If you think of your relationship as a plane taking off down a runway, what needs to stay in balance to have a smooth take off? Here are five gauges you may want to keep an eye on as you move forward in a relationship.
If you can keep these areas in balance you may save yourself from a painful crash at the end of the runway.
The time gauge measures how much time you spend together. Generally it means time together alone.
You know that couple that started going together a few months ago? You know, the one that seemed to disappear? You sorta see them around but they are always together ignoring everyone else. This couple may have their time out of proportion. Spending time with your boyfriend is important and leaving other relationships is part of courtship. But this leaving should be a gradual transition. Or I could be wrong. What do you think?
You don’t want your time together to outstrip your commitment. When you first start moving down the runway resist the temptation to push this gauge to 11. If you do this you may alienate the friends you have. Those are the very friends you will need down the road.
This can be a touchy subject :-). Some courtship models decry touching the opposite sex as a sin.
This is one of the topics you will want to talk through at the beginning of your relationship. Where are the tick marks going to be on your gauge? At what point do you plan to start holding hands?
The amount of touch should be closely tied to your level of commitment. Some couples decide not to kiss until they are engaged. Other couples don’t kiss until their wedding day. I have yet to meet a couple who made such a commitment and later regretted it. Many couples regret going to far to soon. Self restraint in this area can build a great deal of trust later on.
Talk is a measure of how much time you spend Facebooking, texting, chatting on the phone or whatever.
The more you talk the more involved you will become emotionally. The more connected you are emotionally the more painful the breakup will be if it happens. This gauge hurts a lot if you let it get to red before the other gauges.
Make sure your level of talk is anchored to your amount of commitment.
One of the challenges to long distance relationships is that you spend a lot of time talking without spending time together. This takes away your opportunity to see how your girlfriend interacts in real life. If your primary interaction is over the phone it is possible to get a skewed view of the other person. This is something you have to consciously guard against if you are in a long distance relationship.
What do you think? How do you make long distance relationships work?
Commitment is the standard by which the other three gauges should be measured. It helps to periodically check the other areas of your relationship against this gauge. Also realize that your boyfriend might not be as committed to the relationship as you are.
Broken hearts happen when one person is more committed than the other.
It can be hard to tell how committed the other person is to a relationship. One piece of advice is to look at actions more than you listen to words. How committed is your girlfriend to the other relationships in her life? What do you think? How can you tell if your girlfriend is committed to the relationship?
Here are some other indicators to pay attention to:
Thanks to Jimmie Seibert, the Pastor of Antioch Community Church. A lot of this came from him first.
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