In my time on this water filled orb, I have had time to observe a number of things. One of the things I have observed deals with that dreaded “R” word….RELATIONSHIPS!
Honestly, I have listened to complaints and whining on the subject from both sides of the aisle and it’s time to express some of the things gleaned from these observations:
* “I just want someone who will accept me for who I am.” Oh REALLY? You want someone to accept YOU for who YOU are…I see. So are you willing to accept them for who THEY are or are you expecting them to change in order to accept all your quirks, moods, habits. Are you willing to accept their body hair in the shower drain because that’s just who they are? Are you willing to tolerate their perspectives on politics, religion, child rearing, food choices, paint color schemes, toilet roll over or under, toothbrush bristle stiffness, clothing choices? How about if they want to sleep naked? How about if they would like for you to brush and rinse in the mornings before your dragon breath peels the paint from the neighbor’s wall?
* “I am all about my career!” I actually had a lovely young lady tell me this after our third date. My response? ‘I hope you and your career are very happy together.’ Last I heard, she had been fired from her first 7 “careers” and was an angry and bitter catlady. I am not saying that you should neglect your career, but if your career is more important that the person you claim to love….you are a narcissist and should not subject society with your progeny!
* “My children are my world” (and all the variations on this theme: “my everything”, “my universe”, “my reason for breathing”) REALLY? Your children are all this to you and yet you think you are going to have time for a relationship? AND you want someone who will worship your little “darlings” as much as you do? Again, this goes back to “where is your focus?” NO, I am not advocating ignoring your children. What I am saying is that if your children come before everything else in your life, you are not likely going to find someone who is going to want whatever little time, energy, and affection you have left after you have spent all you have worshiping your children. No one wants “leftover lovin’”.
* “I want someone I can be myself with.” So do I! If I need to hold your hand, I want to be able to do that and you want me to hold your hand. If you need me to pull your finger, I want to want to pull your finger. It is vital that you are yourself, no masks, no acting, no pretending.
* “I want someone to share my deepest thoughts with.” This is not something you want to jump into straight away. Take time to build the relationship before revealing your desire to shove ice cubes up their ass because you think it’s foreplay! Talking and listening are two of the most important relationship builders. How else are you to find that your partner likes your hair cut short or that your partner does not find your week old armpit hair attractive.
My observations have revealed that we have become SO busy with all our attempts to have it all, do it all, and then knock down barriers so we can do more that we have forgotten that relationships are WORK!!
- Relationships require talking AND listening.
- Relationships require take AND give.
- Relationships require compromises.
- Relationships require sacrifices! And that might mean YOU have to make some of the sacrifices (not just your partner).
- Relationships require understanding that neither party is storybook perfect! Honestly, YOU take some getting used to. That first time you walk into the lavatory and your partner is taking that shit they’ve held in all weekend trying to impress you….that’s a real eye opener. That strained look on their face is quite frightening.
- Relationships require TRUTH! Be honest with each other! When I come in from the gym and want to hug on my love, she needs to be comfortable enough with the relationship to playfully remind me that I am sweaty, smell, and am in need of a shower. And if she’s feeling especially randy, she gives me time to clean up and then she will join me in the shower.
- Relationships require that we stop believing that the “relationships” we see on television or in the movies or read about in our celebrity magazines are true and accurate! People are flawed and imperfect. If you are looking for, or expecting, perfection…good luck with your long and lonely life.
- Relationships require TIME to develop. We are so eager to go from “Hi” to hitting the sheets that we are lucky to learn the name of our bedmate!
If you want a true relationship…it won’t be easy. It won’t be quick. YOU will have to make some changes. But in the end, the investment will pay off with huge dividends!