We begin to learn more and more about the lifetime of disappointments and suffering which the other person has had to survive to get to this present relationship with us.We begin to return fears and accusations to their source in such past relationships.Attraction can get going rather quickly, often in the first contact, and often in a “split second.” Contact is made and then lost and then reestablished. Speech can reveal a great deal about a person’s background, cultural, educational, and family characteristics, which may fuel or upset the emerging connection.Eyes meet briefly; smiles are exchanged, as are some anxious, non-verbal courting gestures. Humor, irony, optimism or pessimism, boasting, or dislike of self each suggests personality trends that will become important as this potential relationship evolves. A kind of “performance anxiety” can interrupt the flow of the “dance” with awkward self-consciousness.The initial connection promises further contact: seeing each other again, long talks on the phone.The crisis created when fantasy and reality meet in a new dating relationship cannot be resolved at the level of fantasy. However, as the crisis plays out, the “past” begins to make an appearance: “You are just like my ex-husband”; “My mother treated me the same way you are treating me now.”This is a critical turn of events. The “bit of truth in the present” is now seen to have a long history.
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The sharing of “conversational turn-taking” and the ability to tune in to the other person are early indicators of relationship prospects and limitations.
The sound of a person’s voice, especially its animation and musicality or lack thereof, is important.
There is a sense of fitting together: a synchronicity, a matching of taste, and a discovery of corresponding experiences.
This promising connection suggests the possibility of a relationship and this triggers the emergence of fantasies and needs. The dance of flirtation may not indicate a “readiness for relationship.” These are two different things.