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Recently, my boyfriend expressed some fear that we had moved too fast. While it’s only been four months, it feels like way more. Not quite a lifetime, but certainly a few years. We had clicked almost instantly, and while I was less than a year out of a nearly five-year relationship and he was, um, not quite divorced (a whole other topic), it seemed too good to pass up. I felt ready to be totally vulnerable and open to someone new, no matter where that might lead me. It has been (mostly) awesome.
The thing that prompted my BF to finally voice his concern was that we spent an evening last weekend cooking dinner together—the smell of scallops is still permeating my apartment, by the way—a decidedly “domestic” activity. As someone who loves to cook, to stay in and watch movies (especially during the winter), and go out for lazy brunches, sharing parts of the newspaper, it’s very easy for me to suddenly find myself in a new relationship which resembles, at least on the surface, one that’s just celebrated a golden anniversary. I’m a nester and a homebody. But while that’s in my nature, I don’t think I should let it take hold of my romantic relationships, at least not early on. It took this discussion with my BF to realize that I’ve kind of got to go against my nature if I want to give any new relationship a chance in hell.
My last relationship fell into a routine quickly after we moved in together. We were living in Brooklyn above a mean ol’ lady who screamed obscenities in Polish if we we made any noise, and I mean any. My boyfriend didn’t care about pissing her off, but for some reason I did. Knowing a 90-year-old woman could hear me having sex was extremely disconcerting to me and I was absolutely petrified of having her scream at me for any reason. As a result, I became quiet as a mouse—especially in the bedroom. Over the course of the year we lived there, my boyfriend and I got into a pattern of staying in a lot, cooking dinner and watching movies. We were in love, so it seemed cozy at the time, but looking back, I wish we had put more effort into livening up our relationship by at least getting out—and getting rowdy—more. Instead, he had our routine at home to look forward to, after living a decidedly, um, not routine life on his own.
On one hand, I love routine. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s secure. In many ways, these adjectives also describe my last relationship, up until the very end. I still want those qualities in a relationship, but I also want more—excitement, surprise, passion ... Now is the time to have those things in a relationship, before other responsibilities and circumstances—children and old age, to name just two—make that harder to handle. I don’t want the mistakes I made—and the habits I developed—in my past relationship to permeate my current one. Comfort and coziness and security are wonderful characteristics, ones I won’t ever sacrifice in a long-term relationship, but the fun and excitement of dating can and should be savored, even if that means forcing myself—and thus us—to slow down.
I think my boyfriend is still trying to wrap his head around the panic he was feeling and that’s up to him to figure out. But his fear forced me to recognize that I should be cautious too—of taking him, us, but most of all, this time in my life, for granted.
Create Comfortable Relationships - Share the Control
Do you think now is a good time to share control in your relationship? Do you dominate him or does he dominate you? Are you ready for a deeper and more comfortable relationship? If you are looking for a little more than you have now than it is time to start using these methods to share the control and have a healthier relationship.
Get a Life.
That may sound harsh, but it is the first part to sharing the control in your relationship. You will need to have fun and enjoy your life. To do this you will want to keep your friends and family members. You will also want to keep your hobbies and enjoy all that life has to offer you. You need to make sure that you have a life outside of your relationship with him. This will help you install boundaries and will make you a whole lot less dependent on him.
Create some rules.
In order to share the power in a relationship you need to take some time and define a few rules and a few boundaries. These should be used to define each of your responsibilities and the things that you are going to do in the relationship. It needs to adjust a little with changing circumstances, but can be the best way to build those new lines.
Share the responsibility.
Over time it seems easier and easier for him to have all the responsibilities. However, this isn't healthy and can leave you in a bad position. It is best that you share in the responsibilities for the best possible relationship. This will let you both have some and make sure that no one is having "power" over the other.
Show him you have what it takes to live without him.
Many times we are taken for granted because we are always there. If you show him that you have what it takes to live without him and live happily without him he is more likely to realize your value and treat you as such.
With these four things you can share control in your relationship and build something deeper. The only things you need to do is make sure you have your life, create a few rules and boundaries, share the responsibilities, and let him know you don't have to have him in your life to survive. If you show him these things you will make your relationship even stronger and more comfortable for both of you.
Creating Comfortable Relationships - Sharing the Power
Do you feel like your partner is controlling the relationship? Do you feel like he is controlling you? Do you feel like you need a portion of the power? For many guys it is easy to accidentally take control of a relationship. It is easy to be bossy and pushy. Some do this because it is the role they are used to playing in the rest of their lives. Still others do this because they are the ones who are usually stepped on when it comes to life and they want some power to call their own. The best of relationships share the power and you can do this as well, but it will take a little work.
First you need to spend some time on your own. If all you are is a woman in a relationship then he will think that you have to stay. He will think that you desperately need the relationship. He will also not have any time to miss or appreciate you. Get a life, enjoy doing things, and have fun with it all. This is the first thing you need to do to share the power in a relationship and turn it into a comfortable one.
Next you need to take responsibility for some of the things in the relationship. Be willing to take responsibility for some of the decisions. You can also share some decisions with the two of you. Either way you need to make sure that you are sharing responsibility.
Say no when you need to. Don't just give and give. The relationship is about both of you and in order for it to be about both of you, you will need to stand up for your needs. You need to speak your mind, share your thoughts, and say no when he wants something you don't.
Create some rules. These should include who is responsible for what. You should also include the boundaries that will be used to control the relationship. These boundaries are important in establishing a comfortable relationship that is about the two of you and not just him.
Creating a comfortable relationship will take time. A healthy relationship always shares the power and you need to work on making that a part of the process. Work on building a healthy relationship and you will be far better off than you are with him in control.
Signs You’re Truly Comfortable In Your Relationship
Over on Jezebel, Slut Machine shared her concerns about pooping and farting in front of her new boyfriend. Performing these two bodily functions in front of a guy or girl you like is one of the ultimate signs you are really and truly comfortable with the person you’re seeing. But there are other ways people know your relationship is past the get-to-know-you phase…
YOU LET YOUR LOOKS GO
“I know I’ve turned the corner when I wear my glasses around him. Typically, I wear contacts and will endure late hour eye-scratching torture not to be seen in my coke bottles.” —Anne
“Wearing my saggy-bottomed house pants. Sure, they look like I’m wearing a diaper, but they feel so good.” —Mary
“Letting him see my crotch in hideous stages of regrowth after I shaved all my hairs off.” —Niki
“You only own one pair of heels and you wear them almost never.” —Rebecca
YOU DON’T BOTHER WITH MAKEUP
“If I can spend an entire day with them sans makeup. I’m talking waking up, going to brunch, and walking around without a stitch of concealer and barely-brushed hair. Similarly, if the two of you spend the whole day together and don’t shower because you’re too busy getting busy, that’s love.” —Maridel
“When I was able to go without my makeup in front of my now-fiance, I knew I was 100 percent comfortable around him. I am so not one of those girls who piles makeup on, but still, my quick swipe of mascara, blush, and eyeshadow are a security blanket.” —Cara
“I know that I really like the guy if he can see me sans my “smoky eyeliner” in the a.m. I can throw up in front of a guy after too many glasses of red wine, belt out a horrible rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” in front of all his friends at a packed karaoke bar, snort and chortle my way through Jackass and even wear nothing but leggings, flip flops and a burrito stained t-shirt to Tasti-D on a lazy Sunday evenings. But nothing says comfort and “I love you” to me like waking up and looking at the boy square in the eye—zits and all. —Veronique
YOU PERFORM BODILY FUNCTIONS IN THEIR PRESENCE
“Once I can flatulate freely in her presence and don’t have to hide my emissions, I know we have reached our (smelly) comfort zone.” —Jason
“When I can pee in front of them.” —Leigh
“If I can take a poop at his house.” —Lily
YOU SHARE INTIMATE DETAILS WITH THEM
“I know I’m comfortable with someone when I can tell them that I own a gun. Too soon, and all sorts of judgments and misconceptions are established. —Matilda
“Telling my salary and talking about finances in general. I don’t share that unless I’m really comfortable.” —Amanda
“If I allow her access to my music. Letting a girl browse through my iPod is like giving her a sneak peak into my inner workings—a big deal, not to be taken lightly.” —Lee
YOU HANG OUT IN THE NUDE WITHOUT GETTING IT ON
“The first sign that I was comfortable with my boyfriend was when I’d come over after work, and he’d be in his underwear on the couch eating Cheez-Its. I didn’t find it sexy or arousing or even think much of it. I didn’t need to be impressed or he with me at that point. We were comfortable pigging out together practically in the buff.” —Brady
“Nudity in a non-sex context. Not even necessarily exposing the little uglies, but lounging in underwear and whatnot.” —Jeff
YOU CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE
“When we don’ t talk in the morning, but just get ready and your interactions seem both choreographed (in the way that you’re in a pattern) and natural.” —Leonora
“You don’t sleep well without him.” —Simcha
“You have two sets of things—one at his place, one at yours.” —Annika
“You touch base during business hours.” —Laura
YOU JUST STOP WORRYING
“Having sex while on my period. It’s not one of those things you typically want to do until you know someone well. Except for that one time I was really drunk….” —Laura
“You’re not freaked out when he picks up the phone and your mom’s on the other line.” —Nicole
“When I eat a burrito before having sex.” —Lauren
” let them see me in my Crest Whitestrips!” —Kelsey
...AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE ANY HANGUPS
“I’m usually pretty comfortable if I’m dating the girl in the first place. Isn’t that part of the motivation to spend time with someone?” —Josh
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA