One of the most important aspects of a lasting relationship is really knowing a person. You have to know their ups and downs, their past, their future and everything in between if you really want to say it’s love. After all, how can you love someone you don’t really know? You must ask yourself: Do we know each other well enough?
Relationships are complicated. We often fall for someone we barely know based on those things we wish they would become, or the aspects we imagine of that person. Sometimes we even create ideals based on what little bit of knowledge we have.
It’s not a real relationship, though, it’s merely a wish.
If you want a real relationship you have to take the time to get to know someone, to really care about them for who they are. You have to accept the past, love the present, and look forward to the future. But if you don’t know enough about each other, then it really isn’t love.
1. How much do you know about the past?
Everybody has a past, and it isn’t always pretty. I’m a good example of a woman who’s learned from her mistakes (mistakes I have made and have had to grow from). There will always be things you keep to yourself, after all, it’s YOUR past and you have the right to hold some secrets sacred. Still, you can’t hide everything.
How much do you and your lover really know about each other’s past? Do you know some of their secret mistakes or do you really know how they grew up?
Knowing about someone’s past is a very important element of getting to know them better in the future. Now don’t get me wrong, you probably aren’t the same person you were in the past…and neither is he…but you still need to at least know something about the person your lover was before.
2. Can you read each other’s moods?
A good relationship is one where you can have entire conversations from across the room just by looking at each other, a great relationship is one where you know each other’s moods even before exchanging glances.
It’s not enough to know how someone feels after they say it, you have to know how someone feels before they say it. Can you tell when he’s in a bad mood from work? Can he see when you’re sad and need a hug? It’s important to know these things.
3. Do you ever hide your feelings?
If you have to hide your feelings from your partner because you’re afraid they can’t handle it, or you don’t want to rock the boat, then you really don’t know each other that well. The problem here is that you’re not trying to know each other, you’re trying to keep things safe.
If you continuously hide your feelings from each other, then you’re lying about who you are and what you want in life, and that’s no basis for any kind of relationship.
4. Do you know each other’s favorite things?
It’s important to know each other’s favorite things without even having to think about it. This is true even (and probably especially) if you have different interests. Similarities are important, but differences are what make us individual.
5. Could you recognize him on words alone?
If you saw a random note left by your guy (or the other way around) and you couldn’t tell who the handwriting belonged to, could you recognize it was your lover based on just his words? Believe it or not, you really know someone when you know how they speak and what they’re likely to say.
6. Do you know each other’s weaknesses?
If someone doesn’t know your weaknesses, then they don’t really know you. Everyone has a weakness, and if you and your man have never shown each other your weak sides, then you can’t possibly know each other. It takes a lot of strength to show someone your weaknesses.
7. Do you know each other’s true dreams?
Hopes and dreams are what make us who we are. Everyone has them and they share some with the rest of the world, but then we also have at least one personal, secret hope that we cherish and keep all to ourselves.
Have you and your lover expressed your hopes and dreams? Have you shared them? Even if you don’t achieve those aspirations, it’s enough to let someone you love know that you harbor them.
8. Do you know each other’s strengths?
A good relationship is made up of a lot of things, so it’s not enough to know each other’s weaknesses or faults; you also have to know where the other person’s true strengths lie.
My ex had a way of controlling his emotions, his strength lies in his ability to protect himself and step outside of the situation and observe it from a distance. It was something I admired and hated about him, and something I don’t possess. Do you and your lover really know each other’s strengths? More importantly, do you encourage those strengths?
9. How supportive are you?
It’s also important for two people who are together to really, and truly, support each other. That means going to your lover’s work functions with him, encouraging him to take up that hobby he’s always wanted, and going through the good and the bad times together.
If you and your man don’t encompass these traits, then your relationship is more superficial than quality driven. Remember, you can’t love someone you don’t respect, and you can’t respect someone you don’t really know. Take the time to really get to know each other, and see how the relationship grows.
If it weakens, wouldn’t you rather be with someone you CAN tell your secrets to?