Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Get to know someone through all the seasons before making any major decision

We’re all quite cautious about how much of ourselves we reveal to other people. And in a new relationship, we’re going to do our best to present the most positive things to our new partner. You do it, I do it, and everyone does it. It takes time to get to know someone well, and for them to feel sufficiently confident in you to drop their guard.

Of course, if this person really as wonderful as you hopes, the things that get revealed later on won’t be a problem. You’re not going to find out for good while if your new partner is selfish, or controlling, or rude to your friends, or hates most of the things you love, or is unsympathetic to your hang-ups, or worse still alcoholic, say, or abusive (which as we saw in you can’t change people, isn’t going to change). Some of these things are worth putting up with and some aren’t, but you can’t make that decision until you know what you’re dealing with.

A year is a perfectly reasonable length of time to ask someone to wait before deciding to live together, get married, have kids, and emigrate or to make any other big decisions. If your wonderful new partner is putting on the pressure after a few months, just tell them that this is your Rule: know someone through all the seasons before making any major decisions. I know some people get frustrated with partners who still won’t make a commitment after three or four years, but that’s different. Asking for 12 months’ breathing space is entirely reasonably and sensible, and you have every right to gently insist on it.

If this is really the right person to be with, waiting 12 months to decide your future will be well worth it. After all, what’s a year compared with a lifetime? What’s the rush? Why not relax and have fun before all that real life stuff starts piling on top of you?
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