Sailing through life with someone alongside you is one of life’s great pleasures, and some basic knowledge can help to make sure you don’t sink or get lost. These are mostly things which they don’t teach at school and you’re unlikely to have learn from your parents.
The idea is to make sure that being together is a positive experience for both of you, so you can explore new places and reach horizons that neither of you would have found on your own. To help that to happen, try asking each other (and yourselves) these questions – not as some kind of ‘test’, but to check if you both want sail to the same kinds of places and so that you’ll know if there are any areas that need work.
It’s always easier to carry out repairs and check maps while you’re still in port, where you can work on them together. In the middle of a storm isn’t a good time to discover that your rudder doesn’t work! So here are a few things to check out before you set sail:
- Are you both emotionally ‘’seaworthy? Your ‘sailboat’ is your heart! get to know your own and each other’s strengths and weaknesses? Do either of you have any damage from the past that needs patching up? It’s really worth investing some time into preparing for your journey. It might not sound very ‘romantic’, but it will help you feel secure enough to sail into uncharted waters – and that’s where the best adventures are!
- In which direction do you want to sail – and why? If you’re not clear about this, you won’t know if you’ve got a similar destination in mind, and instead might both end up trying to divert one another and end up on a mutually unsatisfying middle course. And if either of you is just attaching yourself to the other person’s boat because you don’t know where you’re going, or are afraid of sinking, forget it! They’ll soon feel you holding them back and will resent you for it.
- Can you handle bad weather? Like any boat trip, relationships won’t always be plain sailing! You need to trust yourselves to stay afloat in bad weather, so you can batten down the hatches and support each other until the storm blows over and the sun comes back. Your boats might get damaged by rocks or bad weather, and helping each other with the repairs is part of the point of being together.
- 4. Will you be patient when there’s no ‘wind’. It’s not fun to feel stuck or drifting around in circles, but sometimes in life it happens. No point feeling bad or getting stressed about it, you both need to understand that sometimes all you can do is wait it out. If you stay calm and keep your heart sails open, the wind of love will always come back!
- It’s the journey that counts more than the destination. Don’t keep your eyes stuck on the horizon and be in a rush to get there – it’ll always keep receding from you, anyway! Enjoy what’s around you in the here and now, and if you see somewhere that looks interesting to visit, take a diversion together. But have a conversation about what you like to do before reaching dry land. It’s no fun being on a desert island with someone who has different interests.
- Sail off on your own sometimes. It’s good for both of you to go exploring by yourselves. You’ll both enjoy the break and will discover places you can tell each other about. And you’ll both appreciate each other all the more when you come back together again.
- Know when to end a journey. If either of you wants to go off in a different direction, or you feel you’re getting nowhere, it’s probably time to say fare-well. There are plenty of other boats to meet up with on the sea of love, and you’ll soon find someone going your way. And if you have to sail on your own for a while, don’t worry about it – you can even go further that way!
It’s not a coincidence that in the Welsh language (my own mother tongue, although I don’t speak it very well) the word for ‘sail’ is the same as for ‘joy’! Hundreds of books have been written about how best to navigate the journey of love, and they can all be helpful, But I think that, in the end, the quality of your time together will be decided by the fitness of your ship, and whether the sails of your heart are open to catching the wind of love so it can carry you to new destinations.
This Post is republished on Medium.
Photo credit: iStock