Many people have their theories on relationships and how to make them work. I’m of the school of thought that everything in life is made simple, but it is human nature to complicate it. We’re always making the issue seem larger than what it really is.
A relationship has three main components
- The personalities involved
- The assumptions/expectations they have for each other
- The reconciliation of those expectations when they’re not met
These components apply to platonic as well as intimate relationships.
The work we put into relationships will have to do with one of these three issues. If it’s with component #1 (the personality of your partner), you might as well cut the relationship short now.
If you don’t date out of your race, don’t consider baby-daddies or non-degreed individuals, that issue would fall here. The idea is that you wouldn’t build on a relationship with somebody who you just don’t like… so you shouldn’t.
If you cannot accept the other for who they are, chances are you will always be upset, or they will never be happy while trying to pretend they are somebody else. The idea is to find somebody who compliments who you are and what you do, that way you’ll want to keep them around.
If the relationship effort is related to component #2 (the expectations you have of your partner or vice versa), a conversation MUST be had. This conversation should serve to point out what is safe to assume, what should they expect, what shouldn’t they expect, and what expectations you simply don’t agree with. One of these expectations is usually “to be happy (with each other)”. Most conflicts arise when somebody doesn’t “hold their end up” in relation to what is expected… sometimes those expectations just aren’t clear.
Have you ever found that you could never keep your partner satisfied? They always wanted more, but you didn’t know exactly what they wanted? Or maybe they want less from you and feel overwhelmed by the attention you give to the relationship…
If the expectations never get clearer, or they just become unacceptable… it is safe to stop investing in the relationship… just be sure to let your partner know, don’t string them along.
Component #3 and #2 work similarly, in that communication is the only solution. When somebody falls short of a clear expectation, usually there is a very irate party in the relationship. They will complain and point out everything you did “wrongly” if they know that you know what “right” is.
At the end of the conversation there should be a solution. If each party’s objective is to be heard and not to come up with a way to fix the issue, the relationship is considered to be unhealthy. After all, if your objective is to be happy and enjoy the relationship, you wouldn’t want to wallow in conflict in its duration.
Nobody should want to argue just to argue, or even to “win” the argument. If your solution to the issue is for your partner to appear to be the loser, then how can you win together?
If your goal is to have your partner focus on their past mistakes, what good does that do to build for the future?
If one party wants to mend the issues, and the other just wants you to admit that you’re a “sorry” individual, what does that do to the confidence that each has in the other.
If you find that there is no solution, or a party is unwilling to discuss a solution, the relationship is doomed to remain unhealthy or to terminate.
These are SIMPLE rules. If everybody made things simple, disagreements would be simple, and thus the decision-making process of finding a new solution should be simple as well.
KING’S LAW: Keep it simple, unless you want to make it hard on yourself.