The Ultimate Christmas Relationship Survival Guide
Too Good to be True...A friend, Jackie, 44, [all personal details changed] has been seeing, Robin, 46, who seems too good to be true. She’s looked but she hasn't found any “dark side". Yes, he has a divorce behind him but does that mean something’s wrong with him? Er... Jackie can’t claim - she's been divorced too and we think she's lovely.
So you’d think her friends would be happy she's found someone sweet and kind yet who isn't a doormat, and successful without being arrogant. He's great with her children, generous and funny. What's not to like? Unfortunately you’d be wrong thinking everyone’s happy for her as this is a case where human nature dictates that he can't be all that fantastic.
Debate’s ensued between her friends - not gossip, honestly it is debate! I'm one of the few optimists who think Jackie should enjoy things. However others keep sticking their ores in claiming no man can be that good.
Now Jackie’s in two minds - should she enjoy his lovely company or be paranoid something awful is lurking in Robin that’ll rear its ugly head?
Professional and personal experience tells me some look for trouble even where it doesn't exist. Or at least no meaningful trouble exists. I'm convinced Jackie should be happy with Robin but also acknowledge she's in the first flush of passion meaning she's ignoring potential niggles.
My advice is to enjoy something good but don't make a solid commitment until well into a relationship. That gives each partner the chance to discover differences that may need compromise over.
You'll be in a position to weigh up things that now annoy you about them with their good points you've been enjoying so far. Time also allows us to see if we communicate well when faced with a hurdle and whether our initial expectations were unrealistic.
Ultimately many WILL strike lucky and get someone that’s as good as gold. And even if they reveal something annoying, or an aspect of your growing relationship requires compromise, I hope it list you'll find it's not something too terribly bad.
So, too good to be true? No, simply true that they’re a good partner.
An edited version of this was published in The Times
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