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.
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…
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.
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:
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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