There is a great deal of thought that goes into destroying most relationships. It takes time and energy to get close enough to another human being to actually separate at all, rather than just passing by each other.
While I continue to advocate ‘pure, passionate and perfect’ loving relationships, to my frustration and even disappointment at times, I still believe that it were better to have loved and lost…
One of the issues that often arises is about changing our partners. The ‘conventional’ wisdom is that we can’t change the people that we are with. Yet, without trying to save them, there are always things that we can do to help each other grow and expand and sometimes to let go of the things that hold us back. It can be dangerous of course to do such things… if they really do grow and change, you never quite know whether you’ll like what they become – or if they’ll like you once they have!
I know of a guy putting together “The Girlfriend Training Program” (which is really a boyfriend training program branded to be confrontational), yet when I read that the article in the NYTimes was the most read article in the last 30 days, it occurred to me that there are a lot of people who really want to do some fine tuning on their relationships.
It’s not just intimate relationships that we want and need to fine tune either. Social relationships are inevitably sources of conflict and misunderstanding; we need to learn to clearly communicate how we want and expect to be treated if we actually want to make things better.
I was speaking with a friend about their friend’s relationship. She’s a beautiful spirit, looking to give love and share love, wanting to connect deeply, intimately and profoundly. Yet her man ‘treats her mean and keeps her keen’, without ever really opening up to her or sharing a fraction of the love that she desperately craves. She is stopping herself from having the relationship that she purports to want by not communicating openly and honestly what she wants and needs – even if she does it verbally, surely that she ‘puts up’ with what she is given communicates far more powerfully that his current behaviour is acceptable.
Sometimes I wonder where the limits lie with our ‘training’ of those around us. While we can say that we can try to change the ‘little things’, how can we really tell the difference anyway. And with the majority of stress in our lives actually coming from the ‘minor’ annoyances, sometimes the little things are the big things.
Perhaps more significantly, how often do we try to change others instead of dealing with the real problem by by changing ourselves…