To cultivate a healthy, purposeful relationship you have to be honest with both yourself and the other person about what it is that your goals are. Otherwise, you are wasting both of your time and potentially causing a lot of unnecessary heartache and the subsequent recovery process for the two of you down the road, however far that ends up being.
Do we both want this to be a long-term thing?
Are we just friends with benefits?
Are we monogamous or able to see other people?
Are children in both of our ideal futures?
Be on the same page…yes, pages turn, however, if you don’t at least start together how can you expect to end together?
The key to this is being honest with yourself. The problem with being honest with yourself, truly honest…is that it takes a lot of hard work. It takes looking inward at things you may not like. It takes spending time alone and writing and meditating. It means putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and pushing your own limits to find out what you’re made of, what you enjoy, and where you want to go.
So what’s the catch?
The world in which we live is full of dopamine triggers. Social media, notification bubbles on your phone, Amazon prime…feeling good, albeit temporarily, is so damn close to us at all times, why be uncomfortable or make yourself “bored” meditating?
It’s too easy NOT to get to know yourself, that’s why I’ve found so few people do it. It’s more fun to get sloppy drunk 3 or 4 nights per week, to wake up in the morning and surf facebook rather than introspective writing. Read the Meditations or Seneca? Nah, Instagram is way more fun!
I’ve made this mistake a time or two, but the important thing (in my opinion) is that I’ve done everything I could to learn from them. Most blame the other person, the situation, the circumstances… anything to avoid sitting down and dissecting themselves from the inside out.
Doing that hurts, sometimes a lot. The only way out is through. It’s Stoic, it’s simple, it’s true.