Exploring a new relationship with someone is both an exhilarating experience and a frightening one. Here you are opening your heart, soul and body to someone with wild abandon and love with absolutely no commitment or guarantee of any future. There is immense possibility for creating the relationship of your dreams on the one hand, and great risk and uncertainty on the other. Somewhere, you know, without a commitment or promise, you could be abandoned or rejected and deeply hurt at any time.
It is challenging to open your heart to someone so completely with no promise or certainty. The discomfort of “not knowing” the future that comes with the joy and exhilaration of intimate bliss can be emotionally quite unsettling. The unsure mind wants to comfort itself with “knowing” the future and attempts to answer questions like, “Is this “the One?” Are we going to be together forever? Does he or she love me? Do I love them? Is this what I really want? Am I settling? Will I be happy?”
Unfortunately, trying to answer these questions too soon results in people rushing into making relationship determinations and decisions before their time, or forcing others to do so. This focus on determining the future gets in the way of allowing the relationship to organically unfold. People end and start relationships too quickly because they cannot stand to be with the uncertainty of the questions.
In truth, it takes time to assess whether or not you are willing to commit and spend your life with another. It takes recurrence with someone over time to know whether or not you can trust one another, work through breakdowns together as they arise, create new experiences harmoniously together, successfully fulfill your desires and take care of your needs, etc… It can sometimes take people a couple of years before they feel resolved enough in their relationship choice to commit to marriage. So what do we do with all the emotional discomfort in the meantime?
Make peace with the questions, both yours and theirs. They may be here awhile. Know that questions do not necessarily mean you do not want to be together or that you don’t love each other. Expand yourself to include both the deep love you are experiencing with your new partner and the questions that abound. The questions are part of the dating process.
Focus on the now as much as possible. Instead of future thinking, focus on what is good and wonderful about your relationship now. Enjoy the experience you ARE having, not the one you imagine you will NOT BE having later. Be in a mood of appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful experiences you ARE sharing together. Speak them out loud to each other. This practice will soothe your fears.
Instead of asking future questions that instill doubt and fear, ask questions that instill joy, confidence and hope. Ask questions like, “How can I express my love more today? Where can I be more honest and transparent? How would I be if I trusted the perfect unfolding of this relationship? How would I be if I knew this was my perfect partner or a divinely inspired step towards my perfect partner?”
And most importantly make sure to keep nourishing yourself outside the relationship. Take bubble baths, listen to uplifting music, get together with friends, dance, exercise, meditate, get emotional support from a coach, keep working on your own personal development, etc. Participating in activities and engaging in practices that keep you feeling good about yourself are crucial. They will help you stay centered and expand your emotional capacity to deal with the uncertainty inherent in the initial phases of courtship.
Lastly, know that your questions will get answered over time, almost by themselves. Allow love to flourish and take you where it wants to go. As much as possible, enjoy the rush that comes from the unfolding of love, and don’t rush to decide where it will all end up too quickly. If you do, you may very well prevent love from growing at all.