From the archives June 29, 2005
Most people get involved in a relationship for the right reasons and leave a relationship for the wrong reasons. In fact, most of us have been guilty of it at one time or another and of being a complete spaz demanding we get our way in the relationship. Remember the movie He Said, She Said? A constant power struggle ensues when you make the relationship all about you. So why do we do it?
I believe the reason this happens is that we make unhealthy relationship choices. In our deepest inner desires, we naturally long for companionship and love in our lives. In our haste, we choose unwisely and compromise for that “next person” that comes along to satisfy that longing. In this context, it’s easy to bend and flex because in the beginning we still don’t know that person. Then as we do get to know them, we find ourselves making more compromises because we don’t have the guts to fess up to our mistakes and all sorts of other irrational reasons rambling through our head to avoid hurting someone else. Bad move, fess up.
In our relationship goals, we need to be much more aware of ourselves, our habits, our desires, our likes and dislikes. The focus should not be on the person, the focus should be on the relationship. Even in the dating context – it could lead to something serious – we should focus on the relationship goals. What is it you want in a relationship? Who are you in a relationship? What do you need from the relationship? And, and, and… take stock and stay open to change, improvements, discovery and more.
When you can answer these questions more clearly and you find yourself able to understand what you can give to the relationship, you choose your partners more wisely. You also communicate more openly and honestly because it is less about you and more about the relationship; you no longer need to criticize them, you can articulate your feelings and needs. The other person can listen better because it is more about the relationship and less about them. And adjustments can be made so much more smoothly from both sides when we communicate on the relationship.
So look at it like a triangle. You on one side, your partner on the other. Instead of eyeballing and measuring each other, look to the peak – the Relationship. That’s your goal, that’s your partners goal, and you look only at yourself in comparison to the relationship goals. You’re teammates, you see the goal, and now you can work more effectively together.
It’s not about me, it’s about the relationship. Can I give that to achieve this in the relationship? Do I want that? Yes, then let’s do it.