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Purrfectly Speaking
by Anita Charlot

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Welcome again. In case you are just tuning in, this is the final part of a three-part series addressing the topic of 'Outgrowing Your Partner.' The past two months have addressed the 'ambitious partner's view' as well as the 'content/less ambitious partner's view.' This month is dedicated to identifying the work involved in making these types of relationships work or not, as well as defining the following terms: a) the follower, b) the leader and c) the equal, as I see them.

As you recall, I pointed out several differences between the two partners and gave you several questions to start you thinking. Whether you found yourself on one side or the other, the question now is … would a relationship with those differences be possible/salvageable? The true answer here lies within you. However, I will attempt to give you additional points to consider. I am no expert, just a woman that has walked in your shoes several times before.

First, let me say that you have to truly be an individual first before you can expect to embark upon a healthy relationship. If you don't know who you are and what you want, you can't expect the other person to know either. Love and knowledge of self should always be first. However, getting there may take some time.

Now, let's start with defining the terms. A) The Follower: This person is usually content with allowing the other partner to be in control. They are comfortable with being the more submissive partner, the stay-at- home person (if you will). This type of personality tends to fair best when combined with B) the Leader: The head of household, the provider, and the partner that is out front. C) The Equal: would be the persons who are looking for a combination of both. They are looking for someone of similar background, education, goals, etc. Again, keep in mind that these are my definitions. They are provided to you to assist in making my point.

Have you identified which category you fall into yet? Have you realistically assessed where you are in your life at this very moment? If so, think about the type of person that would complement your life. Would that be A, B or C? Don't think about what others may view you as or what you have told yourself that you were best suited for in the past. Look at what your spirit truly needs to live the quality of life that you want right now. If you find that you are not with the right category of person at this time, is there a way that you could both compromise and make the relationship work? Would talking openly about what needs you have that are not being met work for the two of you? Or do you feel that you have tried to compromise only to find that the two of you are still unhappy? Think about it. Talk about it. It may strengthen the relationship or it may help both of you to realize that you should consider ending the relationship while there is still a chance of salvaging a friendship. That may not necessarily be what you want to do … but sometimes it is best.

Being with someone out of convenience, because it's familiar or because of 'But I still love them,' when it just isn't working does nothing but tear you two apart. Know when it's time to walk away and if at all possible, do it gracefully, with respect and with the same care that you would have for a good friend. If you are single, take this time to ask yourself the questions presented to you in parts one and two. Really assess where you are in your life and the reality of what you really need. Don't reach for more than you can handle at this point in your life and don't accept less than you know you need and/or want. After all, what is most important is that you recognize your strengths and your weaknesses and then you determine what type of partner will complement your life, not complicate it. Hopefully, you were able to gather something from these past three articles. Just as a reader initiated this series, if you send in a topic, I will definitely take the time to address it. If you want to discuss the topic first, you can reach me at (866) 546-5801.

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