Sometimes the journey into a relationship is a passionate whirlwind of emotion and spirit. It can be hard to settle into reality and regulate your mind in a practical way. Thus, it is important to stay very conscious with self reminders prior to and throughout the relationship. I call these self reminders: prep work.
Many times, the way we leave a relationship is just as bad as when we enter it. We could be holding onto baggage, feeling desperate, using someone as a rebound, or simply using someone as a crutch. We often lose ourselves in relationships too. Whether it’s working to please our partner, compromising on things we usually don’t, or adopting the trauma, pain, malpractices, and lack of ambition. These factors, and many more, can steer us off of the track to our true selves.
A great way to avoid them or eliminate them in our relationships is to begin prep work. Prep work is what can keep us on track to positive growth, furthering our self-discovery, honoring our authenticity, and confronting issues that need to be addressed. Here are five examples of prep work that can help you solidify what you should do before committing:
1. Create an opening ritual
Rituals should not only be reserved for us spiritual folk. A ritual does not even have to look spiritual in any way. A repetitive sequence that you are particular, intentional, consistent, and conscious about, can be considered a ritual. What better way then, to enter a relationship. An example of an opening ritual I would set into practice would be a repetition of affirmations about who I am, followed by a traditional hour-long silent meditation, and ending with reading a visual reminder that notes “remember who you are.”
2. Create an application
This is comical, but also very helpful too. I was first introduced to this concept by a woman who has actively created her own “date me” application. She has even given it to a few prospective partners. She mentioned adding actual job application questions such as “where did you hear about this position?” Coupled with personal questions like “describe the relationship between you and your mother.” This particular prep work has the potential to be off-putting. However, I see it as a great tool to ward off someone who you may not align with.
3. Write a list of needs
We all have needs. And the needs that we have in relationships, should be just as important as the water we drink and the air that we breathe. A list allows you to have a tangible reminder that you can revisit throughout the relationship. You and your partner can center intimate conversations around it to guarantee needs are being met and non-negotiable factors are being honored.
4. Remember past lessons
If simply recollecting the important things you learned in your past is not enough, consider writing this down too. A list of lessons allows you to take responsibility for mistakes you have formerly made, in order to stay focused on what to do in the future. This also allows you to have a more blatant detection of red flags, which can oftentimes be subtle, and hard to point out. The more you stay true to honoring past lessons, the easier it is to attract a partner who is for you in all ways.
5. Create a pact of honesty
A lot of the time, honesty is a luxury. People say that they want the truth and truly don’t. While others fail to give the truth to the ones who truly do. Having this type of pact, though, should be a relationship requirement, especially one for relationship prep work. It’s pertinent to create a pact of emotional honesty by being upfront about how you feel and what you feel on a consistent basis. This allows you to keep up with your mental health, which can eliminate feelings of deep depression, blockages, insecurities, and timidity.
Prep work may show up in a thousand different ways! Any steady practice that helps you to stay level headed, engaged, aware, and healthy is the prep work that is right for you.