Monday, June 25, 2012
RELATIONSHIP CHECKLISTS: RECIPES FOR LOVE OR LONELINESS?
We are so proud of ourselves. We have gone through enough and have had enough experience to know what we want. We have determined our type; the physical attributes, the personality, and even the financial status. We have set high standards, but we also know those things that we are willing to negotiate on. We also know the deal breakers. In other words, most of us have written a relationship story for ourselves. And in that story, people will either be a match, or they won’t. And that’s cool for those of us who are willing to leave it at that. Some of us aren’t so willing. We’ve got a plan.
We take our relationship checklists out into the world, projecting them onto everyone that we meet. We know what we deserve and we are gonna make damn sure we get it, but in doing so, we often set ourselves up for failure. And when we don’t get what we want from these forced and sometimes fabricated relationships, we can become angry and resentful. We tell ourselves that somebody else is at fault. We tell ourselves that their choice to become involved with us means that they, at some point, agreed to the arbitrary terms of some imaginary agreement. In our story, they willingly entered into a relationship contract and are responsible for the damages that we perceive they have caused. We are quick to judge and talk about responsibility, but only as it applies to everyone but ourselves. They need to stand up and they need to be held accountable for what they do, or don’t do, to and for us. And so, we tell ourselves another story: our being dissatisfied with the quality of our relationships is a result of somebody else’s inability to behave in ways that benefit us.
It isn’t often that we hold ourselves accountable for the choices that we make. We think that in expressing our wants and needs upfront, we have done our part and performed our due diligence. What we don’t like to admit, however, is that we sometimes ignore some very obvious realities in our efforts to live into the relationship story we have created for ourselves. We forget that we don’t have to diminish our own personal power by controlling others in order to get the results that we want.
We don’t have to give up our stories; our lives are meant to be designed as we would like them to be. But, knowing what we want in a relationship doesn’t mean that we have to demand, manipulate or cajole others into being our perfect mate. All we really need to do is be clear about what does and doesn’t work for us, and then be willing to live in the confidence and clarity that comes with knowing that we are ultimately responsible for the choices that we make.