In my late teens, the sections of Seventeen and Cosmopolitan Magazine that I loved the best were the quizzes. I enjoyed sorting through the multiple choice questions to discover all types of things about myself. When I wrote my book, The Gift of Past Relationships, I wanted to incorporate that same concept of self-reflection throughout the entire book.
Every chapter of the book tackles a new topic through stories and examples as we explore various concepts such as emotional triggers, patterns, timing, communication styles, compatibility, values, and respect. At the end of each chapter, quizzes and reflection questions enable you to learn more about yourself.
In Chapter 12, "Timing Is Everything", we explore the extremely important concept of timing in a relationship. Take this opportunity to read this sample chapter and use the reflection questions at the end to explore your own needs as it relates to timing in a relationship:
Chapter 12 - Timing is Everything (Excerpt From The Gift of Past Relationships By Kristen Crockett)
Imagine that you’ve had an extremely rough day and on top of everything, the traffic on your way home was terrible. You walk in the door ready to drop your keys, take off your coat, and relax. All you want to do is sit down on the couch. Just as you put your arm on the armrest, your significant other is standing there, ready to tear into you about something you did. You are exhausted, stressed, and now you are headed into an argument.
Communicating how you are feeling is extremely important in a relationship. But it is equally as important to have the right timing. Every person walks in the door and needs a certain amount of time to relax and cool down from their day. Some people need fifteen minutes, some need thirty, and others may need more than an hour. Choosing the wrong time to talk to someone may compromise the way they hear you or how they understand your feelings.
Although there is no way to determine that magical moment to discuss an important topic with someone, there are definitely moments that are better than others. Often, we search for the best opportunity or the best timing for us, instead of the best moment for the other person or for the conversation. Here is an example:
Brit had just given birth to her third child. She quit her job to stay at home and take care of her son. Two months prior, she and her husband sank all of their savings into a new house. At 11:30 at night, her husband rolled over, told her that he hated his job and that he wanted to quit.
Brit spent the night tossing and turning. Her thoughts and emotions were whirling around in her head. She felt scared, worried, and helpless. But her husband had been experiencing those very same feelings for a very long time. He simply wanted to communicate his feelings to his wife. The issue is not whether he should have expressed his feelings, but whether eleven-thirty at night was the best possible moment for that conversation, especially when his wife had been up since 5 am that morning taking care of a newborn son with colic.
A lot of times, we know that the timing is not right for a specific conversation, so we say, “I’d like to talk to you about something. Let’s discuss it later.” But think back to when you were in elementary school. Just before class begins, your teacher walks over to you and whispers in your ear, “Please see me after class. I need to talk to you.” With all of the questions churning in your head, you can bet that your teacher will not have your full attention in class.
Years ago, I had an issue that I wanted to discuss with my boyfriend. I called him at his office. I knew that it wasn’t appropriate to have a conversation while we were both at work. So I simply said, “When you get off, please call me because I have something that I would like to talk to you about.” At 5:05 pm, five minutes after he got off, my phone was ringing. He wanted to know what I had to say.
I learned that what I said to him was the catalyst for changing his day from good to bad. He spent almost every single minute at work thinking about what I wanted to talk to him about. What did I do? Is this a break-up conversation? Is she ok? When we finished talking, he asked me not to call him with a concern unless I was ready to talk about it right then and there.
Telling someone that you need to talk to them later is unsettling and stressful. If you are unable to address an issue that is on your mind, save the other individual from unnecessary anxiety and don’t bring it up until you are ready to discuss it.
Timing is equally important as effective communication. While there is no perfect time to discuss an issue or dilemma, there are times that are more opportune than others. Ensure that your significant other knows how much cool down time you require when you walk in the house, what time of the day is best for capturing your attention, and what scenario would be less than ideal for you to address a serious issue. Make sure that you are clear on their needs as well. And if a problem or issue arises, present it at the best possible time for both of you, not when it first comes up.
Answer the following questions to determine your timing preference:
How much time do you need to wind down after you walk through the door?
- Less than 5 minutes
- 5-15 minutes
- 15-30 minutes
- 30-60 minutes
- More than 60 minutes
What time of the day do you feel most awake?
- Early morning
- Late night
What is the worst time for your mate to bring an
issue to your attention?
- After you walk through the door
- Just before bedtime
- Early in the Morning
- At work
- Other __________________________________
**Excerpt From The Gift of Past Relationships By Kristen Crockett. Click here to purchase the book on Amazon in either the paperback or ebook versions.