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    The Importance of Self-awareness in Relationships: Know Yourself First

    By Scott Tsui–

    Previously we discussed three broad categories of people in terms of relationships: The Natural, Learner, and Blamer, and how their characters impact their relationship success or failure.

    For this issue, we’re going to discuss the five elements of love:

    1. self-awareness;
    2. motivation;
    3. authenticity;
    4. learning;
    5. love.

    Start small to have big, strong and long-lasting relationships. Know that there are things in your control to make a relationship have more chance of being sustainable. If you learn to appreciate, understand and practice these five elements, you are more likely to achieve relationship success. 

    Self-awareness

    Self-awareness is the knowledge of being present, in that moment, to one’s character, feelings, motives and desires.

    How well do you think you know yourself?

    The reality is, few people are willing to take the time to reflect on what kind of a person they are today, instead of three, five or ten years ago. While we go through different stages of life, our physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs keep evolving.  What we once treasured and desired can change over time. The problem is that most people hope things will just change without any effort or action taken on their behalf. They live their lives, day in and day out, without realizing that they’re the ones who control their destiny.

    What we fail to understand is that it’s essential to make conscious efforts to improve ourselves in order to meet life’s demands and challenges. This is why lack of self-awareness is one of the biggest challenges that single gay men face when pursuing relationships. Without self-awareness, we do not have the wisdom to make sensible decisions that directly impact our lives and relationships.

    6 Traits Demonstrating Lack of Awareness in Gay Men

    1. Repeating the same relationship approaches over and over again and wondering why the results aren’t different

    Rather than trying something new, such as going to new places, meeting new people and experiencing new activities, the tendency is to stay in your comfort zone. 

    1. Self-imposed rules; you have too many rules and restrictions on who you will date or won’t date

    Many people refuse to date someone, not because of their personality, but because of their income, education, job, religion or race, even though they find the person enjoyable and compatible. It comes down to how the person makes you feel emotionally and if you feel connected. Give yourselves a chance to discover and figure out the true relationship. Be open to one another and learn the deeper connection you potentially have. Compatibility counts. 

    1. Living in the past

    Many might still have coming out challenges, and as a result, the internalized homophobia disempowers the will to pursue love. Others are hurt from previous relationships and thus associate pain with getting intimate again. Avoid having past experiences eliminate the opportunity to live in the present and have a bright future. Take time to acknowledge past wounds and search for ways to heal. Stop being shy, take courage and find support from others who care, are genuine and loving. Self-healing is the first step to entering into a relationship and sharing love.

    1. Lack of awareness concerning how others perceive you compared to how you see yourself

    Some have no idea they offend others and instead think they’re being funny, even when onlookers perceive them as being arrogant and having an attitude. Be aware of how you’re perceived by others. Become personable and send welcoming energy instead of being aggressive or demeaning. While the latter might work for a while, it can soon turn ugly. Wearing a smile on your face makes others feel welcome. Being personable and genuine draws people towards you. You’ll meet more new people to develop quality friendships and relationships with.

    1. Adopting destructive habits, like substance abuse or compulsive behavior

    It takes self-awareness to identify, acknowledge and change these habits. Dealing with addiction on your own is difficult. Find support from professional groups or people who have the experience in overcoming such problems. Have them be your role models. 

    1. Refusing to grow up into an emotionally mature adult

    This type of person is often portrayed as being self-centered or overly dependent/independent. It’s essential to learn to be givers and to respect others, which takes patience. Learning not to be selfish is challenging for some people, yet it is achievable over time with conscious awareness and emotional development.

    Don’t feel discouraged if you’ve found that some of these indicators resonate with you. If you are committed to discovering and knowing yourself, and where changes could be beneficial, then the odds of finding the relationship you seek is greatly in your favor.

    Scott Tsui is the Relationship Results Coach, author of “Lonely No More – 8 Steps to Find Your Gay Husband” and the creator of the world’s first online gay relationship training: Gay Men Relationship Blueprint. Tsui works to help gay men find, attract and sustain meaningful relationships. For more information: http://scotttsui.com/