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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Get Your Relationship off to a Good Start

Robert Manni - Thursday, August 22, 2013

Most of us have little patience. We want everything right now, especially when it comes to new love.

We spend hours thinking everything through and planning how it could play out, sometimes to the point where we’ve mentally visualized the entire relationship and the breakup before the first date even happens. It’s crazy, but I can understand it. We’re all crazy busy conducting our day-to-day lives and it’s a challenge to pause, exhale and allow a new relationship to grow organically. Regardless of your sex here are a few tips, Guy’s Guy style, for making the best of a new romantic connection.

Be a Buddhist.

Wait—what? One of the tenets for successfully practicing Buddhism is a lack of desire. Of course you're attracted to the person you’re out with, but during those first few dates, try focusing on the journey and not the outcome. You might find that the simple act of sharing the company of someone new and your initial experiences are rewarding without the weight of expectations. Just have a good time and get to know your partner.  That’s it, but it’s not as easy as it sounds unless you commit to it beforehand. Leave your baggage and expectations behind and just…be.

Don’t judge.

We do a lot of judging. Whether it’s for our jobs or from watching all the talent-based reality shows, we live in a society that thrives on turning our thumbs up or down. Unfortunately, too often we carry this mindset into our relationships. In a way it’s understandable. No one wants to waste his or her time dating someone who does not measure up to what we’re seeking in a relationship. But let’s exhale every so often and give the other person the benefit of the doubt for minor infractionslike a guy walking on the inside while you’re traipsing down a crowded street in MePa. News flash. No one’s perfect, not even you, and if we remind ourselves of this every so often, it could allow new love to grow.

Be considerate.

This door swings both ways. If you’re a guy, plan the first date. Listen to what your partner’s interests are and offer up an experience that delights her. Whether it’s an outdoor Shakespeare performance, an ethnic restaurant or a bike ride along the Hudson River Park, plan a date that let’s her know that you’re paying attention and want to please her. Believe me, this goes a long way to getting things off to a great start. If you’re a woman, give the guy a break and return his call or text or whatever in a timely fashion and show up at a reasonable time.  Understand that he’s probably as nervous as you are on that first date. And, if you two click, you might find that the first time isn’t necessary the best time or a reliable indicator of how compatible you’ll be when it comes to intimacy. Just sayin’.

Be honest.

Love can be a game, but you also want to be truthful with yourself. If you’re not feeling it, there’s no need to get into details, but don’t leave your partner dangling. If they did their best, but the chemistry’s not there, let him or her know that you had a nice time and leave it at that. I’m not suggesting downloading the bad news at the end of the first date, but when they follow up for round two, take the call and let them know that you’re passing. Concurrently, if you had a great time and want to see him or her again, there is nothing wrong with letting your new partner know that you had a blast. You never know, they might not be reading the signals clearly and you don’t want to risk that they never call again because they did not think you enjoyed their company. I’m not suggesting that you have to gush, but there are lots of ways to let your partner know that you’re interested in seeing them again.

Life moves quickly and when we fail to keep a handle on it, it can move so fast that we miss out by not taking the time to appreciate the beauty of possibility. Until next time…

Are you doing what it takes to get your new relationship off to a great start? 

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