neither of those scenarios has a happy ending.

      When considering a relationship, you should make sure that your potential special someone is a mature person who shares your vision of what it means to be a couple. That would be enough, for starters, because you shouldn’t think long-term right away.

      The Talk

      This can be a bit awkward for some people, but it’s a matter of your health and it needs to be done. The talk about previous experiences with STDs, if there were any, about their previous partners and similar talks can be done without you sounding like a controlling maniac and looking like you’re crazy with jealousy.

      Just ask them to be honest with you. Let them share their experiences so that you know where you stand and if there’s a reason for you to be worried. There’s no need to go into unnecessary details, like numbers and specifics, if one of you feels that it’s too early for something like that.

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      Slow Pace

      Beginnings of relationships are the most wonderful and the most exciting thing in the world. I love being blinded by a newfound respect for love and feeling like I’m walking on clouds – there’s nothing like the honeymoon period.

      However, this is also the time when boundaries should be set, which is why you need to steer clear from neediness and unnecessary pressure. You need to give your partner some breathing space. I know it’s difficult not to smother and shower with affection, and you should do that, but in controlled conditions and in reasonable amounts.

      One more thing – you’re probably very excited to share your new special someone with your friends and family, but this isn’t something you should force because it builds unnecessary pressure. If things work out, there will be plenty of time for them to get to know your partner and the other way around, so be patient. In the meantime, enjoy the time you spend with your new partner.

      Avoid Compensating

      It’s impossible for you to be completely objective. Sure, you’ll search for a little piece of your previous love in a new partner, or perhaps you’ll go with the exact opposite and look for someone who has nothing in common with your previous partners. If you truly want to enter a loving relationship, you need to leave the past behind.

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      Therefore, if your previous relationship ended due to a lack of ambition, you’ll probably look for someone who has a successful career. However, this might be a bit of a problem in the future, because people who are obsessed with their work don’t have a lot of free time.

      You should look at a person for what they are, as opposed to what they are not, because that’s exactly what you’ll get.

      Don’t Expect Anything

      Having expectations can really ruin things for you. When you first meet a person, it’s in your human nature to award them with a set of characteristics, based on an impression which may or may not be true. You need to do your best to distance yourself from this because that’s how unrealistic expectations are born.

      Instead of imagining a version of your new partner by idealizing them, you should make an effort to get to know that new person in your life and discover who they really are. Learn about their past. It’s a healthier way to start a relationship than daydreaming, although it’s not too bad to let your imagination go wild from time to time.

      The bottom line is that you never know until you try, but it’s not just a matter of whether you’ll dare to make an actual attempt, but it’s also a matter of how. Healthy relations between people, not just lovers, require consideration and understanding. So, you should do your best to let it grow in a healthy atmosphere, without being concerned about the possible outcome.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

      “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

      Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

      You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

      Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

      1. Take a step back and evaluate

      When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

      1. What is the problem?
      2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
      3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
      4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
      5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

      Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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      2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

      If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

      At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

      Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

      3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

      Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

      4. Process your thoughts/emotions

      Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

      1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
      2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
      3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
      4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

      5. Acknowledge your thoughts

      Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

      By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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      Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

      6. Give yourself a break

      If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

      7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

      A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

      Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

      After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

      8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

      As Helen Keller once said,

      “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

      Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

      9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

      In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

      1. What’s the situation?
      2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
      3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
      4. Take action on your next steps!

      After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

      10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

      A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

      Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

      For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

      11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

      No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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      12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

      No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

      13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

      There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

      After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

      Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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