Growth and development occurs in all living things. Gorgeous flower displays often begin life as tiny seeds that grow and develop over time. With the proper conditions: having the right soil/water mixture, good maintenance of weeding and pruning, and protection from extreme weather conditions, the young fledging plant will begin to thrive. As the flower develops a strong root system, it will be better equipped to handle any of the harsh realties that it is presented with as it matures.
Similarly, healthy dating relationship formation needs the same requirements of time, good nutrition, and proper maintenance as the plant kingdom does for both parties to be satisfied. First, good relationships take time. If you have found someone that is worthy of investing your life with, don’t rush romance. Get to know the person without making demands on things happening too quickly. The way the flower develops naturally, let the relationship happen organically by enjoying the beauty of simply being together and learning about one another. As the relationship grows more serious, remember to give it the proper nutrients it needs to succeed. From the beginning, talk about your expectations, values, and plans you have for the future. Make it clear what are your ‘must haves’ and ‘no ways,’ so that both of you are on the same page. After you have decided to be in a long term relationship, the maintenance piece will be very significant as well. For this part of maintaining the relationship, communication is vitally important. Develop good listening skills. Practice being a good listener by not interrupting your partner. Ask questions that demonstrate that you care about what is important to them. When the inevitable conflicts do arise, resist the temptation to attack your partner by seeking to be a problem-solver and a peacemaker. Think ‘we’ not ‘I,’ when you address him or her. Remain calm by purposely choosing words that are going to restore the relationship not escalate the argument. When a relationship has the right timing, correct nutrition in setting the expectations early, and the proper maintenance of guarding your words and actions, a mutually-respectful relationship is predictable.
If you decide to begin to give your dating relationship the same healthy growth and development nutrients that all flowers need to thrive, you will soon find that it has a beauty for all to behold and admire. More importantly, it will be able to endure the pressures that life presents because it has the strength that makes it resilient and beautiful.