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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

Beginning a Relationship

When beginning a relationship we want to be happy, we want to be in love and satisfied. We must remember, though, that a relationship is a two-way affair. Anyone who expects or causes it to be otherwise is setting a stage for potential failure. Perhaps the "failure" will not mean a break-up, but it will certainly mean the relationship will not become all it might have been, and all it was wished to be. In a great number of instances, though, it will involve parting company and searching further. The reason for this is a lack of essential ‘balance’ between the two people involved -- one of the partners feels less than equal in the relationship. Often it’s not a case of either one taking deliberate advantage of the other -- instead it’s because of something in the past which has caused one of them to react or behave in some manner due to defensiveness, negative experience and a lack of real trust. Most of us have been hurt in a relationship at some time or another. It’s quite normal, therefore, to avoid being hurt again -- so we become ‘cautious’. Unfortunately, `caution’ itself can become a handicap when it grows to the point of extreme which is ‘defensiveness’. Too often the subtle line between the two is crossed unknowingly. When we become defensive, we proportionately diminish our ability to be in balance or harmony with someone else. If the `someone else’ is defensive also, the problem is compounded. Being defensive causes a tendency to be selfish -- to "look out for number one" only. Needless to say, under such circumstances it would be most difficult for anyone to be entirely sensitive toward someone else and their needs. If we are primarily concerned with self, it’s a foregone conclusion we will (at least subconsciously) attempt to steer a relationship in our own favor. Therein is the lack of balance which will most inevitably place us at odds with our partner. Lack of balance is essentially due to lack of trust. In essence what we are saying to our partner is this: " I don’t trust you because I was hurt by someone (or something) else before you came along". Does it make any real sense to put someone new and innocent in our lives in that position? Of course not. The more deeply we’ve been hurt, the more defensive and self-only oriented we are capable of becoming around others. At the root is simply fear. Fear is a natural condition in all forms of conscious life; it’s a protective mechanism. But without thought or control, it can create a state of isolated paranoia to one degree or another. The problem here is what I like to call the "AH HA Syndrome". Simply put, it means a tendency to ‘keep an eye’ on someone, and at the first sign of something ‘familiar’ (from past experience), exclaim; " AH HA! I KNEW IT WOULD COME OUT SOONER OR LATER! WELL I’M NOT GOING THROUGH THAT AGAIN!" Have you ever been caught in the ‘AH HA Syndrome’ -- on either end? If you are like most people, you have to one extent or another. When you were on the receiving end; Did you feel fairly treated? Probably not, and I would wager the person who was the recipient of your "AH HA" didn’t either. There are legitimate times for serious reconsideration about people so long as they are not based on non-related people or events.
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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. — Lao Tzu