At the top of the month, I visited my friend Tiffany and her family in Houston. She and I were catching up, and one of the things she said during our conversation is ‘Life is simple; people make it hard.’ I was taken back to a few years ago when my Uncle, Ricky, said the same thing. I thought about it. And they’re right. Yes, life’s waters get murky and rough at times. Things are going to happen that are out of our control. We may get into an accident or be affected by a natural disaster. Loved ones will get sick and die. Crises and chaos will abound. That’s not our fault. That’s not in our locus of control. So, my question is this – if terrible things we have no control over are inevitable, why do we compound the terrible by making unseemly choices for ourselves?
Think about all the choices you can make. Where to live, what kind of work to do, your physical presentation/appearance, the way you take care of your body, your friend group, and of course – your life partner. These are all choices. And you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never made a choice in one of these areas that didn’t make their life harder, either for a moment or the long hull. It’s just as easy to make choices that make life easy-breezy. And when it comes to your choice of a life partner, you have the right to be super selective.
Now, if you are in a relationship long enough, challenges will arise. There will be situations and circumstances that require some form of troubleshooting – compromise, professional counseling, spiritual guidance, etc. – for the relationship to maintain homeostasis and grow. That’s normal, natural, and even expected. If it’s worth it, you must work it. But relationships – like life itself – should not feel like a perpetual struggle. There should not always be strife or anguish or drama afoot. Like life, relationships should feel healthy, happy, joyful, light-hearted, and productive most of the time. If not, what is the point of being in the relationship?
If there comes a point in time when one or both parties in the relationship are feeling like they are not happy, their needs aren’t being met, etc., that should be communicated with the intention of troubleshooting the issue(s). But after a while, being inundated with negative feedback from your partner just becomes…well, unfair, to the person receiving it. Didn’t you just say you must communicate, and “work it if it’s worth it.” Yes, I did. At some point, though, the word “if” becomes a key element in that mantra.
At the end of the day, there are about eight billion people on this planet. God has gifted each of us with a unique personality and spirit, as well as a vast range of abilities, skills, and talents that He intends for us to share with the world, including our loved ones and love interests. Since we are all individual and unique, everyone will not sync up with every other person on Earth. Your gifts will benefit, inspire, serve, and uplift many. But not all. You will be some people’s tall glass of water, but not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s ok – everything is not for everybody.
In this becomes the case within a romantic relationship – or a platonic one – the involved parties shouldn’t berate and disrespect each other or make each other feel “less than” or like they’re not good enough just because they no longer “do it” for one another anymore. Both people are likely amazing! In their own way. If you look back objectively, most of your exes weren’t “trash.” After all, you liked/loved them and something about them at one point. Over time, they just didn’t do it for you anymore. In this case, the simple life choice is to find someone who works for and with you! And this will allow the other party to do the same. We call this a “win-win” situation.
But even how you go about that involves several choices. More on that tomorrow.