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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.

Start a Relationship Slowly

You should expect to start the relationship slowly and easily - you must crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. Needless to say, therefore, you likely won’t be making major revelations or confessions on your first date. But when it looks as though the two of you are going to be spending time with each other on an regular basis, then you can start with something small or amusing -- something which doesn’t make you feel too exposed or vulnerable.  It’s at least a beginning, and as you go along, you’ll soon develop a feeling for how receptive and open your new partner is. Remember ‘balance’; if you find yourself doing all the giving with no sign of any willingness to reciprocate, then it may very well be time to think about just where things are realistically going between the two of you. If you find yourself in this position, there are two directions you could pursue. If you’re the assertive type, you might ask your new friend why he or she doesn’t feel comfortable opening up with you. The question itself may be just what it takes to get the ball rolling. If, however, the response is something along the lines that there is nothing they are unsure of themselves about, or that worries them, it’s likely a good bet they’re not truly ready for a two way relationship with anyone, let alone you. The other option is to simply withdraw somewhat. This is not meant to suggest playing a `head game’ of any sort -- the object is not to manipulate; it is, however, to open doors to more healthy and free flowing communication.  A person who’s sensitive to you, and aware of you, will pick up on the change and probably ask what’s wrong. Someone who genuinely cares about you is going to have natural and spontaneous curiosity about changes in your mood or frame of mind. Then you can express your feelings about doing all the giving, and that with no reciprocation you were feeling rather exposed, and left out of their life. Again, with the door now open, progress should follow. If it doesn’t, you would be wise to reconsider spending any more time with him or her. It would certainly be safe to assume that this individual has little or no intention to try. These are the things to watch for -- basic guidelines which cannot take into account every individual circumstance which could be involved. You must be the final judge There may be those of you who would say; "Well, I already knew all this stuff." My question to you, then, would be; "So why aren’t you using it?", and if you were to then answer me that you are, I would ask you; "How much, and how consistently are you applying it?" "Are you REALLY using it, or just skirting the edges?" There’s nothing very complex in what I’m saying, but that, of itself, may be why it’s so often over looked or ignored -- it’s simple, in a world where complexity is assumed to be the order of the day. The world is a complex and stressful place; so why not simplify it where possible, and avoid the unnecessary stresses we’re able to?
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Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. — Dalai Lama