How to Treat Life Like a Relationship

I have always put relationships first. Romantic, platonic, familial… they’re most important. It has never been a question of time or bandwidth, if someone needs me I am there. It’s programmed into me.

Everything else in my life has always been sort of a mess. Relationships have never scared me but everything else pretty much has. “What am I doing with my life,” is the number one question that I both avoid and torment myself with on a daily basis.

I thought about it recently and I came up with an idea: what if I approached my career and life goals the same way I’ve approached relationships my entire life? Could it and would it make me happier? Below I’ve compiled a list of 5 of my favorite relationship mantras that I’ll be applying to my career and life. If you’re someone who gives a lot of time and energy to other people, you should join me. If you’re the opposite, maybe these will help you with your relationships.

1. Keep Trying
Even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, I knew that I wanted it. When I was very young I was pretty certain I was never going to have a boyfriend. I was too shy, too insecure, and had no idea what I would do with one once it happened. But I knew that a long term relationship is what I wanted. One day I was finally ready and after some trial and error found myself in a long term relationship. And then a couple shorter ones and now with Jeff. We celebrated 5 years in February. I see now that even though I was desperate to be in love, I wasn’t ready yet and hadn’t met my match yet. I need to keep this same faith as I navigate all my interests.

2. What You Think You Want Could Be All Wrong
When I started dating and working on some of my very first serious relationships, I thought I had a “type.” Anyone else was just not going to make me happy. I was judging lots of books by their covers, even though I hated to be judged by my own! After my third relationship of a certain “type” I kind of just threw in the towel and was ready to try anything. Along came Jeff in his polos and short hair. He was not what I was expecting and yet we complement each other. The same goes for my friends. Take one look at us all together {me: ripped jeans, black leather, shaggy hair} and them {long blonde hair, coiffed, Ralph Lauren poster children} and it doesn’t make sense. But look at our hearts and who we truly are and it does.

3. Stop When It Stops Being Fun
Anything worth having is going to be hard and we’re going to question our choices a lot. Sometimes we don’t shine our best and other times the people we love don’t shine their best either. That said, if we aren’t having fun anymore, if every damn day is a chore, a bore, or both, then the hard work won’t have any reward. We’ll be working toward keeping everything in place rather than making everything even better.

4. It Can (and Should) Sustain Multiple Stages of Your Life
What we love needs to change with us. We are not who we were yesterday. We will not be the same tomorrow. Over time we are going to grow and change. At our core we are always “us” but over time that “us” will have different desires, outlooks, thoughts, and even sadness. As we transform we need a partner, and a passion, that can support us as we grow and thrive.

5. Never, Ever, Ever, Give Up
We know deep down in our hearts that something great is waiting for us. To find it we can’t stop believing (thanks Journey) and never stop trying to fidnd it. Did I have my heart smashed a couple of times? Oh yes. Did I come back changed and better for it? Totally. I propelled myself toward a great relationship because it was all I ever wanted and all I ever dreamed of. Now that I got it and I am turning my eyes to the rest of my life, I need to remember this same determination.


Have something to say? Leave a note here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s