So I found this article, with the long and cumbersome title:
I polled 1,500 people about their best relationship advice – and everyone said the same thing.
I read it.
Pondered a bit.
Wrote down the advice-headings, with the intent of writing my reflections to each piece of advice.
And now. I’ve been acting on it. And as I read the article a few weeks ago, for the past week, as I have been sitting with this, the content of the article itself isn’t top of mind… which I think is good. It makes it easier for me to let go and see what comes to me, when I read them:
- Be together for the right reasons
- Have realistic expectations about relationships and romance
- The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
- Talk openly about everything, especially the stuff that hurts
- A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals
- Give each other space
- You and your partner will grow and change in unexpected ways
- Get good at fighting
- Get good at forgiving
- The little things add up to big things
- Sex matters… a lot
- Be practical and create relationship rules
- Learn to ride the waves
There they are, the common threads of 1500 people giving Mark Manson the basis of the article, condensed into these thirteen statements. As I write, I agree with some, tweak others and cringe at a few. As usual, when writing, I observe myself. Seeing what happens, as I let the words form, spotting feelings, beliefs, wishes and desires, fears and sensitive topics, and – most of all – expectations.
Oh, these expectations! Seldom voiced, rather thought internally, with the hope that through osmosis or mind-reading they will automatically pop into the mind of the expectee. And how rarely it works. So I am thrilled at spotting them, getting them down on paper, sometimes even working out a draft agreement I would like to suggest, as a way to get out from underneath the trappings of expectations.
This weekend, I might just make good use of these observations and ideas, written down – visualized – dreams and desires.
It’s as if I’ve collected a fair amount of building blocks, that can be used to craft and create something new; letting it sprout, whatever it will be. Something that better serves Me, and You, and as a direct consequence; better serves Us (throwback to advice number five).
I breathe in. Breathe out.
And long for tomorrow, open to whatever will come.