The First Year.
Why The First Year Matters…
- > You’ve seen just about it all now. At this point, you can probably tell if you could live with each other. You might want to go deeper into this conversation to plant a seed about the possibility. Usually lovers rotate spending the night at each others’ living quarters, but something entirely shifts when two people move all their ‘stuff’ in together. It’s almost as if we forget to try any more. We get lazy and we must set aside time for romance or deep intimacy. It takes a true leader to remind the relationship of this responsibility so by bringing this up within the first year, you can uncover whether or not you both are willing to be responsible for your co-created love.
- > This is the time to celebrate your connection through gifting, bonding with family members, dreaming together about possibilities, working out the challenges that trigger each of you to get angry or sad. The fact is if you didn’t get angry or sad, you would find those emotions in another person. The question is how often do you want to feel them and how can you model out a way to allow these emotions to serve you both through your healing and your growth. The “relationship” must have it all to be healthy, but only you know how often is enough. Wherever you believe the line to be, double it. That is where you will actually grow. Think of it as if you were going to lift weights or become a dancer. You must over-practice in order to get to a level of real mastery.
- > If you haven’t shared all your skeletons in your closet, get ready to do it during this phase. It isn’t fair to the other person if you wait longer than a year to get everything out on the table. It takes guts to do it in the first month. It cowardice to wait past the first year. Whether it’s a form of abuse, a disease, a failure, a financial crisis, a lie, a fear- get it out or else you won’t be able to ever earn the deepest trust from your partner. The person will feel betrayed if they learn from another person or on accident. Be willing to lean into your fears with your lover else you’ll increase your lifestyle of pain. The whole reason we are in relationship is to learn about ourselves and to serve a greater power ie God or the universe. If you keep yourself to yourself, you will be endless stuck with yourself.
A sample of our suggested practices for The First Year…
- > Make a list of all the things you want to know about the person and all the things you want to share early. Everyone has a different set of circumstances (divorce, kids, financial troubles, disease, abuse, etc.), some more challenging than others, some pasts more checkered than you would imagine. It’s up to you to decide what to share, but the more vulnerable you come across, the greater the capacity for the other person to feel safe and to share. It isn’t about finding love in another to make up for your missing pieces. It’s about getting closer to loving yourself with another. In order to do that, on one hand we need to know if our boundaries are drawn at similar distances and how fast we seek to push them. If the safe zones cross too far into the unknown for the other person, then find out early via strategic shares, depending on your maturity. Some things are particularly delicate but why not find out the other person’s capacity sooner rather than later. 30 days is plenty of time to know if someone is going to match your basic needs.
- > Flirt it up in all sorts of childlike ways. Since neither of you really knows one another yet, play off that mystery and pretend to be whoever you want! Be the joker, be the seducer, be naughty, be nice, be curious. There are no rules during the first set of exchanges but if you don’t take any calculated risks early on, you will lead the other person to believe that your date was normal. Step it up regardless of your regular lifestyle. Love isn’t normal. People do the dumbest things while falling in love. Just listen to the stories from your friends about what they did early on and still made the grade! In order to get someone to open their heart, no doubt you gotta make them feel safe, but safety zones are meant to be challenged at a calibrated pace. If you’re still texting or talking after the first date, now is the time to introduce some bold energy into the mix. If you play it safe again and again, you will come across as a friend. Friends are there for safety, lovers are there for safety and danger!
- > Download emoticon apps on your phone and share silly expressions via texting. Since people rarely call one another any more, it is vital to get out of black and white text. Use slang and shortened poetic expressions that might crack a smile or a giggle. It isn’t about being cool as much as it’s about being creative. If you can introduce novelty into a person’s life, they will become even more intrigued in your way. It can be as simple as sending out a few colorful ‘namastes’ or ‘lightning bolts’ to describe something in your day. So much of an emotional connection is hinged to unique expressions that you might find yourself opening up more through subtle imagery than typical words.
- > Exercise as often as you can to get a good dose of endorphins and to allow your body to use this new intensity to do all sorts of good. It will keep you level headed and more relaxed during your first few times together. It helps to remove nervous energy stored in the muscles. Yoga or running or walking fast will increase your heart rate much better than weight-lifting. By breathing deeply often during a workout, you are training yourself to bring more oxygen to the brain which helps ameliorate anxiety issues.
- > Review your ‘dating contract’ that you hold true to yourself. In our coaching program we would help you with this. Are those deal breakers really worth walking away from a potential partner? Does he or she have to be vegetarian, or into children? Spend a few moments reflecting before you go to bed and outdoors on the specifics. Rate your deal breakers on a scale of 1 to 10. Lay it all out in advance before you start to get overly attached to the physics of it all. Physical attraction is irresistible at times, but not once you hold yourself accountable to your higher principles. Think about your patterns in the past and try to mix it up. If you always play it safe early, put yourself out there more early to see what happens and vice versa. Getting hot and semi-heavy is great during the first week as long as you know that this person will call you forth to be your best self. There is rarely a reason to sleep with someone during the first week as you can get plenty frisky without going all the way to see if you are still compatible in the bedroom.