I Love Everything About You, Except…

accept your partner

Your warning light, always on, flickering occasionally, suddenly flares to a fiery hot red. This internal alarm is about to put a cold damper on your relationship. As your love progresses and you learn more and more about your mate, there will come the moment when a question must be answered.

At some point, every relationship comes to this fork in the road. Do I want this? Is this the guy for me? You love everything about him, but you have some doubts. Do you decide to invest more into the relationship or is it time to walk?

Doubt and disagreement are a natural part of partnership. This is the texture we need to keep things interesting; to learn and grow. It is rare that two lovers are completely compatible. There is always something that will disturb or irritate, whether it is a habit, interest, trait or all three.

There are probably many things you would like to change about your mate. Maybe he works too hard or loudly smacks his lips when he eats. His mother is a terror. His dog thinks your pet bunny is a tasty snack. The list might be endless. Rest assured, he has a few issues about you that he does not love.

A relationship is a beautiful dance of being in sync at times and at others, it’s we must twirl delicately around our imperfections, incompatibilities and inhumanities. Sometimes you dance a steady waltz. Other times you may explode into a fiery tango. There is a great beauty in the efforts we make to tolerate each other. This dance is the way we negotiate our love.

So what do you dislike about him? Is he a sports nut? No style? Big nose? Can’t swim? Poor taste in cinema? Can’t cook? These are the behaviors that you dislike. But are they deal breakers? Look closely at your resistance to accept your partner. Do these irritations trigger something in you and your acceptance of yourself? Ask these questions as you examine your ability to tolerate others and negotiate compromises.

If you are allowed to caterwaul in the shower, then he can leave the cap off the toothpaste. If he is obsessed with Elvis Presley, just sing along. If he wants to restore a car, you might want to hand him a wrench. These are the things we negotiate. Hopefully, together as a couple, you will find several interests that you can share.

But perhaps there are important issues that you simply cannot tolerate. Is he using drugs? Does he always borrow money from you? Is he still sleeping with his ex? If you have healthy self-esteem, you will likely kick him to the curb for these habits. The first six months are critical in making clear, clean rational decisions. What can you live with? What should you run from?

Dating is like shopping for your final pair of jeans, the pair that looks so good on you, you’ll treasure them forever. Will the style hold that long? What about the cut? You must make some tough decisions in search of your emotions. Look inside. What do you really want? Is it realistic? Is it healthy and free flowing? Will the relationship grow naturally or will it become forced? You may not be clairvoyant, but your instinct is a powerful and pure tool.

Always be aware that life is a river. Change is the only constant, the only thing that you can ever count on. You and your partner will change over time. We cannot predict the future. But how does the future, on a hunch, look to be with your mate?

What if, in the first month, he likes to have a beer with dinner? Then by the fourth month, he prefers a twelve pack. The warning light blinks. Suddenly, your most honest and true instincts will suggest your guy is a liability, not an asset.

Asking people to change rarely works well in the end. Why deprive someone of their natural rhythms? If you make your fella toss his model railroad set, he may begin to quietly resent you. We must always try to approach romance with acceptance and unconditional love.

When a warning light flares, you know to take a step back and ask the hard questions. What does your heart tell you? Are your intentions honest and pure? Are you staying in this relationship because you are too afraid to move on? Everyone grows cautious for a reason.

You have a warning system. Sometimes it emits quiet little blips. Other times it rages like an air raid siren. You will never be able to say that you love absolutely every little thing about someone. With time and growth, we learn to explore and accept each other. To say that you love almost everything about someone is a very lucky thing.

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