If we spent less time trying to find the right partner, and more time trying to be the right partner, I am convinced fewer relationships would break down. In fact, I believe this with every fibre of my being. I'd go so far as to call it a no brainer. First off, it recognises that we have to take ownership of things, acknowledging that we really can influence the quality of an alliance. It also requires us to remain attentive to the ebb and flow of a relationship, and be ever vigilant in regard to how our other halves are doing. More than that, to adopt this perspective is to recognise that laziness and lack of attention equal a fast track to the kind of corrosion that can bring potentially good relationships to an end. I consider myself hugely fortunate to have a wife who shares the same level of commitment, and an ongoing desire to make things better and even more fun. And it is meant to be fun, isn't it? I'm assuming you didn't hook up to erode the quality of each other's lives? Why then, is this how so many partnerships end up?
I don't get it? Why would you allow something with so much potential, with such good ingredients to become so stagnant and remote? I'm sorry guys, but I don't think we can automatically blame the other person, either. It's idiotic to declare that someone isn't meeting your needs if you haven't communicated what those needs are. Or worse, when you've done that thing where you automatically expect your other half to read your mind. I've done this, I have been that Muppet. And I can't recall a single instance when this approach worked. Far as I can see it's a near perfect recipe for resentment, antipathy, and ultimately failure. So how about we're just honest with ourselves and admit that we have a massive responsibility to not just understand the needs of our partner, but to make ourselves understood. There just doesn't seem to be an alternative to good old fashioned communication. But communication is just a word, itself toothless if not accompanied by self awareness and a desire to listen. Relationships do not stay the same because people do not stay the same. The black art is accepting this, and evolving in such a way that allows all to remain fulfilled. You can be sure that the person you are today is different from who you were a few years ago. Just like the person you'll be in five years will differ from who are now. Which leaves you with a choice. You can flit from partner to partner, convinced that you haven't met the mythical creature commonly referred to as "The one", or you can try your hand at making your current relationship a thing of warmth and intimacy and beauty. You can set about the task of building something awesome and inspiring, and commit to not just surviving but flourishing. It's more than possible, and the rewards are huge. But it isn't going to cultivate itself