So you’ve met someone you enjoy spending time with and you want more—more time, more affection, more intimacy, etc. You find yourself giddy and want to text and talk constantly. You talk in terms of continuum, events and activities you can do together next week, next month. You automatically go from dating to a relationship without sparing a thought to boundaries or expectations. It’s taken for granted these issues will resolve themselves as time progresses. Yet what about those relationships you enter into just for the time being—what I call the Right Now Relationships? Those relationships which you know will never really expand nor go further than the bedroom or the occasional pleasant interactions and weekend trips. Those relationships in which you share a mutually intimate interest yet will never expand into the happily ever after so many of us crave. How do you navigate those waters?
Below are a few hints and thoughts to consider which may help you navigate the vast array of emotions, and at times turmoil, which may surface in Right Now relationships. Having a few of these guidelines in place may help minimize or prevent conflicts and assist you in keeping your perspectives in check.
Boundaries: It’s essential to set boundaries. Not only with time constraints but with what behaviors will be tolerated. Though you might be willing to compromise on the actual relationship, your pride and self-worth are not up for negotiation. Set boundaries on dating others and how the individual will act in your presence. This includes the respect he/she will show you when you’re out in public or home alone.
It’s unrealistic to believe you can keep your emotions in check and not be affected by jealousy and self-doubts. Insecurities will also creep in as you wonder what’s wrong with you that he/she can’t love you or want to share more, the way you feel they should. At those times, consciously remind yourself why you agreed to enter this relationship in the first place—age differences, social barriers, desire for kids, etc. Remind yourself this is a transitory relationship and meant to help you grow and build your strength. It was never meant to be “happily ever after”. It is transitory! Use it as a practice run to prepare you for your ultimate relationship.
Specific time constraints: Spending all your time in a Right Now relationship is unhealthy. Establish specific times to meet: once a week, bi-monthly, etc. Stick to those time constraints. It’s normal to want to share more time especially when you enjoy each other’s company; however don’t lose sight of the perimeters of Right Now. Make the most of your time apart. Use it to continue your growth as you interact with others and ultimately find the one you will want to share your life with. You may find that as you grow emotionally, your time in this transitory relationship will become less necessary and will end altogether.
Conscious awareness: I believe in giving your all in any relationship you’re involved in; yes, even these transitory ones. Why cheat yourself of its full potential. Enjoy your amorous feelings and the joy you take in being with that person. Remember that he or she is there to help you grow and become emotionally and romantically stronger. If you are in an alternative relationship, also use this time to hone your skills and become better at what you want to ultimately share with a future partner.
Guarding your heart isn’t necessary as it’ll be affected regardless of whether you do or don’t. Instead, keep a conscious awareness that this relationship is a stepping stone toward your ultimate goal. Use it to seriously analyze how you behave in relationships and what improvements you can make. Ask this “partner” what things you can do better. Learn how men and women think as you grow in your own knowledge of what you ultimately want to share with another. Learn what it is you want from your lover and what you want to share; more importantly discover what you’re not willing to compromise on.
Though I wouldn’t recommend focusing on the “end” of these types of transitory relationships, I would recommend having an internal gage to remind yourself that when either of you are ready to move on, the relationship will end, whether you want it to or not.
Booty calls: There’s nothing wrong with booty calls and enjoying yourself sexually within Right Now relationships. Ensure to take precautions against pregnancy and STD/STI’s. Never compromise your health and psychological well being by opening the door to potential risks of this nature. In the end, it would merely backfire on you and create resentment and self-worth issues neither of you want.
Establishing healthy compromises in these transitory relationships will assist you in navigating these waters and ensure you derive mutual benefits and emotionally rewarding interactions. A Right Now relationship isn’t for everyone and it’s perfectly acceptable to enter them then decide it’s not for you. Use them for what they are—an opportunity to grow and have someone in your life for a limited time.
We all compromise in relationships in one form or another. Right Now relationships merely require you to be conscious of this fact. Enjoy your time together. Learn and grow as an individual while you have the buffer of this relationship to cradle you through the void and when you’re ready move on. Unlike relationships where one individual is using another for sexual thrills or emotional comfort, the beauty of Right Now is that you’re consciously aware of your actions and theirs and thus you’re able to create a healthy compromise within this relationship.