Starting a new relationship - the pictures we hold

Starting a new relationship – another way to go about it.

Starting a new relationship - the pictures we hold

Have you ever noticed how we hold pictures of how we want life to be?

When we start to ‘play the dating game’, and open ourselves up to the possibility of a new relationship with someone; it tends to bring up all of the pictures we hold about relationships …

Things like:

  • What do they look like? Are they the sort of person I see myself with?
  • How old are they?
  • What are the qualities I want them to have?
  • Are they going to treat me differently from previous relationships?
  • How do they deal with conflict?
  • What sort of connection do we have?
  • Are they healthy and do they look after themselves?
  • How much time will I give them and how will they fit into my life?
  • Will they love me?

All of these things show us that we are looking down a narrow lens, at the picture of the type of person we see ourselves with.

But doesn’t this limit us? Are we being influenced by the pictures, and not being open to really see the opportunity in front of us?

Why do we have these pictures?

Could it be that mostly they come from past hurts that are designed to protect us from the same happening again? And does this prevent us from building a loving connection, fresh with another person, untainted by what happened “last time”?

Why do we have expectations of how another should be for us? Is it possible that we are looking for, or needing something from them?

And if we choose to be with someone just because they tick the right boxes – are we building our relationship on the solid foundations of truth, love and honesty? Or, from a picture of how we think the relationship should be?

Is there another way to go about this?
The answer is YES and it starts with YOU!

We have a tendency to make a new relationship about the other person, but it really begins and ends with ourselves.

Our relationship with others is determined by how we view or feel about ourselves. What sort of relationship do you have with yourself? Is it loving? Is it nurturing? Do you honour yourself and your choices? Or does it tend to be more critical, judgemental, or uncaring?

How do we build a relationship with ourselves first?

  • Learning to love you – Acceptance and appreciation are important here.
  • Speaking to yourself with love, gentleness and tenderness.
  • Making choices from your heart, not from your head.
  • Putting yourself first, not in a selfish way, but honouring yourself – by understanding your feelings in addition to those of the other person.
  • Making loving choices for you, from what you truly feel – not from a picture of how you should be.
  • Honouring your body in your choices – food, exercise and sleep for example – all play a big part in how you feel about yourself, others and life.
  • Being aware of the quality you live in.

When we start to make loving choices for ourselves, the pictures do not tend to have the same amount of boxes to be ticked.

When we begin to feel who we are first and foremost, we are connecting to who we really are and how amazing we are – which is coming from within us.

If the focus is on our pictures, these are what we have built up from our past and sit outside of us, we can then attach expectations to them and very easily feel let down when they don’t play out the way we want.

Whereas, when we are feeling who we are from the inside out, first, we are not looking to another person or situation to fulfil us or make us feel whole.

How much easier is life when we don’t need it to be a certain way for us to feel great, or to feel complete?

And, how would our relationships look if we were not trying to shape them to be a certain way (like the picture), the ‘perfect relationship’ perhaps? But instead, choosing to make them about love, by loving ourselves, and being love first?

It could just be far better than you ever ‘pictured’!

Filed under


  • By Raegan Cairney, B Comm. Adv Dip Counselling

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.