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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Seeking Equal Partnership in Dating Relationships

Connecting with people in friendships today, which are hoped to develop into romantic or other meaningful relationships, should result in strong, trusting bonds, which are based on mutual respect and true equal partnerships. Having a strong, caring relationship with a romantic partner, in particular, is so important to the success of a relationship, that without the foundation of trust, it is most likely, impossible maintain the type of close, special and very personal bond necessary, to grow the relationship over time.

The foundation of the caring relationship will be the most important ingredient to ensure progress as time goes one, and various hurdles present themselves to address.

The first stage of most any successful relationship, consists of discovering whom you really are as a pairing, and what your goals are as to the type of relationship you want to have. Though one might argue that really getting to know each other is the first priority, but the reality is that without knowing what someone’s relationship purpose is first, it almost doesn’t make sense to bother to get to know one another, if in fact, it turns out that each person has different goals in mind when it comes to dating.


For example, if someone is really only strictly open to and interested in casual situations, this could be problematic for the person who is seeking a longer-term situation. Of course, people do change their minds, but it wouldn’t make much sense for a person who seeks a long term relationship, to know that the person they are seeing, is merely only interested in a very casual, short-term situation while hoping that they will change their mind. The reason for this is that not only will this couple be faced with all the usual relationship hurdles, but there will always be a major difference of opinion as to how the couple sees itself as an entity. Just as in personal crises that involve identity, the couple can fact that very same trauma. Identity is a serious issue – and anyone that is struggling with identity issue will acknowledge that.

And yet, this very basic thing – the identity of a relationship, is often overlooked by couples. In fact, usually, there is compromise when it comes to this issue. One person is satisfied with the casualness of the situation, taking each day at a time, while the other is nervous about whether or not to continue, for fear of getting too attached.

While there is no finite handling to apply to every situation, it is probably better from the outset, for each person to be aware of the boundaries that each is desirous of maintaining, so that misunderstandings may be avoided.

Of course, covering this subject early on, can be problematic, as many people do not want to confront the future or spend too much time detailing their life goals early on. Still, it is often easy to determine if someone is on the same wavelength as you are, if you don’t ignore the signs.

As novelist Anaiis Nin has been quoted, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”

Unfortunately, many people develop a sense about themselves that is predicated upon what others have told them. Whether it’s parents, friends, teachers, bosses, competitors, admirers or the opposite, all of these connections can have a serious impact on how we see ourselves. And that impact, can greatly affect our romantic involvements.

The problem with the above is that the many descriptions that we are confronted with are usually based more on what fits the personal agendas of those individuals, rather than on what is really the truth.

As an example, supervisors, bosses and employers, are notorious for presenting "strengths" and "weaknesses" to suit how they wish their employees to behave, in order to follow the personal agendas, and those of a company. Likewise, admirers often present exaggerated descriptions to suit desires to fulfill their own co-dependent worship needs, as well as relationship acquisitions.

Given the above scenario, it's really no wonder that people develop such confusing and inaccurate pictures of themselves, when the multitude of different and inaccurate descriptions received are considered.

Some of the ways that people can locate and determine compatibility in terms of relationship goals, can be accomplished by taking a look at three basic needs in every relationship: interest, energy and stimulation or sexuality; enjoyment, abundance, expansion of awareness and happiness; and patterns for commitment and consistency. Establishing and reaffirming each of these essential areas, is one way to determine how a relationship should proceed and whether or not it should continue.

Uncovering passions, desires and priorities, beliefs, and talents, is a process that takes time, but as we grow older, it does become easier to recognize these things and determine what we really want in our lives. While obstacles do surface, many of them turn out to be self-imposed.

In essence, sometimes, if we are able to hold up a mirror to ourselves, we can better understand what the obstacles before us are. Once we know where they are coming from, it can be easier to address them. Unless you have spent some time really looking at this sort of thing, the first time one does it, could actually prove to be a revelation.

Although many people believe they really want to discover and understand themselves so they will become more able to develop closer interpersonal relationships, the actual discovery process can be a difficult road to travel. This is because of the level of unknowns. The discovery of new truths may even cut through preconceived ideas and expectations, which can take people out of comfort zones. As people continue to discover the truth about themselves, it can be the misunderstanding of themselves that actually drives them forward toward a deeper enlightenment.

As one becomes more enlightened about themselves, it can serve as a catalyst to seek more equality in their interpersonal relationships. When one beings to seek equal partnerships, you will appear more confidant, and could be more supportive in general which can attract more of the sorts of individuals likely to be receptive to the equal partnership idea.

There is no doubt, that the strongest bonds and caring, non-judgmental relationship between couples, is often predicated upon the concept of the equal partnership. As we find and accept more truth in ourselves, and gain more confidence, we can develop stronger relationships to look for.

As we see, understand and accept the newly discovered truths about ourselves, we can often feel a strong sense of relief, coupled with excitement. Our previous conflicts can actually disappear. As we begin to experience new sources of energy and self-reliance. also known as breakthroughs, our outlooks and attitudes change.

By digging for the truth about ourselves, without any agenda or judgment, and with total honesty, we can truly find our true inner passions, desires, priorities, beliefs, and talents – in order to ward off some of the self-imposed obstacles that can present confusing and inaccurate pictures we may have of ourselves, that can also serve to impede our progress in establishing meaningful relationships.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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