The Circle Line

The Beginning

 

How do relationships start? Friendship? Chemistry? What does it mean to fall in love? The fluttering heart. The buzz all through us. Falling into a pile of nerves when they’re around.

The Spark

It all has to start somewhere. And many of us hope for a spark. Chemistry. We meet someone we enjoy talking to, who we can have a good conversation with, who challenges us enough. A person who also shows affection, tenderness, the ability to care; someone we like as a person, someone we warm to. And yes, someone we want to touch, kiss, go to bed with… Of course. The connection of mind, body and soul is magic when we experience it – a powerful force like no other.

As Elvis Costello sang:

She may be the mirror of my dreams
The smile reflected in a stream

When we make this kind of connection with someone it can feel like a mirror to our deepest depths, like we have truly met our match.

But, let’s pause for a moment, amidst the heroin-like chemicals that are stirred up and consider…

Have you met your match?

We tend to gravitate towards “people like us”.¬† So when we feel a strong reaction to someone – both good and bad – it’s often because they are someone “like us”, someone who is similar to us or to someone very significant to us.

There is always something very valuable to be learnt here. Something about our life-view. In this way every time we have a big reaction to someone, we always meet our match – either our mirror image or our opposite.

However, instant attraction is an emotional resonance that is real yet also different to long-term love. Can you both sustain it? If, not, why not?

In the heady heights of a new connection, it’s easy to forget our heads. So it’s well worth the self-control to take the time to see how things play out.

We use the phrase “falling in love” – yet real love involves getting to know someone and treating them, and making sure they treat you, in a consistently positive way over time. See our article on ‘Learning to love‘ for more on this.

The 5 fundamentals of a Relationship:

The 6 Fundamentals of Good Character

Building a relationship will be a hell of a lot easier when you’re both ready for it.

How do you know if you’re ready? How much do you know about the person you are falling for? Hobbies and interests are irrelevant. What’s important is character. Not personality – but the fundamentals you both demonstrate that will run right through your relationship.

Considering these characteristics will help you discover how capable your relationship is of sustaining love without fear ruining it.

Ask as many questions as possible and take all the time you need to find out about:

  1. Commitment to learning about themselves: This is listed first for a reason – because with this genuine commitment the other 5 character traits will follow. Does your partner try to understand their feelings, thoughts and actions? Have they considered their own conditioning and the baggage they carry in life and into your relationship? Are they willing to read, reflect, talk, have therapy? If you both have this commitment, you’ll both be willing to acknowledge and work on the relationship, understand each other and yourself, and talk through the issues. Without it, you’ll just hit one wall after another.
  2. Integrity: Honesty and trustworthiness are essential. How will you ever know where you stand, what’s going on and be able to relax if your partner cannot be honest and act with integrity? Lying, secrets and evasiveness kill love surely and steadily. Firstly, are they honest with themselves? And with others? And are they open and honest with you?
  3. Emotional openness: Check your partner has feelings, knows what they’re feeling, shares those feelings and knows how to express them. Receiving only a tiny sliver of someone’s heart is not much fun.
  4. Responsibility: Does this person do what they say they are going to do? Are they able to be accountable for themselves and their choices in life? Are they respectful? And the practical signs: do they earn enough to support themselves? Do they know how to look after themselves – their health, their home, their belongings? If not, you’ll be dating a child in an adult’s body.
  5. Self-esteem: We all have insecurities. It’s part of being human. We don’t need to be brimming with confidence to love – however, people tend to love others only as much as they love themselves, and can hurt others as much as they themselves are hurting (however inadvertently). Do they take care of themselves inside and out? How do they allow others to treat them? What actions do they take in life?
  6. Positive attitude toward life: Do they turn obstacles and adversity into lessons? Focus on solutions, not problems? Trust that things can get better, that they can change things? Use their vision to change their reality? We bring our attitude into our relationships; positive people tend to create more positive relationships. Love is a positive force; it will wither in negativity.

We say forget how much money they make, their superficial trappings of luxury, how many followers they have on Insta – considering the above is the one occasion where some box-ticking is no bad thing.

As you go through each of these with that potentially special person in mind, remember to also ask yourself the same questions. For we must never forget to see and develop in ourselves what we ask for in others, to require of ourselves what we require of others. This way we find out if we too are ready for real intimacy.

If we desperately want someone who isn’t ready, chances are we aren’t ready either.

***

Once we have established these basic building blocks, we’re safer to go ahead – knowing we’ve explored the evidence and that things are basically ok. It make take a while, it may take several “failed” relationships, dead-ends or heartbreaks along the way. But once we find the above, then… then feel it, go with it, and enjoy the magic…

 

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