Most of us Need a Love Sounding Board
Love is hard to get right under the best of circumstances. Unless you’re one of the ones that meet the love of your life on the first try and you somehow manage to grow at relatively the same pace and communicate well enough to overcome the obstacles of life. You’re likely to fail at least once and in some cases often before getting it right if ever.
One thing women are somewhat better than men at is having a sounding board to share some of their trials and tribulations and get advice to consider besides their own counsel. I’m going to attempt to walk a thin line here and generalize about both men and women by saying women often seek counsel from the wrong sources while men often choose to go it alone. Neither method has a good track record of success.
The optimum solution is to find your love sounding board that helps you work through your situation and is looking for the best resolution for you as opposed to them. With that in mind, I have a few tips for choosing your love sounding board. They may be someone you already know well. The rationale for that is that hopefully they know you pretty well also and can make suggestions based on a working knowledge of your likes and dislikes and as important your history which if left to your own devices you are likely to repeat.
In a seeming contradiction, your sounding board may be almost a complete stranger or someone you only know through social media. Your sounding board to be effective must ask some deeply personal questions and it’s sometimes easier to communicate openly with someone you’ve never met as opposed to someone you have to look in the eye every day.
They should ask you questions and lead you to examine and making your own choices as opposed to only telling you what you should do. Some sounding boards have their own agenda and/or strong beliefs and end up not helping you to determine what’s best for you but instead, tell you what they would do in a similar situation.
They should be able to keep a confidence. If it’s someone you already know well they have already demonstrated whether they have that ability. They have told you who they are… believe them. A stranger that has no contact with your circle of friends may seem safe but in these days of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook it still pays to be discerning.
Start slow. You don’t need to reveal your deepest secrets or fears in your first discussion although if you never reveal them you may be blocking the benefits you hoped to achieve. Ultimately there will come a time for truth telling if you want real help with your relationship concerns.
It might seem with all that I’ve mentioned that it might be best to forego a sounding board altogether and work things out yourself. You could start by asking yourself how well keeping everything to yourself has worked for you in the past? People both men and women like what they like and without an intervention are likely to repeat the same patterns over and over. My weakness was cheerleader types and I found myself attracted to pretty but relatively self-centered women that put their own interests and needs far above my own. Until someone pointed that out to me I never realized it and I submit that each of you have some pattern you are following that might not be in your best interest.
My sounding board asks me tough questions which I sometimes avoid initially but it is in discovering the answers where growth and change occur. While I have great male friends the best advice I get comes from the opposite sex which may or may not work for each of you. She asks me what I want, what is my plan, is it likely to succeed? Sometimes I go down a different path which results in the same questions put in different ways; is that what you want, is this part of your plan, will this choice make you happy?
I was (past tense) the type to go it totally on my own in love matters. I kept choosing the same type of woman which initially may have fed my ego but ultimately didn’t make me happy. Left to my own devices I’d be seeking the next cheerleader that ultimately wasn’t the best match for my personality. If going it alone hasn’t gotten you where you want to be. Seek out a sounding board that can help you redirect yourself by asking the pertinent questions that allow you to examine your own patterns and hopefully make the changes that will lead you to your relationship goal.
Note: This was first published on Lovebabz:A Life In Transition, as a guest blogger.