This is one question that a lot of people do not feel comfortable asking because, no one wants to appear naïve or immature. You aren’t entirely wrong to assume that constantly wondering if your significant other shares mutual feelings can seem a bit childish, but on the other hand, we live in an age where people aren’t entirely overboard. In this age things cannot always be taken at face value but must be treated with some level of skepticism, reservation, and scrutiny. So you have to wonder…some of the time…if the person you are throwing your heart at is actually catching it, and throwing his or hers back. But there is a very thin line between being an assertive and protective partner, and being a naïve and insecure one. To walk on these waters is to tread on thin ice; one must tread lightly, and with a life jacket strapped.
The following guidelines and rules, can help provide a partial answer to this question, and can make things a little bit easier for both (or the 3, 4, 5…depending on the number in the relationship) of you.
First Rule: Know Thyself
I believe this is one of the cardinal rules in relationships, as well as life. Have you ever been in that relationship where one of you is always angry with the other, but the angry person can’t give a proper reason why? Or where one of you easily gets jealous and as a result builds mistrust and strains the relationship? These common relationship issues are as a result of that person lacking knowledge of his or herself. Knowing yourself is usually the difference between a stressful relationship and a seamless one. If you know yourself, you know your boundaries; and if you are well aware of your strengths and weaknesses, chances are your partner would find out about them too. When you know yourself, you create avenues for your partner to know you too, and so it becomes harder to be misinterpreted. This self-knowledge creates freedom and openness in the relationship. As Lao Tzu put it, “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.”
Second Rule: Know Thy Lover
Everything is faster in this age and so many people speed date. Because we enter relationships without a certain level of prior knowledge, certain things creep up and surprise us. We end up getting disappointed, or misinterpreting things that are natural to the other person. You could end up misinterpreting your partner’s general low level of excitement for indifference towards you. Or you could take his natural playfulness for flirtation. I say this from experience as I have suffered quite heavily from these two misconceptions. If you know your lover in depth, certain things will not surprise you. By knowing your boo, it will be easier to know what to expect, know when things have changed, and know when there are problems/drifting. And then you can say confidently to those pesky, enemy-of-progress, ‘amebo’ friends that, “I understand your snoopy concerns but that’s just how my boo is”. As ancient war strategist Sun Tzu put it, “Know thy Boo”.
Third Rule: Communication
Talk, Talk, Talk! If something is bothering you, talk. If something is confusing you, talk. If something is strange to you, ask. If something is not adding up, certify. Too much communication has never caused problems. Too often I have been inside relationships, which I knew nothing about, partly because of a certain misleading flaw of mine, and partly because of lack of communication/confirmation from the second party. Close friends have often chastised me for my secrecy about a relationship; a relationship, which, prior to the chastisement, I didn’t know I was in. How I can be so oblivious to not even know I am in a relationship for weeks, I do not know, but feel free to leave your opinions and insults concerning this in the comments below, thank you. But my point is this, a lot of confusion is created by a lack of communication, and a lot of awkwardness can be avoided by clarity.
I believe if you follow these three simple rules, then you would always have a better grip on when your boo is or isn’t your boo. Think of these rules as the lifejacket I mentioned earlier. Following/wearing them will leave you in a better position to clarify the status of things, and will ensure that you don’t end up looking like a drowned, paranoid, love-struck, stalker.
P.s Maybe “Know thy boo” wasn’t the actual phrase used by Sun Tzu, but no need to fret over the small stuff right?
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