Relationships can be a tricky subject to discuss. Often times, I get reluctant to write about them because it can be argued that I couldn't possibly understand the intricacies of a relationship especially as I'm currently not in one. But a fact is that it's often those who are outside the chessboard that have a clearer view of the game.
You see, when it comes to building a strong foundation in a relationship, it's important to steer clear of the misconception that it's mostly rainbows and butterflies, couples strolling and holding hands, travelling to places and taking up on new challenges together. While those moments may come, I'm not of the opinion that it should be the primary focus during a relationship, especially in the early stages. Instead, both parties should channel that time on having difficult conversations, being inquisitive, and especially building tolerance – this tolerance part should not even be left out if you don't want to find yourselves practising so much of it when inside the actual marriage. All of these mentioned are the building blocks of a healthy and long-lasting connection.
In fact, as the term “talking stage” implies, this is the time to talk, talk and talk. Talk about EVERYTHING!
Now, another thing to understand is that this talking stage is an actual relationship in itself. It's a time-demanding investment. In fact, it's one very underrated aspect of the relationship because people are so quick to “defining” things, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to play it safe without having to create resentment if one party chooses to call it quits. This talking stage is the time to truly get to know one another, to learn about each other's flaws and if these are within your tolerance level. So do your due diligence! Talking stage shouldn't be rushed or taken lightly at all. It sets the tone for the future, so investing time and effort into meaningful conversations is essential, and stop texting “wyd” all the time 🙄
The concept of dating should only come into play when both individuals are certain that their relationship has the potential to last forever.
Dating should not be used as a trial-and-error phase, but rather a period of getting to know each other on a deeper level with the intention of commitment. In fact, picture dating as that stage that you consider yourselves unmarried due to financial constraints or simply poor timing. I think dating should be for a very short period of time between a proposal and a wedding (you read that right), a time when both parties are confident in their choice and committed to making it work. In fact, dating stage is almost unnecessary after that period when you both already have learned about each other. Technically, if your talking stage lasted for 3 years, you could date for only 6 months before marriage.
Marriage, on the other hand, is where the excitement should truly shine. The beauty of marriage is having a lifetime to consciously explore and experiment with the things that bring joy and fulfilment to the relationship. Whether it's indulging in new adventures or creating a safe space for each other, marriage presents that opportunity to intentionally invest in this. Even if romance is not typically your thing, recognising its importance and actively working towards incorporating it into your relationship can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful connection. And I preach this to you, THIS IS NOT the time to build an understanding with your partner! Yes, there would be new things to learn about this person, but it should not be too far from what you already know about them from the talking stage, hence, tolerance level should automatically be lowered.
While it's true that relationships can be filled with moments of joy, romance, and excitement, the message I'm trying to pass here is that we must begin to take that talking stage as a serious challenge of being vulnerable and open to those difficult conversations. If it doesn't help you find that person as a potential partner, it would as least help you towards personal self discovery and growth. It is only through all of these experiences that we learn, evolve, tolerate and build lasting stability.