Many relationships would improve if people invested as much time in them as they do to social media.
A Relationship Is Like A Job. Once You Enter It, The Real Work Begins.
Many families go on vacation during the summer months. Most of the time, they don’t get in the car or another mode of transportation and end up wherever, they usually make plans ahead of time. Many of them select their hotels, plan their activities, estimate their budgets, map out directions, etc. Before their day of departure, they have tentative plans, hoping to make their vacation as enjoyable as possible.
Most people understand preparing for a vacation, but they fail to invest that same energy when it comes to entering one of the most sacred institutions on earth: marriage. Instead of investing time and effort in a relationship, they base a relationship on fleeting emotions. Instead of talking about significant issues, they sweep things under the rug, hoping their major concerns will disappear. Instead of really getting to know their potential mate, they appear content hanging onto frills that aren’t strong enough to keep a relationship intact. Instead of looking at reality, they rationalize that the feelings they have for each other can conquer all.
Since marriage is such a huge step, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that it shouldn’t be entered into lightly? Doesn’t it seem wiser to ask the hard questions now rather than find out the hard answers later? Wouldn’t it seem starting on a firm foundation can help ensure that a structure will last?
No, nothing is one-hundred percent guaranteed; but it seems that if preparing for a vacation can make a vacation run more smoothly, then preparing for marriage is a no-brainer.
When an experienced painter is preparing to paint the interior of an old home, he doesn’t just throw on a new coat of paint then lackadaisically goes about his business. If his aim is to do a professional job, he takes specific steps to ensure his success. First and foremost, he cleans the old surface of all debris. Once that is done, he patches all visible cracks. It seems that the surface is ready to be painted at this point, but it is not. The professional painter sands the patched surfaces then he applies a primer, a substance that provides sealing and bonding properties, making it easier and more functional for the topcoat of paint. After he completes these steps, he is ready to apply the paint color of his choice.
If a painter knows he has to take specific steps in order to have a luscious, painted room, why do people think they can gloss over their pain of past relationships and jump straight into another one without experiencing any discomfort? Why do people believe that it doesn’t take preparation to build a life with another human being? Why have they deceived themselves into thinking that they can forego communication and allow their current feelings to conquer inevitable challenges that relationships face? Why won’t they take the time to prepare, giving themselves a better chance of being successful, before being lured into intimate relationships by their emotions?
If you are contemplating entering a relationship, use the wisdom of a professional painter. Don’t jump headlong into a relationship with your eyes closed. Instead, do your best to prepare for success. Prior to the leap, take necessary steps to deal with old wounds. Make it a habit to take care of yourself. (You can’t love someone else if you don’t first love yourself.) Get “relationship counseling” from a trusted advisor. Read books about healthy relationships. Communicate. And most importantly, give the relationship time to blossom. If you take the preliminary steps of building a healthy relationship, it could save you from taking painful terminating steps of separation or divorce.
It is easy for a person to take those he says he loves for granted. Most of the time, he spends a lot of time with his loved ones, and they are familiar to him. He expects them to be available to him, and he expects them to fulfill their roles. Instead of being appreciative of what they do, in his mind, he assumes things will get done, and if they aren’t, he is quick to complain. He may feel that they know how he likes things and because a pattern has been established, he wants things completed just as they always have been.
If a person is living with this mentality, he is living on a slippery slope. It is never wise to take loved ones for granted. Yes, they may have various roles that they fulfill, but it is always good to stop and acknowledge what they do. Just because someone is a loved one, that doesn’t give a person a right to disrespect him or her. In fact, that person should be honored or esteemed.
In many instances, this is not the case. A person may honor and esteem those they want to impress, but fail to honor those who are with him day in and day out. He may go out of his way to do for others but neglect his loved ones who are with him on a regular basis. He may go the extra mile for acquaintances or strangers, but he fails to recognize and appreciate those in his household.
If you find yourself guilty of this infraction, change it today. Honor those who you say you love. Show them appreciation and respect. Give them words of encouragement. Do your best to impress them as much as you attempt to impress others. Just remember, a little respect goes a long way.
Many people are looking for love. When you ask them what they are looking for, they say they are looking for the total package. When they are questioned further about their desires, they roll off a litany of qualities that they say are “must haves.” Amazingly, they are looking for the perfect person, someone without shortcomings, weaknesses or failures. When you peruse their standards, they are so high that no human being could possibly live up to them.
Many individuals have found someone they are compatible with, but because that person had a shortcoming, that person scratched the “less than perfect one” off the list. There is nothing wrong with high standards, but a person must realize that no one living on this earth is perfect. Each person has an issue, shortcoming or frailty; some have more than others, and some have them to a larger degree than others.
A person can save himself a lot of frustration by realizing that each person comes with some kind of baggage. Once that is established, he can look for someone who possesses the majority of the qualities he desires. Once he finds a shortcoming, which he will find if he looks long enough, he must decide whether that shortcoming is a deal breaker. For example, if a person is addicted to drugs, that may be a deal breaker. If he won’t keep a job, that may be a deal breaker. If he is abusive, that may be a deal breaker. However, if that person is prone to lateness, that may be something a person can work with. If the potential mate has a tendency to worry, the person has to decide if that’s something he can deal with in a relationship. Either way, a person must evaluate whether the other individual’s weakness is something that he can accept even if he doesn’t agree with it.
Most happily married couples admit that their partners have weaknesses, and if they are honest, they admit that they have them too. So for those looking for the perfect person, know that that person may not be “perfect,” but he or she can be perfect for you. Don’t be one of those people who overlooked a good thing because that good thing came adorned with a few flaws.
We all have made mistakes in life. Some of our mistakes were larger and more devastating, while others more subtle, having lesser impact on those around us. Regardless the magnitude or the intention of the blunder, there are times when an apology is appropriate.
Isn’t it interesting that people respond differently in regards to their mistakes? Some never acknowledge they’ve made mistakes. They move from one mistake to another, never admitting they’ve done anything wrong. It may be because they don’t realize their actions have hurt or offended others, or they don’t feel the need to apologize, even if they realized their actions were hurtful or offensive. Others say they are sorry only when they get caught in their actions. They aren’t truly repentant, they are only sorry that someone found out what they have done. Then there are those who apologize for everything. They do it to keep the peace, not because they genuinely feel remorse about their actions. Lastly, there are those who realize their mistakes, feel remorse about them and apologize to those they’ve hurt or offended.
It’s not easy for many people to apologize genuinely for their mistakes. Many relationships have been ruined because one or both parties refuse to offer a genuine apology. A simple “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” can tear down a wall before it becomes a stronghold. A genuine apology can reunite people who have been distanced by an offense. Offering an apology can open the gates of communication, thereby helping to melt anger and bitterness that have been stored up for years.
Why is it so difficult to offer a genuine apology? Many times pride is the culprit. A haughty attitude blocks one from admitting that he is wrong, or if he realizes he is wrong, he’s too prideful to humble himself and apologize for his mistake. Another reason is the person may not realize that he’s committed a wrong. In that case, the offended person must tell the offender that he was hurt or offended, giving the offender an opportunity to respond appropriately.
In either case, a genuine apology can serve as a healing balm to an aching soul. It doesn’t cost money, and the only price you may pay is your pride. Now think about it for a moment. Is that relationship more valuable than a chunk of your pride? If it is, offer a genuine apology. Once you do, what happens next is out of your hands. But you never know, a genuine apology may repair a relationship that’s been on the brink. And even if it doesn’t repair the relationship, it will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you took the high road in making things right.