Get the Owner’s Manual Before You Commit

The Owner’s Manual to the Person You’re Dating

IN THIS BLOG WE LOOK AT PEOPLE LIKE COUNTRIES OR CITIES YOU PLAN TO MOVE TO. THIS IS THE ANALOGY I USE ON HOW TO SET A GOOD FOUNDATION BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO THE NEW LOCATION OF YOUR HEART.

I PROMISE YOU THE PROCESS IS NOT DRY  SCIENCE; IT’S ACTUALLY A LOT OF FUN.

First, read my blog on relationship styles and then come back to this one.

Now after you’ve read that you will be ready for this…

How do we get this off to a good start? 

As with anything you should not enter into a commitment without research and understanding the situation. It’s not wise to take a medication without first researching the side effects, or to relocate to a country you’ve never been to without first finding out some basic info, such as weather, local food, and most importantly the local rules and guidelines for every day life.

Let’s use that analogy to understand this better. Just like a country, a person has a history, rules, traditions, and along the way the culture will change slightly but the foundation remains relatively unchanged. Would you agree that’s the same thing people do? If not, stop reading, but if yes, let’s keep this going.

Temporary or Permanent relocation? Travel brochure or more in depth research?

During the dating/get to know ya stage of a couple’s journey together, you want to understand this person. What’s the problem today?  Most couples don’t know what the important information is.They look at: Does this person like the same music as me? Do they make me laugh? What kind of education do they have? What is their dream job? What kind of car or house do they have? Etc.

Not that this is bad info; it’s good because this is a part of who they are, but this does not tell you what life is like with this person. You wouldn’t just decide to relocate your family to a new country based on just a travel brochure, right?  Travel brochures are good for temporary locations, so if all you want is a good time, then travel brochure is your only necessary tool, but if you’re thinking of moving in, you need some more information.

What do I need to know?

Here are some things you will want to know:

  1. Spiritual habits: Summarize what you believe about God and the world we live in. Explain your spiritual life to me, morals, prayer, central philosophy that guide your life.
  2. Health habits: Tell me about the foods you eat, what kind of physical activity you like, what kinds you do often, what kinds you do just for fun, and what kind of health concerns do you have and what do you do to care for them?
  3. Weekly schedule: What are your usual activities on weekdays and weekends?  What frustrates you on a regular basis during this schedule? When do you feel the most relaxed or excited or content during the week and what are you doing when you feel this way?
  4. Fun Details: What do you love to do? Give me some detail on it too. Where? When? Why? With who?
  5. Moods: How can I know when you are happy, sad, angry, stressed, or confused? What physical signs or actions should I look for? How should I approach you when you are sad, angry, stressed, or confused? (Each person has to be clear about each emotion separately.)

There is probably much more than a person can teach you about themselves, but it has been my experience that these are the most important. That’s why I call this “The Owner’s Manual.”

Now it’s time for you and your partner to put this manual together, written or spoken, doesn’t matter. Get it out there.  (My advice: written is better. It gives them something to review later. We remember much less of what we hear and much more of what we read.)

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