Start Where You’re At

The other day, a reader of this blog asked a question. “How do I know that I have found the right one?” A question I’ve heard plenty. I’ve even asked myself this question several times before getting married. Is she the one?

The conversation went a lot deeper than the scope of this blog post today. The answer that seemed to capture most of the conversation was something along the lines of this… “Start working on yourself, be the one for yourself first… then… once you find the one work on building the relationship with that one and go from there.”

So, today, taking a small snippet of that conversation and sharing a few thoughts for your reading pleasure.

Start Work Where You’re At

I think the least favorite word most working people hear is work. It just is not fun. Or at least we associate it with things that are not fun to do. For the longest, I held back on many hobbies for fear they will become work. I even held back on moving a relationship forward for fear that it would become work.

Let’s just dispel the worry right now. All relationships are work. All projects are work. All of life is work. However, it does not have to feel like work. No one finds their favorite beach to be ownerous hard labor. Instead, they find it as peaceful enjoyable break from the laborious cubicles that feeds the bank account that allows for such a vacation to happen to begin with.

However… the locals who have to put up with all the extras tourists subject them to might find peak vacation time a bit like work instead of paradise.

Such is the perspective of working on oneself. As long as we view it as “work” we will try to avoid working on ourself and improving ourself. However, should we see it as a welcome challenge to be the best version of ourself we can be so that we can attract the best possible person to form a relationship with… now… that’s the kind of fun that I can sign up for.

I told my fellow reader and supporter that my journey to love started to work in my favor when I saw it more as an opportunity to learn about myself instead of finding the one. This took a lot of pressure off myself. Each conversation was a chance to understand what I like and don’t like.

With each lessons, I was building a profile of what I was willing to accept in a relationship and what I was not willing to accept. This made “screening” for a date much easier. I knew what was going to work and what wasn’t.

Truth be told, if I can’t tolerate something from a casual friend, chances are good I will hate it in a close intimate setting. Love does not change anything. It amplifies what’s there.

The closer you bond with a person, the more the various traits feel amplified. Without identifying my reader, let me give a quick personal example.

Watching a movie in a theater should be a fun experience. Not the ideal date venue, but a common one. I have learned, by going to the movies with friends, I have a good bit of tolerance for chatter between friends in some genres of films and next to no tolerance for any chatter during other types of genres. I also learned that I really don’t like people grabbing and holding on to my arm while watching a movie. Like… really don’t care for it at all.

In my dating years, I made the assumption that what will happen inside a theater will probably also happened inside our place on the couch. After asking myself a few questions… like… how would I feel if a woman got super cozy in my arms and the movie got scary and she started clutching at my arms… the answer was simple… I’d be too annoyed to finish the movie. Unlike the theater where I will suck it up… because I am paying for the show… at home… I walk away. Can’t deal.

I now had one clear area of screening available to me. Several dates never got past the movie test. It was important to me not to have my arms grabbed and tightly clutched. My wife is not such a person. And she’s not big on chatter either. In this one area… I feel like I won the jackpot! Yes, you can assume I feel that way about the vast majority of things that’s important to me… I am still and plan on remaining happily married a long time.

Relational Monday

Now, once you’ve worked on yourself and have narrowed the options down the the one… it is time to build a romance. Keep in mind, the work of knowing yourself and being true to yourself never ends. Same goes for romance.

To say “I found the one” is to final a statement. They’re not going to do all the work of romance for you. They’re compatible with you as best as you can tell. Now, the fun part begins. Getting all the supportive evidence that you belong together. That’s the fun part of the work of romance.

Of course, the work part of romance is making sure that there is not much evidence suggesting you’re not supposed to be together. However, it’s all in a day’s work. You’re constantly learning about each other. Sharing with one another. And pushing each other forward in your romance.

Start with where you’re at now, then build off of that. Too many people get caught up in the past or stuck in events that become part of the past. Romance works best when you’re looking at today, living in the moment, while keeping an eye for the future. The past is only a note of information, not the solution. Obviously, certain notes from the past have higher value than others, but, the past is not the future. Neither will it be all of today.

To wrap this thought up… no one is truly The One we hope for. However, nearly everyone can build up their relationship so that both parties get more of what they need and want. Skills can be learned, activities added, annoyances minimized, and forgiveness optimized. If you’ve selected wisely, you’ve got all the foundation you need to have awesome. If you selected at random, there may be a little more work, but it’s possible to have great.

Wouldn’t be fair to omit this. Some folks are not supposed to get together at all. We may try to force things to work. But, some folks should never have the chance of knowing you on an intimate level. Those folks, let them move right along. They may be perfect for someone else. Don’t sit on your poison because you think you can fix it. They may be a blessing for another… and you’re not in the business of stealing blessings… right? Let them go.

Start with where you’re at and build from there. Happy Monday. Have a great week of building up your romance.

feel free to share, comment, and click like as well. Until next time, build better.



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