My friend and I are seriously considering writing a book about relationships- this is a good way for me to jot down some of my thoughts on this whole idea of relationships and building healthy ones…
My opinion is that common interests can be part of a relationship, but do not and will not guarantee the success of one. Interests change over time. Every single day, relationships wear down, and people break up. Is it that people don’t feel fulfilled? Is it because there is not enough depth? Because they don’t feel like they are growing? Because they’re too lazy to grow? Why do people lose interest in others suddenly? Maybe we should be more focused on what holds people together. What keeps relationships, whether romantic or just friendships, together. The goal should not be to stick it out and make it work to stay together, but to define the purpose of that relationship. It is not enough to have common interests with another, that is not what holds people together, but it is the common purpose in life that they share.
I’m reading a book by Matthew Kelly, and he says that “relationships only make sense in relation to the overall purpose of your life.” In your relationships, you must find the purpose and glue that holds that relationship together. The goal should be to help the other in becoming the best that they can be, and for them to help you become the best that you can be. To be in a healthy, good relationship requires encouragement, challenge, inspiration… and consistently.
Proverbs 18:22 says: “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I believe that every person desires a wholesome relationship- a romantic relationship that will bring with it satisfaction and fulfillment for a lifetime. People do not date to break up, just like people do not marry to divorce- yet today marriages are constantly ending in divorce. You must come up with a plan. Healthy relationships do not just happen, they take work, and a lot of it. You do not just wake up and find a good husband or wife. There is a process that must be taken between two people. I believe that a friendship must be established before attraction should be communicated. A good foundation in a strong relationship relies on a great friendship.
Friendship is only part of it though- a big part of it, but only part of it. Guys- you have got to have some guts inside of ya to be able to communicate your intentions and feelings. Chances are, girls are not reading into how you feel because you are really good at hiding it! If guys do not have the courage to communicate their feelings, girls will move on from the situation to something else- something better, bottom line. I have heard this first hand from many single ladies! Feelings and romance can bring with it a lot of baggage though. There needs to be a firm foundation set, because without one, emotions will take over the entire relationship and over-rule everything else!
Relationships should be fun- yes there should be boundaries and intentions, a very strong friendship- but there needs to be some spontaneous and yes, romantic fun too! A healthy relationship should never get boring or predictable, in my opinion. But- and I think this is huge- the common girl, full of emotions, pumped and ready for the future, wants that guy, yes that guy. You know, the one that is full of surprises, always has something up his sleeve. Thee guy, that just shows up when you aren’t expecting him to, with flowers, something special, a song he had just written about you and for you on his guitar, even a ring maybe. His favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice… not all girls, but a lot of girls love to daydream about the guy that has enough courage to do just about anything to make his girl feel special. But… unfortunately, he ain’t comin’ ladies! He only exists on the TV screen. You can drool over Ryan Gosling, Josh Duhamel, Matthew Macfadyen all you want, they’re just characters, they don’t exist! But guys- girls do like surprises (well most girls), they love and hunger for those little spontaneous acts.
I think the people that just cannot make it work are the ones that in their minds think it seems impossible. People that cannot make it work define a healthy relationship in unrealistic and un-achievable terms. All relationships have their differences, all relationships have unresolvable problems, all relationships have moments where they will have to “agree to disagree.” This is unavoidable. Rather then feeling like it’s impossible, you should focus that energy on believing in it. You must make it a priority, you must follow through and have accountability. Biggest thing– you cannot do it alone.
“All great things are as difficult to achieve as they are rare to find.” -Spinoza