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Do we allow our feelings for someone to create a relationship that doesn’t exist, or do we allow our feelings to create a reality within a relationship that doesn’t exist? A relationship is defined as an emotional connection, association, or involvement between two people that have mutually decided to commit to each other based on feelings they have for each other. Feelings are an effective state of psychological consciousness in which joy, fear, hate, sorrow, love, etc. are experienced and expressed. They are also spontaneous efforts that are accompanied by physiological changes that drive a number of actions and reactions.

Most relationships begin with a feeling. They initially start with physical attraction accompanied with the desire to learn more about a person which leads to the desire to spend more time with them. After the initial physical attraction, people then move forward to the courting stage, getting to know someone on a more personal level, then being drawn to them mentally, emotionally and spiritually. After taking these steps, a couple may then mutually decide to have and develop a monogamous relationship based on more than the initial feelings they felt for each other. In today’s relationships, many couples skip the step of mutually deciding to have a relationship. They skip, or overlook this step because they are primarily focused on the way the other person makes them feel, and allow their feelings to cloud their common sense and better judgment. Instead of establishing and agreeing upon having a monogamous relationship, they settle for engaging in relationship-like activities without the commitment of a relationship.

Our feelings can often create relationships we think we want because the focus is on self-gratification, rather than building a relationship with a purpose and meeting the other person’s needs. When two people are involved with each other, and things are going well, at some point one person will have the desire to take the courting stage to the next level, but the other person may not. So rather than stepping away from the situation, they settle for less and continue to pretend to be involved in a committed relationship. This happens more often than not because of fear of being alone, the strong desire to be with a certain person, or a lack of self-confidence within.

When reality sets in to the fact that they are not in a relationship, the same feelings that led the desires for a relationship are now crushed.  Learning to mask your feelings for someone is a difficult thing to do, especially after spending quality time with them and getting to know them on a personal and/or intimate level. However, what people must do is set and maintain standards and boundaries for their relationships together from the start to avoid confusion. Even if you are starting as friends, both parties must be clear on the expectations of each other and the relationship.

One of the most common mistakes often made is the conscious or subconscious decision to be sexually intimate with someone you are not in a relationship with. This is a mistake because when you are sexually intimate with someone you give them a part of you and you take a part of them which can bring you closer which makes the relationship more personal and deeper feelings begin to develop. That’s why it is important to set boundaries for the relationship that you both agree on to avoid getting trapped in the reality of a relationship that does not exist. Doing this will spare feelings, avoid confusion and potential drama. When making the decision to become involved with someone, you must be mindful of your intentions and honestly discuss the expectations of both parties. It takes two people to initiate, develop and maintain any type of relationship, and both people must be willing to commit and carry the load.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

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