I honestly believe all people, when in a relationship, can be put into one of these two categories:
1. There’s the kind of person who is satisfied for the most part, but can err on the side of being too complacent because of contentment.
2. There’s the kind of person who is always working to keep things fresh, but has a proclivity to be dissatisfied.
Do you agree that all people can be categorized in either of these two? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The Ying and the Yang of Strengths and Weaknesses
What I’m theorizing is that for every strength that you bring to a relationship, in this case contentment for one person, and working to keep things fresh, for the other person, there is an opposite weakness that you also bring. Nobody in the world has a strength without an opposite weakness.
You probably already know that I’m a strong believer in seeking wisdom and understanding. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a pit stop on the way to failure.
If you don’t know something, you can’t move to action. You can’t be prepared.This is why I’m advising you to figure out which kind of person you are. Are you number 1 or 2?
The Solution for Number 1
If you’re number one, understand that even if you are content and satisfied, everything in this world is in flux, including your relationship. Nothing in this world and in our relationships stay the same. You can be satisfied but still aware that your relationship is like a plant. It needs maintenance and care. It needs sunlight and nourishment. It can look strong and resilient one day, but without routine watering, it can die just out of neglect. When you feel content, it’s easy to assume that your feelings of contentment are mirrored in your partner. Learn this:
Assume: It makes and “ass” out of “u” and “me.” My feelings of contentment are in no way directly proportional to my partner’s feelings of contentment. It is my actions that impact my partner’s feelings.
Be on the lookout for needs you can meet and desires you can fulfill. If you want to make an assumption, make one here: just assume if you aren’t thinking about your partner’s needs and wants on a daily basis, you ARE neglecting them. Just because your needs are being met, doesn’t mean that their needs are. Ask probing questions like, “What should we do more?” “Has our relationship changed in any way noticeable to you?” These questions show that you care and understand the maintenance that a relationship requires.
What should be your mantra? ENGAGE.
The Solution for Number 2
If you’re number two, take a minute to stop doing and relax. Watch your partner when they sleep. Think about all the things you love about them. Kiss them all over their face. Take note of every little thing or every big thing your partner does that makes your life easier, more convenient, or less stressful. Anything. Think about all the things you find attractive about them. When you’re constantly doing things proactively to keep your relationship fresh, it’s easy to overlook how your partner is loving you. Your acts of love are obvious and maybe grandiose, but that doesn’t mean that your partner isn’t loving you in their own way or at least trying to show you love. Learn this:
Happiness is not about getting what you want; it’s about wanting what you have. Doing more does not always lead to more satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from noticing things, appreciating things for how they are, and living in the moment.
Why? Because there’s always that next thing that you feel is going to be the ticket to your joy, when in reality, once you get it, you will be yet again looking for the next thing. And the next. Your addiction is in longing. People who are addicted to the longing can’t enjoy the moment. They hang onto past loves, or what if’s, because the possibility of something is somehow more satisfying than the reality of it. You’re the kind of person who accomplishes goals and doesn’t take a moment to savor it because you’re onto the next goal. Break this cycle by first understanding you are going through it.
What should be your mantra? SAVOR.