Minimalism is a growing trend in the world of fashion.
It refers to the idea of whittling your wardrobe down to just a few pieces that can easily be mixed and matched. It’s all about putting the essentials front and center and removing the fluff.
Really, that’s what minimalism is. And the concept can be applied to your relationship approach, as well.
You probably have a list of qualities you look for in a guy. Maybe a long list. There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want and going for it. But don’t let your list of target qualities get so long and cluttered that you lose focus on what’s most important to you.
Instead, try applying the concept of minimalism to how you date.
No, the title isn’t a typo.
It may seem counter intuitive, but some of the non-romantic things guys do signal that your relationship is actually moving forward. When he does one of the following three things, don’t discourage him.
What he does: Act protective of you.
You’re not helpless. 99% of the time you don’t need a protector. But there will still be moments when a guy goes out of his way to defend you. Sometimes it shows up in an annoying form, like trying to help you with something you’re pretty good at.
What it means: He’s invested in you.
You may not be a damsel in distress, but do you really want to stop him from playing the role of prince charming?
When he comes to your aid, he’s not making a statement about your ability to be self-sufficient. Instead, he’s doing it for the same reasons you’d go to bat for a friend. Because he cares.
Anne Taylor Fleming said, “A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time.”
Any committed relationship is that way. The first hurdle is simply sharing what you want—your hopes and dreams, your wants and needs. It’s no small thing to walk out on that limb.
Once you’ve shared what you want, the next great challenge is to resist the temptation to insist that your hopes and dreams should be his hopes and dreams.
You might feel betrayed upon discovering he does not want all the same things as you. It’s an irrational human reaction that may bring up a sudden sense of anger or panic. Don’t let it crumble the relationship.
Peter Drucker, the well-known business guru, once said, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
In other words, you have to know how to read between the lines.
That’s true in any situation where two people interact, and it’s especially true in romantic relationships. Why? Because so much of communication is what the other person isn’t saying.