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Relationships Part 2

Back to real people. Once alone together, the courtship becomes more personalised. Questions will undoubtedly be asked about likes and dislikes, past experiences and future desires. Ideally, this familiarisation ought to be generalised, referring to family, hobbies, the kind of entertainment enjoyed and the places and events that bring pleasure. In other words, gathering information that will ensure harmony, helping to take the relationship in a positive direction, while avoiding subjects that might offend or upset. Initially anyway, enquiring about the intimate details of someone they barely know is too forward and could be an indication of a possessive nature and a need to control. As the relationship progresses, that show of respect, or the lack of it, will become clearer. This is the stage where trust is established; but it has to be mutual. If either party believes they are being lied to, or that a personality is emerging which they will be at odds with in future, they would be advised to bear this in mind, because it is unlikely to get better. The other side of the coin is much brighter, especially when the couple eventually feel they can divulge some of their secrets and idiosyncrasies in the belief that they will be safe with their intended. When proven over time, this honest exchange could well be the foundation of a strong and lasting union.

Not all relationships are fostered with intimacy in mind. We make connections with people in a variety of situations and all have a unique set of rules. The workplace usually calls for arms-length associations, sometimes strictly formal and dependent on the relative standing of individuals within the environment. Rigidity may relax once everyone understands what is appropriate, but there is the danger of sending the wrong signal by becoming too familiar. Flirtations in the office or on the factory floor may seem harmless, but they can lead to unexpected problems simply because the parties involved know very little about each other except what they have been told; and that is not always the whole truth. The same applies to purely business relationships between boss and employee, and also co-worker interaction. Although individuals may meet socially outside of work hours, they still need to understand that the environments are not the same, and each demands the observation of different standards.

There are right and wrong places for everything, and this applies particularly to behaviour. Everyone knows that making excess noise in a library is frowned on; and it would be grossly disrespectful to act the clown at a funeral. These are time-honoured rules that are generally accepted without question. People, however, are not well-known institutions and they don't wear labels warning others of their preferences. Finding out what these are is essential to forming an appropriate relationship. Some information may be divulged when the time is thought to be right; but, in the early stages, more is probably learned by trial and error and simple observation. How a person reacts when a particular subject is mentioned says a lot about their background and past experiences. Should they suddenly appear angered or fearful, they probably are. To pursue the matter, or continue an act of physical contact if that was the trigger, is not the way to go. Neither is this the moment to ask why: far better to change the subject and hopefully lighten the atmosphere.

There is another, less-invasive means of finding out another's tendencies without actually subjecting them to the third degree. As strange as it may sound, date of birth seems to have a bearing on the kind of person we are and the type of relationship which would best suit. Astrological profiles are surprisingly quite accurate in many cases and can underline strengths, weaknesses and preferences. Not only can they make us aware of our own personality, but they can also provide a small insight into that of someone we might be thinking of forming a relationship with. Having said this, I wouldn't advocate taking these generalisations as gospel, certainly not with regard to compatibility. A blanket statement that certain star-signs go well together, whereas others do not, has been disproved many times. However, if the information in the individual profiles is used merely as a hint of how a person may react to certain approaches, there is less likelihood of making a hash of it at the first meeting. Whether it is close to the mark or miles from it, as long as any advances are made with consideration for feelings, no harm will be done.

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