I find it somewhat ironic that in relationships the tendency when people are first getting to know each other is to be what you believe will impress the other person and not what you truly are. At first glance it may seem to make sense. If you ask me it makes no sense whatsoever. Perhaps if you aren’t looking for something long term it may be wise to “play the part” so you can enjoy those brief moments together. But if you are looking for someone to spend your life with why on earth would you want him or her to fall for someone who doesn’t exist only to later to discover that they don’t really like you at all? If you’ve just met this person you have nothing to lose by being yourself. If they like you as you are then you just might have a chance at a satisfying and happy relationship. If they don’t like you as you are, then they will most likely discover that quickly and you can both move on.
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My boyfriend and I are engaged in what I believe to be a courageous endeavor. Somewhat accidentally we began this undertaking when our relationship was just beginning. It has evolved as time has gone on but still contains the core idea. I believe it to have a great amount of value. I would like to tell you about it.
One day as we were talking on the phone the concept of “saying what was on our mind” came up. We were discussing some sort of misunderstanding between the two of us. One of us had done or said something that the other had interpreted as meaning one thing when in fact the intention of the other person had been something entirely different. It was a minor issue but as we sat talking about it we realized how easy it is to misinterpret each other’s behavior or words.
We realized how dangerous this is. Our minds get carried away and then we make decisions based on inaccurate assumptions and create unnecessary conflict in our relationship. In that moment we agreed to always be upfront with each other regarding our thoughts. We also agreed that we would bring up any unpleasant emotions we were feeling. If I felt irritated or unappreciated I would say so. If he felt ignored or frustrated he would tell me about it. Anything that ordinarily we would refrain from saying we agreed to say. Not only did this allow each of us the freedom to speak our minds. It also freed us from wondering if the other person was upset because we knew if that were the case the other would tell us so.