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Relationship Dating Challenges: Strong Personalities

Is your date a strong personality? Do you find your relationship to be more challenging than you think you can handle?

As a dating columnist, I recently received this letter from a reader:

Signed,

Hoping

Dear Hoping,

You are wise to consider your differences in personality before you get any more involved with your boyfriend. You sound like you are quiet and sensitive. He sounds energetic and exuberant. The very qualities you were drawn to each other for will also be your areas of struggle to understand one another.

You’re right. Your boyfriend sounds like he has many admirable qualities. I can see why you want to try and work through your challenges. Start with the following:

Take a look at your boundaries. Where do you let him and (I suspect) others cross the line of what is okay with you and what is not. No one can take care of you in this area but you. Let your limits be known. Compromise is always important but not to the point where you shut yourself down, feel like you are not heard, and are either wounded or seething inside. Speak up. If you don’t know how to do this, get yourself to a counselor.

Ask him what an ideal life would look like for him. Tell him to write it down, and as he does, you do the same. Compare your answers. Are they compatible? These are your most important moments to be honest with one another.

Even if this relationship doesn’t last, you will have learned something valuable here. Between learning to set boundaries and getting an idea of what kind of life you want, you will be on your way to a stronger relationship–either with him, or with someone else.

Good luck to you.

Tonja

The Savvy Dating Coach