If you’ve been thinking of someone else recently or what it would look like to be with another, hear this: The alternative to your current relationship is not always the opposite of what it is.
And it’s likely not a better version of it either.
The alternative to hot and lazy isn’t hot and hardworking; Nor is rich and generous the alternative to rich and stingy.
Your next relationship -should it exist- will be what you make of it, the same way a cup will only taste like whatever you put in it. I want to believe that the relationship you’re currently in could taste better. That’s why I’m going to suggest you try these before you break up.
Make Lemonade With Your Lemons. And Add Mangoes.
It’s not in the big things that your partner annoys you the most, right? It’s in the little ones. For example,
- The missed appointment due to tardiness,
- The hijacked remote control,
- Or simply the poorly cooked meal.
There’s worse, I know.
Instead of being a victim to these things, turn them over their head. Use for your good what was planned for your harm.
If the food tastes funny, don’t frown just yet. Put some spices on your table; make the whole decor look appealing.
When you’re sorry, draw your apology letter instead of writing it.
If you miss the restaurant’s closing time, have a backseat dinner.
We’re all dealt bad cards. Cute couples especially. But it’s not the cards that make a successful game, it’s the player. There are scores of women who inspired their average Joe’s to break records. Scores of men inspired their average Joanna’s to blossom.
Make me envy the way you use your cards. I guarantee you that there’s no setback that can’t be repurposed.
Find The One Thing. Then Milk It.
Great athletes aren’t good at everything. They’re good at repeating one thing till they become the best at it. And then they do with being average at other things.
Your partner will never be 100% of what you want. But you must agree that he/she’s good at some things right? I want you to find those things, and grow them into something so beautiful that their flaws sit quiet in the presence of it.
To do that, you’ll need 3 things:
- Words of appreciation (positive reinforcement)
- A gratitude journal
- A weekly newsletter
1. Words of Appreciation
We become what people constantly say we are.
If I told you over and over again that I loved your punctuality, eventually you’d never come late to any of our appointments again. If I told you that your smile strips me of every negative feeling, you’d naturally smile to me more.
Do that with your partner. Find those things you love about them, and become the biggest fan the world has ever seen.
2. A Gratitude Journal
In a journal which you’ll keep private, count your blessings in this relationship, no matter how small they may appear.
I say ‘appear’ because when we take a step back to look at the big picture, the things that look monstrous up close usually cease to be. Any mountain you look form far becomes smaller.
Look at your entire relationship, write down the things you like. And when your partner does something good to you on any day, add that too.
Our minds are made to accept only one reality at a time. Hot or cold, tired or energised. That’s why by training your mind to focus on the good, you make it impossible for the bad to affect you as much. Often, solutions to the bad even come up while you’re pondering on positive things.
At the very least, give it a try.
3. A Weekly Newsletter
Choose one day every week, preferably towards the end of the week, where you consolidate everything from the 2 points above into a letter. A love letter.
Make it simple, make it sweet, encourage, do not complain.
You may use other channels for your complaints, like face-to-face, but not this letter. Let no complaint ever touch this letter. Tell your partner what you appreciated coming from them and about them this week, tell them how it made you feel and finally, encourage them to do (and be) more of it.
Let them know you’ll always be here. Be their fan.
As with everything it may seem weird at first, but many strokes later the rock will break.
Studies reveal that we are unlikely to oppose those who are good to us. Instead, we’re very likely to reciprocate the giving, in one way or another.
As you do the things I suggested above, 3 things will happen:
- The love you sowed will come back to you in one way or another,
- Your partner’s resistance to being better for you will drop,
- You’ll have clarity over whether it was a good idea in the first place to want to leave.
In my own experience, being boldly good to my wife has only produced great things. Regardless of how selfish our society seems to be, goodness remains one of the most infectious things out there.
I wish for you to to give and receive as much of it as possible.