Friends call me the walking fortune cookie. They call me the relationship guru. ... I say, just call me obsessed and passionate about this realm of life we call love. It can also mean that the guy I date has got some strong guts, a ginormous heart, and a back pocket full of tricks to make me swoon. I'm the analytical type - and so as I've fumbled my way through my early adulthood, I've taken a bunch of notes and given advice to friends, and most definitely spent countless hours researching and interviewing people on this topic, hence I'd say I'm an expert in this area called love.
Precedent can be set in the world of relationships by a single act, or the lack of a single act. How a relationship unfolds sets the tone for the life of the relationship, and this can happen in so many ways. These are acts of kindness, forgiveness, communication, caring, ... that will help ultimately allow a woman to respect/trust/honor her man, and a man to treasure/respect/trust his woman. Here are some examples:
1. The First Kiss: did he touch you? Was it gentle? Were the eyes closed? Did you like the smell of his breath? Was your heart going 100 million beats a minute with gentle tickles caressing your back?
2. The First Date: Did he call you to set it up? Did he call you right after the date? Was the conversation interesting? Did he open the door for you? Did you say "thank you"? Did he ask you questions about you? Was he listening and smiling?
3. Meeting the Friends: Had the friends heard about you before? Were they excited to meet you? Did he reinforce your value by putting his arms around you/holding your hand? Did the friends try and get to know you?
4. First Set of His/Her Keys: How was the hand-off? Was she hesitant? She's showing you she trusts you - did you accept it?
5. First Fight + Makeup: Did anyone apologize? Was there name calling? Did he seem committed to working it out? Did you care to work it out? How did you reconcile? Was the communication open and honest?
6. First Night Over: Did he ask you to stay over or did he ask if he could stay over? Did you kiss good night before you fell asleep? Did you kiss good morning when you awoke? How did you sleep - in each other's arms or on separate sides?
7. First Trip Together: How did you coordinate the planning? Did you communicate/set expectations beforehand? Does he like a schedule, does she like to play it by ear more? Did he ask to take you away (only accept when you are truly his)
8. First Talk of Money: Was it easy to talk about how much you/he makes? Were you able to talk about your values around money, spending and saving? Do you know his credit score? Do you or does he care about who makes more than whom?
9. First Fight with Family/Friends Where You/He Turns to the Other for Support: Did he listen to you without judgment against your family? Was it easy to share with that person? Did you feel supported and understood?
10. First Stressful Life Situation Together: (this would be the loss of a job, moving, loss of a pet, ...) Did you feel supported and understood? Do you feel like you can go to him at any time to feel supported/understood? Did he show compassion for you? Were you comfortable asking him for advice?
Those are just 10 larger examples of where precedent is set in a relationship setting the tone for how the relationship will unfold. A lot of this should happen in the first three months of a new relationship - and you'll want to put in as many different scenarios as possible together to get the information you want to decide whether or not this relationship has legs to make it past 6 months... let alone... 6 years. The first three months is the honeymoon period ... and as you go into the second three months for the negotiation period, how a pair interacts, the amount of positive experiences you have versus not, how fairly and respectfully you treat each other ---> these will be the telltale signs of the likelihood that a relationship will be forever. Women: note - allow your man to be your hero and take the lead. He should be the first to say "I love you", he should make the first move. You can encourage him - but don't force it. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn't want you, nothing can make him stay.