Meshing two people into one unit, turning two people into a couple, is a tricky business. With a number of moving parts on a lot of levels resolving in different time frames, we underestimate the process at our peril.
A few of these factors can be de-tangled before we even start, but it requires conscious pre-meditation. Actually, that’s a good word for it; meditation. Out-thinking our instincts and peer influences will stop us from immediately taking a wrong turn and subsequently keep us close to the right path.
One way to begin is to figure out our expectations. The romantic and beastly part of us wants the immediate gratification of all our desires, wants, drives and dreams. Write it down like that and the absurdity stands out. Ideally we’d manage our expectations as we go along: low to begin with because we’re dealing with a stranger, gradually increasing as we get to know this person.
That is easier said than done, but if we’re to protect ourselves, a certain kind of clinical thinking like this might help us navigate the complexity.