There are few things in life that can match the magical feeling of falling in love. But falling in love is the easy part. The real challenge is to stay in love, particularly after the newness wears off. Over time, the person you fall in love with will change. You will change. Failure to adapt to change will eventually suffocate the love.
For this reason I place a high priority on continued courtship. Usually, this quality time is spent over an evening meal fused with open conversation. Not long ago I took my wife to a newly discovered restaurant. She ordered a salmon and I got a burger. We both agreed that the food was out of this world…with one minor hiccup. Almost immediately she pulled out a long hair from beneath the rosy filet. Naturally, she expressed displeasure. “You will live”, I said. My statement was intended to be matter of fact, not rude or impolite in any way. I don’t remember if she heard me, but I do remember how bad my statement sounded. I do remember thinking the fact of the matter was that my wife deserved my very best. I quickly made a course correction and said, “Would you rather eat my burger? I’ll take the Salmon.”
We normally think of dating as an opportunity to learn about the other person. While this should always be the priority, my story illustrates that we can learn a lot about ourselves too. During all that open conversation, listen! Not just to your partner, but also to yourself. What you say isn’t necessarily what gets communicated.