Sunday, November 7, 2010
The OTHER people in your relationship. Part III: The Contenders
In relationships, we want to reign supreme. We want our presence to be the only one felt by our partner. But there is and always will be a lot of temptation out there. There are two types of temptation however: dormant and aggressive. Dormant temptation is just good looking individuals that happen to be around your mate. They don't necessarily want them or are doing anything to get them. This type of temptation there is really no relief from. Just as your partner has to come to the conclusion that good looking people exist around you, you have to do the same with them. However, aggressive temptation is what we are focusing on today. The men and women that are actively trying to initiate a response from your significant other. We'll call these people, the contenders. But instead of feeling discouraged or pressured by the presence of other men or women, you can train yourself on how to deal with these individuals who seek to steal your mate from you.
1) Don't Engage the Enemy: Women, this is for us especially. I know the women around your mate can infuriate you with their blatant acts. In today's society more than ever some women feel that relationships are just survival of the fittest. If they get your man from you, that is just how the game is played. There is less and less moral contempt for the "home wrecker". However, do not engage in a game of tit for tat with this other woman. This is not a good idea for several reasons:
One: She is probably better at it than you. Yeah if she is doing something like actively trying to steal someone's mate, this probably is not her first time at the rodeo.
Two: It ruins your character. Be above the trickery. Your have the world's respect at this point. You have done nothing wrong. You are the innocent party. Keep it that way.
Ok Ashley so I can't key her car ;)...What can you do you ask?
One: Have a civil conversation with her:
If you MUST talk to her. If you simply cannot hold your peace, invite her out to a public setting where neither of you can let the situation escalate and set down your expectations. Some women will back down in the face of a confident woman making demands. But do not let her bate you. Say your peace and leave. After she has been told, she can no longer claim she did not know and that is all you want from her. You cannot control another woman but you can...
Two: Handle your mate.
From this point on every interaction you should have should be with your mate. The other individual should no longer affect you, you have said your peace. If the relationship does not work out, it is now in the hands of your significant other. Grown people have a responsibility to not be swayed. If you are grown you make grown decisions. So with that being said, here are ways to keep your mate's attention and loyalty towards you while still smelling like a rose :)
2) Be Confident:
Confidence hides many a flaw. You are the individual in the relationship. Your significant other cares for you so act like it. Confidence shines from the inside out and makes you ten times more attractive than you would be without it. Insecure people tend to be less attractive. So in the face of contenders, smile, put on your best outfit and never let them see you sweat. Trust and confidence go hand in hand. And your partner will appreciate your lack of concern and insecurity. After all, "to be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved." - George MacDonald. Your mate will take notice and love you the more for your ability to always believe in your own worthiness.
3) Set Guide Rules and Expectations:
This should actually be done before the emergence of these other people. Early int he relationship, ground rules should be set on how the two of you as individuals feel about different relationship events that could happen. This isn't always the most pleasant conversation so I usually make it into a game. Everyone around me knows that I like the game Scenarios. Its a game where you both sit down over food or coffee and just ask each other scenarios and tell each other truthfully how you would handle them. You can touch upon questions about infidelity, money, sex, love, careers, anything. Mix it up. Don't make it about one subject. And since its a back and forth game, it does not feel like an inquisition. For this situation some good scenarios are:
-"What if we were in the mall and a guy/girl I knew came up and was acting really flirty with me in your presence, what would you do?"
-"What if you had a coworker that was interested in you and came onto you every day and I had no idea about them. What would you do?" etc.
As each question is answered, foster an environment where you can talk about why you feel the way you feel. That way these are all things you have talked about and know what the other person expects from you.
4) Don't Set Up Impossible Situations and Expectations
This goes hand in hand with the expectations you set. Be realistic. Don't set your partner up in situations that are lose-lose.On one hand just no there is no way for your partner to avoid everyone that thinks they are attractive. On the opposite end, don't sign your partner up for a retreat where the coworker that likes them will share a cabin with them either. Being too jealous or too condoning just sets up an atmosphere of a confused relationship. And in a confused relationship, the wrong things gets done alll the time. One example is the phone checking. I hear people say all the time that they check their mate's phone but don't like their mate to check theirs. That's ludicrous. Ask yourself if you were in the situation your partner is would you be comfortable with the rule you set... That's a good way to gage.
5) Remind Them Why They Chose You
If you are feeling threatened... instead of focusing on the relationship between them and mystery person, focus on your own relationship. Bring back the spark. Be romantic. Show them the times they loved to spend with you. Be genuine and loving. Cook them a meal or put on those extra high heels or dapper suit. Try something you guys have been meaning to try. Plan a vacation or a quiet evening home and reaffirm why you two are together. Its good for both of you to see that you made a good choice in staying together.
6) Enjoy Yourself
Too much of life is spent worrying about things we have little control over. At the end of the day (I know it hurts), if they want to cheat on you, they probably will. And if they don't, they will not. So stop worrying over something that has not even and may not even happen. Enjoy your time spent with your significant other. Don't punish your relationship because of fear. Create an environment where you love to be and others will love to be there also.
Hope This Helps,