By Barbara Rose, PhD
How can one person’s needs be met if the other is not ready to give what is required to allow a romantic relationship to
evolve into a meaningful lifelong union?
If one person is ready to move forward, ready to create a more intimate connection, and the other is not, what then?
Many people could have reached the level of intimacy and commitment they desired if they had only received the patience,
compassion, and understanding of the other. Yet many people are childish when it comes to matters of the heart.
Many do not have the patience to work on a relationship if it does not fulfill all of their expectations as quickly as they would like. As a result, you have breakups, people longing for each other, people with pain in their hearts, when simple compassion and understanding could have brought them all they desired over time.
Many people end relationships because they do not understand that friendship is the key – that they need to build trust and enjoy the company of the other without all the formal dating or courtship behaviors.
Yes, courtship, dating, sex, romance are all vital to a romantic relationship, but there are many people who have issues
of intimacy to work through first. Many people need to go slowly and build trust, reaching a certain comfort level
with someone before they can commit themselves. So in this case, if one is ready for a committed, exclusive relationship
and the other is not, instead of hastily and prematurely ending the relationship, turn it into a friendship.
Stop the pressures of dating and courtship.
Allow yourselves to bond in a deep, respectful, and trusting union as
friends, as best friends.
If the attraction is there, if the chemistry is right, if the two of you have much in common and share meaningful
goals, why should that beautiful experience be ended completely?
Instead, you can continue the growth and development of your friendship, which, after all, is the true
foundation of any real marriage. So if you are ready for commitment and your partner is not, release the pressure and just be friends. Best friends. No sex, no dates, no candlelight intimacy. You will find that as the bond of friendship grows, as the trust deepens, the one who was not previously ready suddenly is ready. And you have been there all along. You reached from your heart to
give understanding instead of demanding a commitment of emotions and actions the other was just not ready to give.
Time heals fear.
Time builds trust, and love grows over time.
You may find, however, that the physical chemistry is still strong. If you genuinely want to share love-making or passion with each other, do not deny this or suppress it, because to do so causes tension. Go with the flow of your genuine feelings. If you feel attracted to each other, show it. If you want to sleep together and hold each other, do so!
There is no wrong in showing love.
The wrong is to deny your love, your chemistry, and your feelings only to conform
to a rigid belief or “should” with regard to society’s dating or courtship expectations. There is no “should,”
there is only truth. If you feel love and attraction, don’t withhold it; show it.
If one of you desires a monogamous relationship and the other is simply not ready for that, then you must decide what is most important to you: genuinely sharing the time you do have together or settling for not having each other in
your lives at all.
When you allow the word “should” to control your life, you find that you are no longer in control of achieving all you
want. This is not the same as “settling.” Settling is when you deny what is genuinely in your heart because your head tells you it is wrong and that you “should” do or not do something.
Is it truly wrong to sleep with someone you adore and are physically attracted to just because you are not ready to make
a formal monogamous commitment?
Is it genuinely wrong to sleep with someone you care for deeply and are attracted to because it is not an exclusive,
The only “should” that can appropriately govern your life is that you should do what is genuinely in your heart. No matter what society tells you, no matter what anybody tells you, if it is true and right in your heart, then it is true and right for you. That is being your own best friend as well as a best friend with the one you love but are not formally committed to.
Commit to the genuine truth in your heart. Express that, and you will feel validated, whole, and complete within.
One reason relationships fail is that one person seeks validation by the other. But when you validate your own worth,
when you receive respect and admiration from yourself and do not need it to come from the other, then you will possess a
quality that is the foundation of pure love: the ability to give.
- To give understanding in place of expectation.
- To give patience in place of haste.
- To give compassion in place of ego fulfillment.
- To give friendship instead of demanding a commitment the other may not be ready to make.
For as you sow, so shall you reap. As you give, so will you be given to in return. As you reach out of your comfort zone
to be there for the other, you will find that in time, they will reach out of their comfort zone to return your goodness to you.
They will give, they will commit to you, for you will have shown them that you are worthy of their commitment, and
they shall ask you to share your life with them.
it is the one who endures both the good times and the difficult times who ultimately wins the love, respect, admiration, and commitment from the other.
It is very rare to have someone in your life who will be there for you as a true friend; this is a gift.
Relationships are testing grounds; they test the bond, the endurance, the respect for oneself and for the other.
How can you expect someone to make a lifelong commitment to you if they do not first see that you are capable of meeting the challenges that arise during the early stages of a relationship?
You see, life brings challenge. Life brings circumstances that you must overcome. If you love a boyfriend or girlfriend,
and they cannot be there for you through the early challenges of the relationship, how can you possibly expect
them to commit to you for life?
Couples who have successfully worked through the challenges of their relationship will tell you that it requires work
and beyond the needs of self to truly be there for the other; it takes work to build a relationship that can endure the tests of life and the test of time.
When you’re not ready, but you can’t let go:
Life will keep giving you the same challenge in all of your personal relationships until you face it head on and work it through.
For example, if you have a problem with commitment or intimacy, you will find that same challenge in each relationship,
until one day you meet that one person who causes you to look within – to search your heart to find the answer. For
when you find true love, another soul with whom you feel an indescribable bond, that person will cause you to seek within
to heal the problem that blocks the flow of happiness you deserve in your life.
And when you do seek within for a solution, you will have all you truly desire. If you do not, then you shall live with regret.
To seek or not to seek is always your choice.
You can choose to run from one empty relationship to another, year after year, or you can choose to realize that fulfillment comes when the bonds of love and friendship are combined, and that those bonds are far too valuable and precious to discard once you have found the one person who causes you to turn yourself around. When you have healed
through that relationship, you will be ready to commit yourself to that person with true love.
© Copyright 2001, 2003, 2011 by Barbara Rose, All Rights Reserved. Excerpt from Individual Power: Reclaiming Your Core, Your Truth and Your Life. Published by The Rose Group (2003) ISBN: 097414570X.