I noticed myself nodding in recognition as I ticked off the kinds of issues that clients I have seen as a therapist for the past three decades have presented in our sessions.They range from not knowing the person in the mirror well enough to being disillusioned by the person on the other side of the bed. If you could be any person for a day, who would it be? Do your parents still live in the house you grew up in?
These questions are key primers, the ones to ask after you’ve said hello, and settled in somewhere comfortable. Of course this seasoned woman has had time and life enough to make these queries. At this point in my life, I have accumulated experiences and life lessons that I desire to share with a partner.I consider myself a wealthy woman since my friends and family are my treasures.Control, abuse, addiction, emotional manipulation, my own co-dependent tendencies taking hold, selling my soul for love, financial irresponsibility, lying, expectation that I act as caregiver and primary emotional strength in the relationship and that I clean up the “messes,” literally or symbolically.It’s my take that relationship breakdown has a better chance of occurring because we don’t ask certain questions from the get-go and instead, make assumptions that love is enough to sustain it. I am a big believer in full disclosure; knowing that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. The final questions should easily transition you out of the date while subtly implying that you’d be down to meet up again. If you think things went well, don’t be afraid to let him or her know. If you’re confident, ask if she or he would like to continue the date someplace else. ) alternate ending to the night rather than simply going your separate ways after drinks or dinner. There’s this cool bar I know around here, want to go grab a drink? Want to get coffee/dessert after this somewhere else? My friend’s actually having a party a few blocks away, do you wanna stop by? This phase is tricky, and should only be reserved if you’re really feeling strong vibes. The other person has “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” too. My current definition involves two people who have a common and merged vision, who communicate it openly and who take steps daily to strengthen and support that bond.As a minister who has married over 300 couples since 1999, I have witnessed this dynamic with many of them.