Major Obstacles at the Beginning of a Relationship
In every relationship, especially at the beginning, there are different obstacles that you’ll have to overcome. This is inevitable and quite common, since you’re getting to know the person deeply and trying to fit your puzzle pieces in with theirs without piercing each other.
You’ll have to deal with some difficulties in your interactions. Your expectations will slowly fall apart and you’ll start running into reality. This can cause a lot of frustration if you’ve idealized the other person too much.
In general, these obstacles result in getting to know the other person better, and overcoming them will form the foundation of your relationship. Because it’s a process of adaptation, you’ll have to accept the complications for what they are, and in some cases you’ll have to arm yourself with patience in order to overcome them. This is part of the process of discovering and re-discovering your partner.
“We get together on the basis of our similarities; we grow on the basis of our differences.”
Learning to communicate
Communicating, and doing it well, is one of the main challenges that partners are presented with, especially at the beginning of the relationship, when they still haven’t constructed a shared dynamic. For communication to be healthy, you have to learn to express what you need.
Someone who has been with you for a long time has probably become an expert in interpreting your nonverbal language, but a new partner will probably have an easier time if you set a standard of open communication, rather than being cryptic.
Communication can often be tarnished by misunderstandings and quick, almost automatic interpretations. To overcome this, it’s good to always ask before interpreting what they say and especially to invest all your attention in listening when they’re talking to you.
Learning to communicate in a relationship is a challenge you’ll have to overcome sooner or later. If you don’t learn to communicate, the relationship is destined to fail. It’s a basic pillar for the proper functioning of the relationship, and therefore it should not be neglected.
Good communication is based on respect, empathy, listening, and understanding. It’s expressing your own needs while still paying attention to your partner.
Adjusting to reality
Idealization is closely related to falling in love. It’s inevitable to focus more on the good things about your partner at the beginning of the relationship. However, it’s important to try to keep your feet on the ground so that your expectations don’t veer too far away from who they really are.
If you put on blindfolds with the intention of living in a fantasy world where everything your partner does is wonderful, you’ll ending up falling from cloud nine, and the frustration will leave you distraught.
It’s important to know that while your partner has many positive aspects, they’re also going to have many that you don’t like. Ultimately, true love is found in acceptance, when you’re prepared to see the other person for who they really are, without trying to change them.
Trying to fill the void
Your partner isn’t there to fulfill your expectations, nor are they there to fill the void you feel inside. Being with someone to feel less alone and forget past experiences with other partners is the first paddle stroke towards the wrong dock. You have to fill your own voids yourself, although others can contribute to making them more or less rich in content.
You might not be okay with yourself, but you can’t expect your partner to resolve your conflict and give you the peace and security that you need in your life. Nobody else can do the work that you need to do to resolve your inner conflicts, not even your partner.
A healthy relationship consists of being with the other person to share who you are, not to fill an empty space. If you’re fleeing from loneliness, you’ll make the mistake of not learning how to be by yourself.
“Infantile love follows the principle: ‘I love because I am loved.’
Mature love follows the principle: ‘I am loved because I love.’
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’
Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’”