Friday, 13 May 2011

The Value in Taking Things Slow.

I am surrounded by friends, acquaintances and colleagues that experience different relationship dynamics in all areas: friends, lovers, family, co-workers, etc. Some of the people around me are happily married and having children, some are less happy but in relationships, some have important family ties, while others have no family at all. I am surrounded by people who are confused, have broken hearts, or are celebrating a new love. I adhere to my commitment to stay mum about my friends personal lives and I am not comfortable writing about my own life adventures, (This isn’t Sex and The City, and I am not Carrie Bradshaw).  This is primarily just a generalization of my opinion on the things that I see and hear. Having acute observation skills and constantly being inspired by my observations leads me to write about an important component of all relationships that is often forgotten: The value in taking things slowly.

I strongly believe that patience is useful in all relationships. If people would slow down when communicating they would have more time to listen, understand and respond. These fundamentals are important in all conversations, but they are especially important in conversations with those that one holds dear such as family, friends, and romantic partners. If people would slow down when making new friends, they would allow themselves time to get to know their new friends, and they would be able to know  both  which part of their life this new friendship will enrich as well as how this friendship can possibly hinder them. I would like to focus today on the effects that haste can have on romantic relationships, as I think these are the types of relationships that are most often rushed, and that they can be most affected when patience is neglected.

One of the tools that is literally at our fingertips to assist us in our search for love is the internet! Once can decide that they’re ready to settle down and click away. Many are in a hurry to find the one, as they feel lonely, are on the rebound, or need to keep up to their biological clock. Whether they are just looking for sex, simple companionship or the real deal doesn’t change the one common ground: the need to get the show on the road as soon as possible. I found this out when I had a profile up on a dating site. I put up a picture that didn’t show my face, included a very short write-up that was kind of a joke and included no information about who I really am. I got tons of messages! I would check the inbox periodically, click on the senders profile and usually delete the message after seeing their picture. This was an immediate problem for me; I do not adhere to a personal criteria when it comes to what I want in a man. I felt shallow rejecting these guys, but I did so anyways, and I assume that is what most people do on these sites.  I replied to a couple of the messages, and the men on the other end always wanted to meet right away. I hesitated because my time is valuable and I am not going to relinquish an evening of my hobbies and relaxation to spend time with someone I don’t know. Safety wasn’t my concern; I just felt that it was not a very efficient way to spend my precious time. My profile did say that I was looking for talk/e-mail, and I found it a tad audacious that people would ignore what it is I actually wanted. This didn’t last very long; I realized that I wasn’t lonely or looking for anything at all. I was basically just doing it because everyone else was, and pretending I was normal and not completely reclusive. If I was to spend time with someone it would be because I was genuinely interested in them, and not because I was trying to see if I could be genuinely interested in them. I never met anyone from the site and instead took the time to ponder the value in taking things slowly.

I am constantly observing people rushing into things. They are surprised when they discover a character trait in the person they are romantically involved with that they find unacceptable. Since they are so invested in the relationship, they attempt to force themselves to accept this, or they try to change this trait in the other person. Unfortunately, one person cannot change another. It is within our human brains to accept things about other people. In order to know if you can accept someone and all their faults, you need time to get to know them and all their faults, and remember that everyone will have faults. Hell, I even annoy myself sometimes! You need to make sure that you aren’t being used for a rebound, that this person doesn’t have a hang up on the past, and that this person’s hygiene and neatness is acceptable. People spend their whole lives bickering about impractical things, becoming angry and saying hurtful things to each other, being unsure if what they are doing in life is what they want to. They could have just taken the time in the first place, learned about their partner’s deficiencies, and accepted or rejected them. At the beginning of a relationship, once the initial endorphins wear off, it is much easier to let someone go than later on once you have infused your entire lives together.

I am afraid that I am offending many of my readers, as most people I encounter tend to rush into things. I hope that people can take this entry as advice instead of criticism, because that is my intention. I do not think that online dating is harmful or detrimental, it just isn’t for me.  I have spent many years of my life in less than perfect situations, and have learned a lot from my experiences as well as the experiences of the individuals around me. I have learned that love isn’t the most important thing in life that nobody is perfect no matter how badly you want them to be. I have learned that happiness cannot be given to you by another person; it is within yourself to find and share. Everything I have been through and everything I have taken from others has taught me that life’s to short to not take things slowly.

Here's a stupid comic I found:

Cheers! Have a great weekend everyone!

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