Saturday, September 11, 2010

Building a Solid Foundation

Guest Blogger: Mitzi from Southern Style

**I met Mitzi (online) through the Lady Blogger's Society. When I saw her button and it said - Southern Style - I just KNEW I had to read more.. and I did. I am an avid follower of her amazing blog(check out her cooking blog also!) Mitzi not only provides me with wonderful thought provoking posts - she has become a dear friend.

New beginnings can take on many forms, a new home, a new job, a new baby or a new relationship.  Today we are going to look at new beginnings from the point of view of a new relationship.

New relationships are so exciting aren't they?  We go into them with so much gusto and anticipated excitement for the next phone call or personal encounter.  Many use this opportunity to put their best foot forward making certain that they present themselves in a positive light.  Eventually, the newness wears off and you suddenly discover that you have moved into the comfort stage of the relationship.  Often times however, as you suddenly move into that comfort phase, you might discover that the person you thought you knew was not the person you are with now.  Generally, this relationship shift occurs within six months.  Think about it for a moment; don't you know people who after six months call it quits?  Six months seems to be the magical number where most relationships turn.  There is indeed a very logical reason for this which I am going to enlighten you on now.

It all begins in the very newness of the relationship.  That period of time where many are putting their best foot forward.  They mind their manners, open doors and are very mindful to remain attentive to their partner.  This may not be how they are day in and day out, but you don't know this because this is a new person and you are beginning a new relationship with them.  You are in the getting to know you phase of the relationship.  The only problem is that until you pass that six month milestone  you really aren't in the getting to know you phase of the relationship, you are in fact in the "fantasy stage".  No wonder we are in a state of disappointment once that milestone is crossed!

After we cross over into the six month "reality phase", we are suddenly faced with the reality of the relationship.  Many, often times find themselves asking "what happened?  Why did they change?  They used to pay attention to me, now they don't".  The fact is, they didn't change at all, they were not being themselves in the beginning and that is what changed.  Once they move into the "comfort phase" that is when they start being themselves.

When my husband and I met and began our relationship, the situation we were in did not allow for many face-to-face meetings.  (I was living in another state).  Our courtship came by way of phone calls, text messages and computer chat.  During this time, neither of us was really looking for a relationship, so we began as friends.  As friends, we were able to be completely ourselves and we put our hearts and souls out there.  We laid it all on the line; the good, the bad and even the ugly.  We were indeed building our relationship upon a solid foundation.  When I moved to where we now share our home together as husband and wife, there were no surprises to be found.  We remained open and honest with one another and the only thing that changed was my geographic location.  Because we built a relationship on a solid foundation, based on trust and honesty starting as friends which allowed us to transition smoothly into something more.  We have been together for nearly 3 years now and I can honestly tell you that we have never had an argument.

Trust and honesty are the basics for building upon a solid foundation.  When we are busy trying to impress, we are shutting the door to who we really are.  Once we transition into that "comfort phase" and we let down our guard, if we were not honest with our presentation of ourselves in the beginning, we leave our partner feeling disappointed and we have allowed for the key important element of trust, to be broken.  If we can take that giant leap of faith and commit ourselves to being ourselves, our relationships have the potential to blossom into something bigger, something better because we first built them upon a solid foundation.

Do you build your relationships on a solid foundation?

Note:  If you would like to read more inspiring posts by this guest blogger, please visit Southern Style


Jen G-son said...

what a faaabulous topic! One that plagues me daily, with my on and off again boyfriend. We are now in the third phase of "on" and discussing the strong strong possibility of engagement. We have been lucky enough that this past year has been insane enough that somehow through the earthquakes, we built a strong foundation. We fight but it's both because we're extremely passionate, loud and outgoing people. :)

wordygirl said...

Interesting. I've noticed that a lot of couples get married at the 6month mark. My mom and I were discussing this a few weeks ago after reading Dear Abbey. I wonder if it is the "peak" of the fantasy stage that pushes them into marriage.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention when writing this post, that my husband and I did not marry at 6 months. It was 1 year and 1 day later.

Another point I forgot to mention was that often times people believe they have to work on their relationship. We should never have to "work on" or "work at" a relationship. Relationships should not be work. We indeed will have times where we work together as a team when circumstances arise, but that is not the same thing as working on the relationship.

Thank you guys for your comments! And Nicole, it was a pleasure writing it for you! You are a very dear friend as well!

Laura said...

Great points! I agree that this is a missing link even in life today. Even in platonic friendships, we go into them for what "I" can get out of it and not what I can give. When expectations are dashed, then the drama begins. My husband is truly my best friend, and it is that foundation that is the reason.

Laura said...
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