Pink Flags: Perspective

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” – Charles (as Morticia) Addams  

Welcome to Pink Flags Live. This month we talk about Perspective. It is the most natural thing in the world to want to fit in. Most people have a vision of what life should look like and only that will do. So now as single women, we still believe that there are a set of rules and benchmarks we need to reach in order for us to have happy, satisfying lives. You need a great job, supportive friendships and a deeply satisfying relationship. So, in an age where women are starting to recognize that loving your own body and making your own choices are vital to your happiness; why are we looking for cookie-cutter relationships?

It’s important to learn who you are and what you want. In love, it’s vital to put this all into perspective. You’ve created your own unique life but if you find ‘The One’ you may have to give up parts of yourself, so choose wisely. Find someone who is just right for YOU, not your mother and not your friends. But understand that it’s equally important to find someone with whom you can see yourself building a future without requiring them to change. Compromise comes with the territory, but perhaps in the future you should find someone who has a compatible level of happy and whose weird aligns with yours instead of finding someone whose pain speaks to yours. Accept that fact that a house with a white picket fence may not be for everyone.

This also goes for timing. There’s a lot of relationship advice out there and almost none of it is for you: wait and get to know someone before you meet them in person, don’t have sex for 90 days, speak in quiet low tones that massage a man’s brain. So, if you do all this, he will fall madly in love with you? Really?? These bits of advice definitely work for someone but not everyone. Also, know that all this goes out the window with any mitigating factors. The best advice for you is advice that addresses you, your partner and the time and place you are in your lives.

I am a big proponent of online dating. It’s pretty easy and it’s worked for me.  However, I have always used the same principles that I used back in the olden days when you met people in open spaces and bars. If you like what you see, let’s hang out…soon. Honestly, I’ve never actually met anyone who did a 2 month pen-pal thing with someone who lived locally, then ended up meeting and having a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

So, here you are with someone you like. How does your life feel right now? Are you interested in someone who would be great to be with while you’re watching sports OR do you want to find someone to start a family with? How does the new person stack up spiritually? Have you taken the time to find out what you want from a relationship? It’s really important to determine where you both are in terms of wanting the real thing or just a fling.

And then there’s Sex. This is another issue altogether. Here is the perfect example of where perspective comes in. Many couples date for months or more without engaging in sex. They believe that sexual contact is sacred and should be a major relationship milestone. Some people choose to reserve sexual activity only for marriage. I believe the most important thing is that you have the same mindset when it comes to sex. I have met plenty of people who have had sex on the first date and lived happily ever after. It’s like any other major component of a relationship. If the quality (and frequency) of sex is going to be an absolute deal breaker, then perhaps you might want to have it a little earlier on in the process and find out if you’re compatible. Then you know; OK, the sex is good, we can move forward. Or not.

As far as how you speak to your love, low and slow is definitely more sensuous. If that’s where you need to be, then that’s what you need to do. There are other people who want you to speak like a baby sometimes and there are other individuals who simply don’t care. However, don’t forget that you need to be heard and more importantly you need to listen. Most importantly, when you speak to your sweetheart, speak with kindness as often as possible.

Barbara McLean
Barbara McLean earned her Master of Arts in Social Policy as well as certification in both Life Coaching and Trauma Advocacy. Ms. McLean's thesis 'Domestic Violence Advocates and How they Level the Playing Field' took a fresh look on Intimate Partner Violence and how techniques and definitions concerning recovery and outcomes have changed. Ms. McLean has years of experience in the treatment of the trauma cased by Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and various forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Follow Barbara and her work educating people on Pink Flags, on Facebook.

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