Big Yay! You’ve made it through the first chapter in your new relationship: the Honeymoon Stage. The stage when everything is so new, fresh, exciting, and magical.
You’ve likely either hidden your smelly socks from each other or you’ve overlooked them, favoring instead the butterflies and the feelings of elation and ecstasy that accompany a new love affair.
Here are some tips for not only surviving, but thriving in the coming 3-6 months as your relationship settles down and solidifies.
You likely did some pretty close analyzing of each other during the first few weeks. Now that you’ve been together for a while, take another close look. Does this person really and truly meet your Top Three or maybe your Top Five Critical Criteria?
Are you both sincerely seeking the same type of relationship?
Especially with regard to the kids issue…alignment on this issue is essential – who wants kids and who doesn’t, who’s truly OK partnering with someone with kids and who’s really not OK with that scenario.
If this person does really and truly meet your Top Three Critical Criteria, and if you really are meeting this OTHER person’s critical criteria, then give a big cheer and pat yourself on the back for choosing wisely.
Identify the Pressure Points.
In reviewing your list of characteristics and qualities that you’d love to see in your perfect partner, it’s great if the KEY criteria are met. And yet the reality is that there is no perfect person, nor is there a perfect partnership, unless of course you subscribe to my philosophy that we’re all perfectly imperfect works in progress.
Take a look at the elements on your list that your current partner doesn’t fit and highlight these items. Look to see which of these secondary preferences of yours you might want to just let go of entirely.
The items that really do matter to you – see if you can find some compromises, negotiate changes, and practice communicating about what matters to you in a way that’s respectful and positive.
How Gail and Johnny did it:
To demonstrate, here is a case study of my matchmaking clients, Gail and Johnny. They were really clicking on all of the most important levels; both successful professionals who shared a love of culture, travel, gardening and cooking.
Everything was great, except they couldn’t envision living together. He’s a big cat lover and she’s terribly allergic.
She had also really hoped to partner with a man who is in as strong a financial position as she is and, although Johnny was a business consultant doing just fine financially, she owned a highly profitable business and she was worried that the discrepancy between their incomes would become problematic.
Here’s how they worked it out: They live together in her home and they converted the garage into his office, where the cats live too. And now he consults for her company and the two of them are making more money than ever together!
Communication, compromise and negotiation – problems solved.
Embrace Your Challenges.
It could very well be true that there are no accidents in our lives, that the people and the experiences that make up our lives are all designed to serve us and to provide growth opportunities. Embrace the uncertainty that this new relationship is for you by being present for each other, living in the moment with an open heart and an open mind.
Have the courage to find the right moment to communicate about the little and the-not-so-little challenges that the relationship brings with it. Align on the important issues and let go of or negotiate deals with each other about the little stuff.