Dating 101

What if he's not the one? Learn how you can tell.

This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. It's actually good thing to question it. 

What If He's Not The One?

This is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. You want to get this right, even with the best of efforts it can go wrong.

Attraction:

You are attracted to what you are used to. This can be a good or a bad thing. 

In the beginning everything is new and fresh. A new face, new voice, new body and of course new sexual energy. The mystery is there. You are excited to see your partner. You wonder what he will wear. Although, this is a fun and exciting stage this is where many people make mistakes. It's easy to fall in love with love, rather than in love with the person.

You may fall in love with someone that makes you feel safe. You may fall in love with someone that is emotionally distant. This is because there is something in your past that is familiar. This is where you need to be careful. If your father wasn't available emotionally, you may be attracted to this man for all the wrong reasons. You may also feel lonely, and are just trying to fill a void.

The sex is amazing, this can give you a skewed vision of the person. Although, chemistry and sex are important in a relationship. It's important that it doesn't cloud whom the real person is, and why you are in the relationship.

Once the newness of the relationship fades off, are you still interested in your partner sexually? Meaning, you still are attracted? Or, did you just rush into the physical stuff?

Fit:

Just as personalities can blend together well, they can also clash. Even when the sex is great, you can still not get along. Sometimes, two extraverts can actually clash. Just as two introverts can clash. What does this mean? There is no balance in the relationship. What's important is that you compliment your partner.

At the end of the day you can say, 'he grounds me.' 'He helps me get out more.' Both, are actually very important. Have you ever met someone that is always doing something? It can be draining. Even, the person that is always doing something can feel drained. So, if you are a calming person that enjoys a night in now and then, you could actually compliment that person. They key is, they need to be ready for it. 

We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. No one likes to have their weaknesses thrown in their face. So, if you are a balanced person you can bring that to the relationship.

Quirks:

Everyone has issues. This means that you do, too.

When you are in a relationship you enter the intimacy zone. That is the good news, but it's also the bad news. What does that mean? When you enter the intimacy zone, there is no one that gets you like your partner. But, it also means there is no one that can hurt you like your partner. 

So, what does it mean to have a good relationship? It means that neither person is perfect. If your partner expects you to be perfect, then he is not the one for you.

Money:

Money is one of the biggest stressors in a marriage. This is something that you need to talk about openly and be transparent about. Meaning both people need to know what is coming in and what is going out.

If you don't have children, have you talked about what you will do when you have children? Will one person stay home? If not, will the child go to daycare or have a nanny?

The subject of money creates anxiety. It's important to talk about the meaning of it. The sooner you talk about it the better. It can prevent some nasty arguments later in the relationship.

Family:

Get to know your partner's family. This will tell you a lot about your partner. I have worked with couples for nearly 10 years. I don't think I have ever come across a couple that didn't report some type of problem with the in-laws. This doesn't mean you have to leave your partner if you have problems with the in-laws. But, it will help give you a better understanding of your partner.

So, if your partner comes from an unhealthy family does that mean he is not the one? Not necessarily. What's important is how they have dealt with the wounds from the past. How do they see their parents relationship? This is a time where individual therapy is important. If he hasn't processed the past, then he will bring it to the relationship. And, chances are he will take it out on you.

Managing Conflict:

Conflict happens, even in the best of marriages. What's important is how you manage the conflict. Meaning, you need to repair the conflict. If you don't, then the conflict isn't over. Meaning it is right there in the middle of the relationship. 

Also, what is your conflict style? Are you conflict avoidant or are you emotionally explosive? Then, how do you repair? Do you have a resting period? Are you able to talk about it again, or do you just ignore it as if nothing happened?

This is where a Therapist can be helpful. Learning how to manage conflict is one of the most important things in a relationship. If you don't, you will grow apart from one another.

I understand why you are questioning, is he the one? Studies have found that nearly 50% of relationships end in divorce. But, if you learn how to build understanding in the relationship you won't become a statistic.

If you liked this article, there are more in Dating 101. You will find helpful tips that will create the healthy and happy relationship that you want.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping singles in San Mateo, CA who are looking for support finding love. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.

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