In the current economic climate, where many people are living in uncertainty regarding their job security, is it really too much to ask, to not bring this into our personal relationships?
Uncertainty can exist at different levels and stages in relationships. From the outset, the first hurdle of uncertainty arises when arranging the first date - will he/she call? Will they keep the date, or cancel at the last minute? What if they don’t like me? Where should we go? What will we talk about?...
You go out on your first date and have a good time. However, unable to read whether your date was equally interested, you’re apprehensive about initiating post-date contact. At this stage, if you’re not brave enough to find out, chances are that you may have just missed out on a perfectly good opportunity. Six months down the road, would you sit and wonder ‘what if I had just made that call?’
Maybe you’ve been on a few dates and things seem to be going well. Then out of the blue, the other person just disappears off the face of the earth. They cut off all contact and don’t respond to your messages. Was it something you said? Have they gone off you? Often, the questions remain unanswered, whilst you try and move forward through the fog of uncertainty. If later on they do get back in touch, how receptive are you going to be? Do you really feel comfortable about picking things up where they were left? If so, would you run the risk of driving yourself into a paranoid frenzy, every time you could not get in touch with them?
Ok, assuming everything is going well and you have been seeing each other for a few weeks. When do you make the crossover from seeing someone casually to dating exclusively? Is it naturally implied, or should you be asked? If so, who should be responsible for raising the question – the guy, or the gal? And should you boldly go ahead & ask the question and get the response of “let’s just see how it goes...” what the heck does that mean? Surely after a few weeks, you would know whether you want to date someone officially, or whether it’s just a bit of fun. Cheque please!
So, you’re officially dating now but all of a sudden your partner can’t give you specific dates in advance to meet up. Why? Because they’re not sure what they’re doing yet, but will let you know as soon as they do. Surely if they are now ‘dating’ you, why can’t they commit to a date? It wasn’t like this at the beginning, or is this now a taster of things to come? If you’re a ‘no-nonsense’ type of person with some degree of pride, you probably wouldn’t put up with this for long, they need to manage their priorities, or you’ll be straight out the door.
Six months to a year into your relationship, everything is going well but you’re still not completely clear about where the relationship is headed. You’ve given it time and have been patient but clarity hasn’t prevailed. Part of you is scared to raise the question in case it puts the other person off. But, at the same time the uncertainty of not knowing is driving you crazy! You pluck up the courage and put it out there “so where do you think this relationship is going...” At this stage, if the uncertainty of the relationship cannot be abated, you’ve probably come to the end of the road.
Whilst we all experience some degree of uncertainty when dating and within relationships, if it’s a constant feeling the chances are that you’re in the wrong relationship. Imagine knowing exactly where you stand and being confident that you’re both on the same page, with common goals for the future. With the time & energy saved, you could probably halve the cost of your utility bill!
If we choose to, we can behave in a way that reduces, if not eliminates, the uncertainty that we give the other person in our relationship. Just be honest about your feelings and keep the lines of communication open & consistent. Resolve the feelings of uncertainty as they arise, rather than fester them in fear. This may not always be reciprocated by your partner, but in the long run this will pay dividends. What’s more, if the laws of attraction dictate that like-attracts-like, you might just be pleasantly surprised by who you go on to draw into your life...
Just a quick note to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the tour at the Tate Modern Gallery. Thank you for organising it! It was a great experience and made the Art so much more interesting by actually having someone explain what the artist is trying to portray. The crowd were also very friendly and down-to-earth.