Understanding your relationship

In the spirit of Christmas - and the entire horror story, festively lame dating game that comes with it - I wanted to share a realization I came to last night. Being a single girl, I have plenty of time to lie in bed thinking these kinds of ridicules thoughts at even more ridicules hours. It has become my neurotic understanding that dating is like putting up your Christmas tree...

First, you have to decide when to do it. Do you wait until it's traditionally acceptable to start celebrating all things jolly? Or do you do it when the time feels right for you? Personally, I did it early simply because I just couldn't wait any longer for the jingle of my bells. The risks of rushing into anything on impulse are pretty well known. Loss of interest early in the game, being the popular one springing to mind at this point. Then again, waiting too long sees it all over before you've even begun...

Similarity number one - timing is crucial.

Then, there is the actual assembly of the foundations. In one case, figuring out which part is the base and working up from there... The other scenario, is establishing if there is an attraction and what kind of connection you plan to elaborate on.

It doesn't work in either case if you don't have all the pieces. Without the base of the tree, it won't stand up on its own. Same deal with people.

You can't be open to a healthy relationship of any kind if you're not whole within yourself. In the same way you carefully pull the branches apart from last year's tree, you will slowly let go of any idealistic expectations you may have.

Similarity number two - A foundation needs to be built.

Thirdly is decoration. Rule number one of any situation is; don't hang your bigger baubles at the top of the tree. It just doesn't work. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can graduate on your first day. You have to mess around with tinsel and lights before you get to the good stuff.

Put in the groundwork or you will end up standing back, looking at the excuse for something beautiful you've half heartedly created. It all needs to be balanced. Smaller and more detailed decorations go to the top of your tree, making way for the angel. Choose your words, choose your attitude, be honest or you will always get caught out.

Similarity number three - you do it wrong, you're going to have to do it all again; from the beginning.

Finally, don't leave the tree up into the middle of the year in the hope that it will save you effort for next Christmas. You will look like a jackass, and no one will believe you are sincere... My point is, don't leave your date dancing on eggshells trying to impress you when you're just not into it.

Similarity number four - when it's over, it's really over.

Christmas trees represent hope, beauty, generosity; the same kinds of qualities that come in relationships. They can be dressed up as much as you like, but it's the possibility or what we're yet to unwrap that keeps us all involved. There's always one year, one day, one package, which stands out from the rest.