How to Let Things Happen Naturally in Relationships

Happy young couple watching movie together on couchHappy young couple watching movie together on couch

Even though you might want to speed things up, fast forwarding your relationship doesn't always have the desired outcome. Instead of pushing your partner to get closer or commit before she's ready, let things unfold naturally. Doing so provides the time and space that you both need to truly get to know each other, make a connection and establish a strong foundation for a healthy long-term relationship.

Listen Up

Simply hearing what your partner has to say isn't enough, according to professor of communication Kory Floyd in his article "7 Relationship Resolutions Worth Keeping" for Psychology Today. Listening to what he is saying, and understanding the meaning behind his words, can help your relationship unfold naturally. Instead of pushing him into a commitment that he isn't ready to make quickly, listen attentively to what he says about your future and what he wants out of the relationship. He should do the same for you. Don't allow your own agenda to influence how you're hearing him. Assess his ideas neutrally, taking his perspective to better understand what he's actually saying. This can help you both know if you're on the same page and prevent the possibility of kicking things into high drive before you are both ready.

Past Pressures

Taking your baggage from a past relationship along with you when starting a new one won't help your current situation to unfold naturally. Before you invest yourself in something new, let go of the past. Doing so can create the space for you to not only move on but also welcome a new relationship with a natural sense of openness, according to licensed professional counselor Karisse Callender in the Psych Central post "Lessons From the Falling Leaves." If you're holding on to unresolved feelings or past resentments, or if you are still in constant contact with your former flame, you won't have the mental or emotional space to let a new love in. This may prematurely end your new relationship or prevent you from getting close to her.

Don't Fight the Phases

Relationships aren't straight lines. There's no one way to get from point A to point B, or new start to close commitment. Every relationship has phases or ups and downs. A naturally unfolding partnership isn't 100 percent happy or joy-filled each and every day, week or month. Expect that you'll have romantic lulls, times when one -- or both -- of you needs space; you will also have times of giddy glee. If you truly feel that the relationship is something you want, you don't have to bail when times get tough, or slightly uninteresting. Let these phases come to a natural end, and know that there's a new one on the horizon. In the event that an uncomfortable phase -- such as the two of you constantly bickering -- doesn't end as quickly as you think it should, you might consider reevaluating relationship goals, perhaps even with the assistance of a couples counselor.

Accept Differences

Changing yourself drastically or pushing your partner to do so won't help your relationship to progress in an honestly natural way. Close, committed partners can accept that they don't always have to agree on everything. Whether it's a difference of political opinions or differing on music likes and dislikes, allow yourself the space to be an individual. Just because you're a "we" doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice the "I." Accepting each other for who you are can cut control issues and allow your partnership to progress into true intimacy, according to family therapist Baya Mebarek on the San Diego Couples and Family Therapy website.

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About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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