Ok, so you’ve been dating for a while and some doors have closed, expectations have been set and you have agreed to stay together. You have been spending time in your own world and it is now time to include other people in it. Friends and relatives have been or are now being introduced. Functions are now done together, everything is ‘We’ and ‘Us’ and bumper to bumper. FB photos have both of you tagged. Everyone is aware of this relationship. Even you.
This is the point where toes start being stepped on and the words ‘I Love You’ are tested. Why? Exes appear from nowhere, new people come into your lives, relatives get demanding, functions start clashing, all of a sudden work is a lot, there’s no more money for Java and IMAX, and last but not least, the effects of past relationships manifest themselves. For some, intimacy has also come into play. Life is back to normal. Masks are off and one or two arguments have arisen due to the afore mentioned factors. Depending on the speed of your dating schedule, this stage comes between month 3 and month 6. This is around the time you see people breaking up, it is the time people decide whether they can live with what they see, or not.
What I have learnt is, this is the stage where Benefit Of Doubt is most required. The truth is this; neither of you knows each other well enough, even if you have poured out your entire life story, and spent each and every waking moment together. This is when you get to see a person for who they really are, when they are under pressure, when they are stressed, when they are PMSing, when they are broke, when they are angry. Basically you see this person when they are unable to give you the attention you had before. I must say it is VERY easy to walk away at this point. VERY easy. Especially for those who are very social, there’s always that friend/colleague who will give you interesting stories, that guy/lady who wants to be with you and gives you attention and very tempting propositions, that plot with the girls/boys that will be more interesting. It is easy to walk away. This is the time to decide what you want in a relationship and if this is the person you want to be with. Because once you make this decision – to stay or leave – then you will know what to do with all these other delicious propositions and people around you.
I have also learnt that the arguments that arise at this stage are not a bad thing as such. Sure they may be draining emotionally, but they also test your love for this person and they test you as a person. They test your maturity, and how well you know yourself. Accusations are thrown at this stage and you need to know whether to defend yourself/agree to them/forgive/make a change/explain/etc. Your reaction to the differences between the two of you is where our learnings come in. Do not be distressed if you’re at this stage, use it to examine yourself, learn to be patient, forgiving, kind, self-controlled and all those other things that the Bible says Love Is. This is easier said than done. COMMUNICATE. Tell the other person what you really feel about the issue, be vulnerable. And while you do this, your partner should not take advantage of this and you should also not take advantage.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it alway protects, always trusts, always hopes always perserveres, Love never fails”
– 1Corinthians 13:4,7,8
One thing is for sure, to do this, you need to set aside your pride. If you are selfish and only see things from your point of view, your relationship will not go far. If you do choose to leave, this is also very ok. The choice is entirely yours. It is only you who knows what you can live with and what you cannot, and do not let your friends/relatives/media or even your partner decide what is good for you. If you need to let it go to have a peaceful life, let it go. But as you do this, you must really know what it is that you want. Remember that you’re not exactly making a life-changing decision as such. You’re not deciding whether to marry this person at this point. You’re deciding whether or not to continue spending time and sharing your life with this person. If this person generally makes you happy, then don’t let someone go out of anger or due to your pride and immaturity. Think things through and be honest with yourself. It is not easy especially if you are very different from your partner or if you have never had to compromise in your past relationships. But if you do pass through this stage and decide to be with this person, and agree/come to a compromise on certain things, you will have a really good relationship.
- Am I ready for love? Part 1 – First Date by @SueBuku (samkitots.wordpress.com)
- Am I ready for love? Part 2 – Love is blind by @SueBuku (samkitots.wordpress.com)
- An end to girlfriend month by @SunnyLikeNjeri (samkitots.wordpress.com)
- Keeping your relationship in the green (samkitots.wordpress.com)