When Someone Shows You Who They Are

Have you ever lived a relationship in the future? 
Believed that when x, y or z happens things will be better?
Told yourself that when ''my partner moves house/leaves their job/loses some weight/stops drinking/stops feeling so angry etc that everything will be better''? or maybe,
when that one thing that you believe to be the problem in your relationship or the challenge in their personality changes that everything in the relationships will then be OK/better/'fixed'? 

Welcome to Time Travel Relationships!
Relationships that are not satisfying nor particularly happy in the present, & haven't been for some time, but at some imagined time in the imagined future they are imagined to be great! The problem with this is that we can't predict the future, we don't know what's going to happen or how long it's going to take for this thing we want to change to be different. What if it never happens? What if it never comes nor changes? How long are we willing to wait? How long are we willing to continue to be unsatisfied or unhappy?

This question is, of course, going to illicit different responses depending on what it is we want to change, how long we've been in relationship, as well as what we've already created together, along with our personal values in relation to commitment. If there are children & other commitments then likely we are willing to wait a longer period for things to change than if we've only been together a few months & there are no children on the horizon; there are more than the adults in the relationship to consider in that situation, but, what if the 'children' are now adults themselves? 

The person who is unhappy & unsatisfied is the only person who can answer the question ''how long is too long to wait for me to be happy?'' as well as what needs to be considered in that situation, but, there are some things worth considering if at the beginning of a relationship.


The beginning of new relationships usually feel really good, we are high on all those happy hormones coursing through our body, all that oxytocin from the physical intimacy making us feel close & connected to our partner. We delight in the dopamine & serotonin hits that give us a sense of relaxation, calm & attraction to being & spending time with our partner. And, of course, our levels of testosterone & estrogen (the two main sex hormones) take a wild ride due to sexual attraction & lust. This is the golden trifecta of adult intimate sexual & romantic relationship, when these three; attraction, attachment & lust, are in deep & sweet harmony with each other we are lost to reason & 'love' has come to town!

Our, perhaps usually, clear & rational minds, together with our usual standards in relation to the behaviour of others, are often muddled & addled by these hormones & our priorities can change as well as what we deem to be acceptable in the behaviour of others, often though we are not aware of these changes as they happen at an unconscious level. What our expectations are about relationships & what we believe their purpose & function to be also matters here, & this is of course influenced by our culture & the society in which we live.

Very often relationship 'teachers' or 'experts' talk about Relationship Red Flags, these are behaviours or actions on the part of our love interest that should warn us of behaviour that is incompatible with a healthy relationship or beliefs that are, for example, incompatible with our own personal values. But, as we feel the rush of happy new relationship hormones we often ignore these red flags, brushing them off as insignificant or irrelevant, or we hope they're things that will change over time, that is if we even see them at all. We do this, however, at not just our own peril but also the other person's.


People show us who they are all the time, the only question is how much we are willing & able to clearly see what we are being shown and then what are we willing & able to do with what we see.


''I'm too busy to reply to your messages, you expect me to reply too quickly!'' - when the person doesn't reply for days or more, is this respectful? Is this the standard of communication you & your relationship is worthy of?

''I'm too busy with work to see you, I don't know when I can see you again'' - when they've already told you, several times, that it's quiet at work this time of year, if someone's not willing to make an effort to see you then is the relationship really worth you investing your time? Are you investing equally in terms of time & energy? equal investment, over time, matters.

''I don't smoke'' & then you see them smoking with your own eyes but they respond with, ''well, I don't smoke every day!'' This is, what my mother used to call, being economical with the truth! If the 'truth' can be bent this way about something like smoking what else can the person be economical with the truth about?

''I'm sorry, I'm late, it's really unlike me, I'm always on time!'' - when they've been late to meet you many times. Are they aware of their own behaviour & how it impacts others? do they really care?

Of course there are many other behaviours that the person may not comment on themselves but that still show us something about who they are, such as:

- how they talk about their exes, is it with respect or are they all ''crazy''? you could well be someone they speak about in the same way in the future - pay attention, the main common denominator between all those exes is your current partner.

- how they treat the people around them, notice how they speak to people who can do nothing for them or people who could be deemed as their 'subordinates', such as waiting staff in a restaurant or their employees, how do they wield power? is it with kindness & an awareness of the responsibility of power or do they laud their position over others, abusing & hurting them in the process?

- notice how others respond to them, are they well liked by the people around them, are they respected by their peers, neighbours, friends & colleagues? Of course popularity is no indication of a good person nor a compatible match, nor indeed of integrity, but those who've known the person longer than us & in different environments give us a good window through which to see someone from a different perspective.

These are the sorts of things I'm talking about, behaviours that we might, in the throes of new relationship energy ignore or not pay much attention to because we feel so happy to simply be with this person but we should, because the person is showing us who they are & we need to take notice.

Engage your heart & body to the degree to which you wish, by all means, but do not leave the brain behind!

21st July 2019