Hello, Love Bugs! For the column this week, my questions came from two young people under the age of 30, but my hope is that my answers will be universally beneficial, no matter the age. Sit back and enjoy.
Should women take a careful/cautious approach when getting to know someone they feel they may be interested in? Why? Why not? Especially for women who have had some serious heartbreak from the past.
Cautiously in love
Dear Cautiously in Love:
Whew. I read that question several times, because falling in “like” is a serious precursor to falling in love, and quite frankly, women and men need to proceed with caution.
Here are the facts; no matter who you are getting into new relationship with, no one gives you their full persona upfront. What you DO get, is what we call a “representative” of the real you, because people usually wear a mask to cover up what they don’t want others to know in the beginning about themselves. That actually makes perfect sense, because we do not want to be judged at the very beginning, and we want to put forward our best selves.
There are things, however, that you can take precautions about in being cautious as you get to know this new person that feels shiny and perfect, and wonderful in the moment.
1. Ask some simple questions about family history. Find out if mum and dad are a part of their lives, how many siblings they have, where did they go to school, and do they have any close friends. All of those questions are simple in nature, but they tell you a lot about a person, if you are paying attention.
2. When you hang out with them, like going on a date, do they seem friendly to those around them? Are they courteous to the wait staff, are they complaining about everything, or are they open to listening and hearing what is happening around them without judgement? When out on a date, it is a great time to see how that person reacts in response to others. Now keeping in mind that you are getting the representative of the person, pay attention to things that they are not saying. Also, pay attention to body language, because it speaks volumes. Are they clenching their jaws when asked a question that they don’t particularly care for? Are they lowering their eyes when you ask certain questions that they may not want to answer? Or are they looking into your face without flinching? All of this are signs of temperament in the future.
One should never be so googly eyed, that you miss key signs about who you may possibly end up in a relationship with. Take your time, because it is only when we begin to feel totally comfortable that we let those guards down, and the real person emerges. The tips above, can give you clues long before that happens.
One last thing — make sure that you have done your work from the past relationship; find the spaces of forgiveness and work towards healing so that you are not taking the past relationship into the current one. That is a recipe for disaster, and no one wants that. Good luck, my dear!
I am dating this guy that I LIKE, but I am not sure that I love him. The relationship is wonderful when we are getting along, but he has exhibited some signs that were serious enough for me to break up with him three times. A small part of me feels confused that it is not over, but I also feel I deserve better. Help!
What should I do?
Dear What should I do:
I firmly believe you already know what to do, and one of two things are happening here — you enjoy the companionship when things are going well, so it may be okay in your head to tough it out, or, you may think this person is the best of the worst you had dealt with and breaking it off may leave you alone and lonely. I could totally be sucking canal water here, but, my guy says it’s one of these two scenarios, based on your query.
If you had to break up three times in the five months you have been dating, that is a sign of things to come, and none of it bodes well for a stable relationship. Liking someone is not enough to put unnecessary wear and tear on your emotional well being. Relationships are hard work with satisfying results when entered into with the right mate who shares many of your values. Until then, save your love equity for a time when it is more appreciated, for you are deserving.
The advice offered in this column is intended for informational/entertainment purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. This column, its author, the Philadelphia Sunday SUN newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.