There’s this quote from Marilyn Monroe that is on every female Tinder profile, Instagram Bio, and any online dating platform. It’s shared on Facebook religiously and I’m sure that women would even put it on a resume if they could.
We get it. If we can’t handle all of your crazy then we don’t deserve your sane.
This mindset is not reserved solely for females.
A desire for pushing boundaries, being strong, an individual and not compromising at all is rampant among the generations of today.
I think it’s important to honour our boundaries and needs. It’s paramount to the success of relationships to ask for what you need and not compromise your dreams and aspirations.
Are some of us taking this too far though?
“If you truly loved me you would accept and love me for me. I shouldn’t have to change.”
Oh yes. Sometimes you should definitely change.
Realistically we should always be changing. We should always be growing to become better each and everyday. But we often don’t.
Some of us have a poisonous version of what “love” is and it’s not conducive to healthy relationships.
There’s this giant misconception that if we knew what true love was we would stick through the worst. That no matter what, our vow to love and/or marriage should, and can, trump any situation. We are expected to work through anything and everything.
Let me be clear. That is bullsh*t.
This view gives the permission that we can do anything we want and there are no consequences.
This view is sometimes lived as: Push the boundaries, break the rules and test your partner’s patience.
And when we’ve pushed enough and our partner has reached their limit we’ll just say to them, “If you really loved me you’d try to work on things! You wouldn’t walk away.”
There’s absolutely and without a doubt a time to walk away.
Is it when he leaves the toilet seat up again? Or when she interrupts you for the ninth consecutive NFL Sunday while your fave team is tied with fourth and goal?
The second one may have some merit.
Many people preach and utter comments about how today’s culture and generations let things go too easily and don’t fight for them.
I think in most cases that isn’t true.
I believe the generations of today and the culture we surround ourselves with expect more from relationships and we tolerate less of the sh*t that generations of the past were okay with.
We don’t learn the necessary skill sets as to what makes relationships thrive. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a fault of our culture and generation, but more so the constructs of our educational system.
Why not teach how to have fulfilling relationships? It would’ve served me much more than the pythagorean theorem.
a2+b2 = #whogivesaf*ck
In addition, we didn’t know we needed to have great relationship skills. Add to that the ability to be vulnerable and express our emotions. I couldn’t even imagine having that conversation with my Grandfather and telling him he needs to open up more to Grandma. I’m pretty sure he would’ve ashed his cigarette on my sensitive heart.
This is because marriages of the past weren’t on average born out of love. We didn’t expect life long monogamy and we only lived till the age of thirty-five. Makes things a little easier doesn’t it?!
Marry someone, be their friend, have some sex, raise some kids, and grow not-old together.
If we all replicated the way most people in the early 1900s operated in relationships there would be some seriously single men and women out there. Because now women don’t put up with as much sh*t as they used to. They will, more often than not, walk away from abusive, patriarchal, dominant and controlling relationships.
As they should.
And that’s why there is a demand for emotionally vulnerable and mindfully aware men today. Because more is expected of us.
And we want to give more.
In our defence, a lot of our time is spent trying to figure out the constructs of relationships despite have literally just been raised by a lot of “Mad Men”-esque style households.
Both men and women are learning that great relationships exist in a balance. They operate and embrace an environment that is largely free of extremes.
When we are not constantly checking in and seeing how one-another are doing we end up playing catch-up. Two years down the road when sh*t hits the fan it is going to feel next to impossible to work through things.
You know why?
Because two years of work is daunting. Two years of conversations we’ve been avoiding and consistently hiding from sharing what is real for us – has us paralyzed. It has us ignoring the simple day-to-day conversations that keep our relationships thriving.
And that’s why it’s easier to walk away in those cases.
It’s easier to throw in the towel.
We can just start all over and create new dysfunction with the next significant other.
We’ll talk about sunshine and rainbows, have incredible sex and smile at all of the honeymoon relationship problems. “Oh sh*t, we ran out of condoms from all the sex we’re having!” “Oh my gosh! You got drunk and puked?! That’s ok! I love you!” “Your hair clogged my drain again?! Only the hair of a princess could do that!”
What if we dropped the fear of checking in?
What if we eradicated the desire to run from information we don’t want to hear?
What if we actually got real with ourselves and our partners?
Our lives and relationships would look a lot different.
If we consistently asked questions like:
“How are we doing?”
“Are we happy?”
“On a scale of 1-10 what kind of partner have I been this week? What would make me a 10?”
We don’t ask these questions because we don’t want to know that our relationship may require work. We don’t want to admit that we may not be being the best partner or have to acknowledge that we could be doing more.
Shouldn’t we want to?
Successful and thriving long term relationships embrace an environment of honesty. They don’t deliver and receive feedback as criticism.
They see their partner as a gateway to evolution. To becoming a better human being who operates with humility and knows that we don’t have it all figured out.
In the constant pursuit of appearing perfect we’ve failed to recognize that no one really has their sh*t together. That this relationship world is messed up and all we can really do is the best we can.
Are you doing the best that you can? Are you existing in a relationship dynamic where you’re getting what you need and providing your partner the same?
No one else is going to do it for you. Don’t wait to lose someone you love. Get real with yourself and your partner and recognize that great relationships are born out of choice.
You have to choose to want one. Once you make that choice then you can embrace the beautiful fact that you are the architect of your relationship and what you do in each moment creates that certain future.