Does your partner live in the past, present, or future?
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Just because something is important to you at a particular time, don’t assume it’s also important to your partner at that very moment. We’ve all been shaped by our experiences, and while it can seem that two people diving into a new relationship are in the same place, sometimes that can differ greatly based on circumstances. That’s why as you build a life together, knowing your partner’s natural frame of mind around how they view time and planning will be a valuable key to avoiding potentially frustrating conversations down the road.
For example: Let’s say you read a great online article about how vacation homes are all the rage, and you think how lovely it would be to buy one since you’ve been dreaming of living by the water since you were a kid. Knowing you aren’t married (or even own your own home yet), it would be unreasonable to think that you could buy a vacation home now, so you turn to your partner sitting beside you on the couch and say, “How do you feel about buying a vacation home in 10 years?” He’s caught off guard by the question, because 30 seconds earlier he was trying to figure out how to pay off his student loans and get out of debt. Seeing your enthusiasm, he tries to engage…but with the distraction of his current predicament, he responds with a less than committal, “Sure, Babe: That sounds nice. Maybe down the road.” Since you were unaware of where his brain was centered, you sense his frustration and take it as a sign that he doesn’t want to discuss it further, so you disappointingly mentally file the topic under “D” for don’t bring this up again.
Situations like that play out with couples every day. And since timing conversations is key, a major relationship-hack is knowing where your partner spends most of their mental energy: in the past, present or future. Because if you two don’t live in the same temporal plane by default, you’ll need to find a way to dabble in your partner’s space — and help them explore yours — so you can align on your path forward.
In our experience, there are three different types of headspace thinkers. Does one of them sound like you? Your partner? Do you have a few traits of all three? Read on….