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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fresh Starts and Open Hearts

I decided to go with a lighter article today, as I am in a good mood. This is about the dating process and what many of us have been through. ~ Enjoy

Everyone goes through a breakup, at some point in their lives. We all learn how to make fresh starts after a relationship goes south. Most of us try to open ourselves up to finding love, but we don't always do it for the right reasons. You may think having an open heart means to be open to the possibility of finding love; However, it means so much more. Having an open heart, means taking a critical look at yourself and being able to honestly love yourself, even with all your flaws. It means being able to accept you are not a perfect person, and neither is a potential partner. Having an open heart is being open with yourself, as well as open to finding the right one for you: instead of, that person will do.

Many times we find ourselves going into relationships where we do not want to be alone so we latch on to a person who kind of fits what we are looking for. Sometimes we fall into comfortable and familiar roles, in relationships. This is why so many of us experience breakups and ask ourselves why we keep ending up with the same types of people, over and over again. This happens for a variety of reasons. Not only do many people seek out others to fulfill roles they are comfortable with, or jump into relationships out of a fear of loneliness, most people when they initially start out in a relationship put up facade's, of who they are trying to be for another, instead of who they truly are. I'm sure most of you have experienced this with a former lover, where they liked many of the same things you liked, until you had been together for a while, then their interests were different. Habits they tried to hide and personality traits they masked during the honeymoon phase come to the surface.

Perhaps it is this particular reason above all others that make relationships difficult for some. It isn't easy to take a hard look at your own flaws and faults. Sometimes it is easier for us to sugar coat those things, other times we may genuinely believe that someone else can make us a different person or help us to change, but this is not the case. We need to learn how to accept ourselves for who we are and not try and hide our idiosyncrasies. If we meet someone new, they should be able to love us for what is inside and underneath, as well as for what is outside.

This was a cycle of behavior I was able to break when I met my fiancée. We spent several weeks talking, for hours each day. We shared very painful information about our pasts, detailed our bad habits and flaws, and were as open and honest as we could be for the most part. This allowed us to accept those things that may otherwise have come to light later on in the relationship and caused stress for both of us. It brought us closer together as a couple when we first started out and has served us both well, as we have adjusted to each other and learned to complement each other.

For those of you who are looking to start a new relationship, try taking a fresh start, open heart approach. Look at yourself and determine the good things and not so flattering things about yourself, then when you set out to find someone, discuss sharing all of this with that person and see how it works for you. Try discussing what roles you feel comfortable with in a relationship, and open a dialogue with your potential partner. Remember, in many ways people use dating as a lengthy interview process. The earlier you can both share the unflattering things about each other in the process, the less time you will both waste looking for the right person. 

This will probably be a very different approach from what you are used to, and may seem awkward at first, but it has the advantage of weeding out people who would not make very good, long term mates. Courtship does not have to be only about posturing and appearances, because eventually even the shiniest polish wears off; ultimately, it is what you make of it.