Some relationships come with warning flags. Similar to the warning lights and gates at a railway crossing, ignoring them can place you in great danger. It’s almost like we have a built-in ‘relationship checker’ but the problem is it comes with an ‘OFF’ position, and often it gets into that position innocuously.
We were built for companionship and relationship, indeed no man is an island no man stands alone. But sadly the relationship tool does not come with a manual and we have to figure it out all by ourselves. With that said, however, there is no greater satisfaction in finding and enjoying companionship with a soulmate.
First up you have to know yourself before you can give yourself. Nothing new, but it needs to be said because it is one of the foundational stones in a relationship. Know for sure, that time will reveal the foundation of a relationship just like it does in the natural world around us. When all the padding and fluff are stripped away over time, what remains is the core and when the core is solid, the building has the best chance of withstanding the storms that do come.
Here are eight questions you should ask yourself about your relationship thereby ensuring the ‘relationship checker’ is in the ‘ON’ position.
- Am I an equal partner in this relationship? Am I in a ‘Child-Parent’ friendship? It is that we have ‘Responsible/Irresponsible’ roles? While not always a bad thing, but is it a source of irritation between you both?
- Am I settling for whatever reason? At its essence, all relationships involve some amount of compromise but it’s a horse of a different color when you know within yourself that you are connecting with someone way outside your values, mores, and traditions.
- Am I ignoring first impressions red flags? First impressions are lasting impressions for real and they are our dashboard lights before the head and heart flip the ‘override button’. One of the purest signals you will ever get will be first impressions.
- Am I growing in this relationship? Friendships that do not mature and make us better persons, becoming the best version of myself because of the interaction, mutuality, and stimulation will be severely tested over time. Iron still sharpens iron!
- Am I being myself? It’s all about being truly you and if this is not happening then be very careful how you proceed. It’s all well and fine being this ‘nice’ person but one day the mask will come off and the results can be hurtful. Someone once said it doesn’t take time to know someone, it takes honesty. I agree.
- Am I free to be myself? This is the flipside to #5. This occurs when one knows who they truly are but cannot be that person because they are ‘caged’ in the relationship.
- Am I trying to change this person? Admit it if you are, as this is not healthy for the relationship. Best to work on changing you if you so see the need to but not the other party.
- Am I being true to my values? Here I agree and quote from Matthew Kelly’s “The Seven Levels of Intimacy” an excellent read if I might say so:
‘A man’s true self lies within his values, principles, morals, and ethics. He can’t be his true self if you “take him away from these things”. If you do take him away from them, you can be certain of one thing: sooner or later, he will leave you to get back to his true self. Excerpt From: Kelly, Matthew. “The Seven Levels of Intimacy.” Beacon Publishing, 2005. iBooks.