Dating With The Tortoise And The Hare
Dating with the Tortoise and the Hare
by Jimmy G. Owen, MS, LPC
Jimmy G. Owen offers valuable dating tips for the fast and the slow.
So… here’s the situation – the two of you have progressed from datingoccasionally, to dating regularly, to dating frequently, to sharing intimacy, to spending all you free time together.
You’ve explored responsibility, respect, sexual chemistry and trust. You are ready to take it to the next level of commitment, but the other person can’t decide if they are ready. Some days it feels hopeful and other days you want to pull your hair out and scream, “Make up your mind!” Sound familiar? Which part of the scenario do you identify with?
In dating, very rarely do both parties move at the same pace. We each have our defenses and coping skills to help and protect us as we move through life. The way we make decisions is affected by the skills, beliefs and thoughts we’ve acquired to keep us safe. Invariably, in dating one is ready to commit at a faster pace than the other.
1. Stop pressuring. Don’t give ultimatums unless you are willing to walk away when they aren’t met. Ask yourself, “Can I be happy where we are right now and just give the other person some time?” If the other person makes the decision to move forward because of pressure, you probably will never know if they really wanted to be with you, or are simply afraid of hurting your feelings.
2. Don’t assume it is simply because the other person can’t commit. You may have to accept they don’t feel as deeply for you as you do for them (OUCH! That hurts!)
3. Give them time. Make a commitment to yourself not to bring it up for a period of time and focus on enjoying the moment. Stop worrying about the “what ifs” and be in the “what is”.
4. Think about some time apart. Sometimes a little distance and separation can help put things in perspective for the two of you. But don’t do this without communicating to the other person. The purpose is not to punish, but to think and reevaluate.
5. Understand other issues may be getting in the way. Depression, addiction and esteem issues are a few of many issues that may be affecting the other person’s stance. If they haven’t accepted themselves yet or alcohol or drugs are getting in the way, it will be very difficult to accept being in a relationship.
Ultimately, the goal is getting across the finish line. Sometime you break the ribbon together, sometimes alone. There may be times when you are encouraged to speed up or slow down. Either way, recognizing the way in which you travel and understanding how the other person does the same is valuable information or can help both of you enjoy the journey called dating and relationships.
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