I have approached dating as a process to identify, qualify, and ultimately partner with a single woman. The dating part is essential, but dating is not the goal. Sex is essential, but sex, also, is not the goal. Working to identify and explore a combination of these three factors, is how I am navigating my approach to finding my next long-term relationship.
Stay in the moment. When one of you feels a disturbance in the force, speak up. Ask for the repair. Illuminate the differences and the misconnections that occurred. And set some ideas, goals, phrases, that can remind you in the future when I similar situation or disconnection happens.
We've all got issues. Let's own them. Let's take those bastards out and flog them until they no longer flog and confuse us. Own your issues.
In a relationship that is not quite right, we (I am) are constantly on guard for things to begin going wrong. And either you work through those issues together or you don't. And if you don't you will be miserable trying to stay together. Better to move on.
The dragon is your friend. The drama is your weakness. In using this process your blindspots become known dragons and can be tamed and befriended. You can then proceed to walk through life more like a dragon rider.
When you begin building a relationship, part of what you are envisioning is how the two of you will progress into a full-blown, loving, couple. All the dreams of what life will be like with this person are there for your enjoyment.
Over time, as adults, we develop coping mechanisms, strategies, action plans, for dealing with our own shit. Either we get pretty good at it, or we don't. When we're not very good at maintaining our own emotional boundaries, things begin to come out sideways.
By allowing you to experience and process your own distress, without my interference, I am giving you the utmost respect. I am viewing you as whole, strong, and capable. And in my affirmation of you and your inherent ability to be strong and sufficient, I am reaffirming my belief in you.