THE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL

 Copyright, 2018, The Early Bird Special, Frances Metzman

Cory stood on the balcony of her grandmother’s apartment in Miami Beach,Florida. She recalled how Ryan, her boyfriend of three years, had asked to come with along on the trip to visit her grandmother. Cory objected. When the time to leave came, he drove Cory to the airport and tense silence had rebounded between them. The pained look on Ryan’s face had forced her to look away.

She stared at the rust-crusted snow that had been plowed curbside on the streets of New York City. If Ryan had a temper tantrum it would have been easier to handle than his thick, suffocating silence. He dropped her off at the airport terminal with only a nod. 

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IS THERE LITTLE COMMUNICATIN IN YOUR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP?

Does your partner listen attentively to what you say? Does he/she remember important issues you discussed the day after? Do they ask pertinent questions about your issues? Do they ask how they can be of help or if they should keep a distance? If you say you want input, do you get it or a shrug and waning attention. It’s important to watch and see if your partner tends to say no to every request you make without seeming to mull it over or ask more questions about it.

How about this important issue — does he/she do their domestic tasks without nagging to get them done? If you don’t live together and you make dinner does your romantic interest help with cleanup? Is that person watching sports or favorite TV programs more than talking to you? If more time is spent with buddies or girlfriends as a regular habit rather than with you, you might want to deal with that. If you complain  do you get called a nag or too controlling and seething anger?

It’s important to introduce your partner, after a reasonable amount of time, to your family. Are they reluctant or do it grudgingly? If family is important to you it’s possibly a deep conflicting situation. When you are out with your your lover’s friends and it’s all comfortable that’s fine, but if out with your friends and tensions rise, then ask why. If your answer is there’s no common ground or some other issue and no compromise in sight, look very carefully at these red flags. Does your partner demand that you fit into a traditional gender role without any leeway for an equal exchange and it disturbs you – time to question the relationship.

A good way to avoid a lot of misconceptions is that once you feel committed to a person try to set up, verbally or written, with both parties, what  likes and dislikes you have. If that person is unwilling and it’s important to you it might spell trouble ahead. It’s very important to know upfront how each of you functions, feels, thinks and behaves. Know what you can negotiate and what you can’t. Listen carefully to your partner and expect the same.

And if you decide to keep all problems under wraps until you get married, thinking you can make changes then? Think again. Good chance you will not change that person and it is unfair to spring it on them after signing that certificate when you have tolerated annoying habits during the courtship. Use your brain as well as your heart to clear a path to a great relationship