Tom's 13 year old son, Kev, was a football fanatic and very talented. He wanted to be a professional and Tom was determined to support him fully. Tom worked shifts - lots of evenings. At the weekend he went to the football matches with Kev and supported him. He told me that for a woman to become special in his life, she would have to want to spend time
with Kev and Tom like this. Giving Kev the support he needed was a top priority with Tom. Whether you agree or not, Tom does NOT want a woman who expects to change this, this is an immutable in his books.
When Nicola met her partner she said 'Look, I'm going to tell you straight - this is how I am. This is what's important to me and this is what's not flexible and this is where I am prepared to compromise and this is what I expect from a relationship - how about you?" Nicola wanted a man who knew who she was and who liked what that was and wanted to be around it. That's why she was so blunt.
While you may not be as blunt as Nicola, I am sure you can understand the value of finding out what is important to yourself and of conveying it to others and then finding out what is important to them. And here's a question to get you thinking...
What do you do or believe in that is so important to you that, if someone were to ask you to give it up or do a lot less of it to be with them, it would be unacceptable?
The clues are there
Often when we first meet, we spend time talking about our lives and past relationships. This is
your opportunity to express what's important to you... stories tell us loads. And this is your
opportunity to discover more about them.
Listen carefully because people are giving you clues all the time. They will tell you what they value and want indirectly. Make sure you reciprocate - and if what they reveal doesn't fit with you..and you still feel drawn, be careful... Check it out further. You could be heading for a minefield - and no-one walks into a minefield thinking 'I won't get hit this time or I can change the mines...this time it'll be different' It probably won't!!
Know who you are - Who are You?
You can't really work out if you want to see more of someone or if they are right for you unless you have a clear idea of what you value in yourself. Do you know who you are? What are the things that are dominant and important in your life, and what values do you hold so true that someone you are with has to have similar ones or else - no go!
Do you want kids? Or maybe you definitely don't want them. Are you sure? Many people continue through relationships and even get married, assuming that the other wants just what they want.
"I thought we wouldn't have kids until we'd had some time building our careers, say in 6 or 7 years time and I only discovered when Illona got pregnant that she'd wanted them immediately and that she assumed I would too. We'd never discussed it properly, but then you don't do you.." [This was sent to me by someone asking for help]
What's the story?
People will tell you everything you need to know to give you potential for further exploration or to know that it's time to go....you just have to listen - pay attention and ask for clarification when you are not sure
When you pay attention to the myths and stories of someone's life you will learn lots.. and as you listen, draw back the veils of lust and pay attention to what lies beyond and above all be true to yourself
* If for one moment you hesitate recounting some story for fear that the other person might not like you or be shocked.. then either it's too soon or it's time to check your self worth - Are you comfortable with your past and who you are now?
* If you find yourself agreeing with something they say, that in your heart of hearts you don't agree with, STOP. It's pointless saying 'me too' when it isn't true. They will be attracted to someone you are not and then you'll disappoint them and yourself.
* If you find yourself listening to them and thinking 'that will change' ALARM bells should start ringing. Go back and check your values. Be very careful!
* And if you find with each new revelation that you have more and more values, dreams
and ways of living in common, then great, pursue it...
Explore yourself and others
When you want clarity on what it is you want, you can do this exploration.
Divide a piece of paper down the middle. On one side put ME and on the other his or her name.
* What do I value most in life? This usually generates big wide emotionally charged open nouns like freedom, security. Write what that big word means to you.
* What things are going on in my life that are very important to me to maintain?
* What qualities is it vital for the other person to believe in or exhibit before I am prepared to enter a more long term relationship with them?