3 things before you Love, actually…

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If you’ve seen the movie Love Actually, you’ll know the story of David (Hugh Grant) and Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) who tell a beautiful tale of romance. Two people, despite the differences in age, background and status – and Natalie’s ex boyfriend (who’s “not a nice bloke”) – find their way together, in the end. This gorgeous (and funny) coupling left most of us girlies swooning, wishing a) that love was that fairytale and b) we had a Prime Minister that gorgeous running the country. (Okay that may just be me, then).

The reality is there seems to be a new theme developing in the UK: one of disposable relationships. Now, if you’ve read my article “5 signs it’s time to walk away” you may think I’m contradicting myself but bear with… Today, many people see relationships as throw away; a problem develops and rather than work at it, round it or understand it, they look for an “out” and move on. Online dating makes the grass look so much greener, where you can (literally) take your pick of love replacements as if you’re browsing a supermarket catalogue. And this trend could well be developing because people aren’t ready – or able – to commit fully because something from the past is still tying them up in knots.

Today, many people see relationships as throw away; a problem develops and rather than work at it, round it or understand it, they look for an “out” and move on.

Whether you’re a guy or a gal, here’s three things to think about before you dip your toe in the water of relationships again:

1) Are you “over” it?
Chances are, you’ve had a relationship that has gone sour. You don’t get to a certain age and not come with “baggage ” and actually the right person will probably help you unpack it. But in order to be fair to your potential new mate, you have to consider whether or not what’s gone before has been dealt with enough so you can really open your heart and mind to someone new, freely and unconditionally. Just because you’ve been hurt before doesn’t mean your new partner should be tarred with the same brush and certainly they shouldn’t pay for the transgressions of the person before them. Make sure in your heart and mind that the door to the past is closed so that, going forward, nothing can unlock that pain again. Talk to someone you can trust if your past experiences are preventing you from moving on.

2) Can you give 100%?
We live in a world which is dominated by technology which makes us available to everyone 24/7. Work, family and friends can make demands of us in ways which, when you’re single, seem manageable. But can you truly give yourself over to a relationship and all that goes with it on top of everything else? Making the decision to have a partner means that when their parents get sick, or when work want more from you, or friends need your company, your other half still stays at the top of your priority list. Everyone wants to feel important so little messages during the day saying “Can’t wait to see you” or gestures of love to let them know they cross your mind, will definitely go a long way. Before you dive in, have a think about whether you can really give them the time, energy, attention, respect and commitment they may want and need.

3) Will you fight for it?
Marilyn Monroe once said “If you can’t handle me at my worst then you don’t deserve me at my best“. We all have problems from time to time and if, for whatever reason they – or the past – start to create tension then it can feel like cracks are starting to appear. You have a right to say what’s acceptable (and what’s not) and of course arguments should never get violent. But couples will argue – or at least fall out, or go through “bad patches” especially if stress is playing a part or one (or both) are feeling misunderstood. Nothing – and no one – is perfect but you’ll know if your mate is perfect for you if they stick around, and keep trying to talk with you and understand the problem, even on your bad days. The question is, will you?

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(Copyright Delphi Ellis 2015)

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