There has been much discussion about relationships in recent days and weeks. Difficulty finding them, trouble maintaining them, questions about are they really needed anyway, delight in finding 'the one', finding out 'the one' is in fact 'the wrong one', and not infrequently joy in the long term ones...
Obviously a lot of pressure and expectation is placed on relationships. Although we are mostly brought up with the expectation that we'll find the perfect partner, buy the perfect house and live in a perfect world, the reality is that we are more likely to find someone who is as imperfect as ourselves and we're going to have to live with their foibles as much as they're going to have to live with ours. We're not going to change them significantly, and we shouldn't expect them to change for us, or base our expectations on their changing.
When people are looking for partners, there are often shopping lists and boxes to be ticked, must be blonde/brunette/ short/tall/lean/cut/look gay/look straight/have car/own house/no children.... and often fantastic people are left behind in the wake because of something that may have become insignificant in time
More importantly, I see so many issues arising because people are not opening themselves up. They hide what they really think and feel, and create facades and pretend versions of themselves that they think other people want to see. Or that might protect them from grief. And so they miss the opportunity to connect. Relationships shrivel up when people stop talking about the things that are important, and new ones don't start because hearts are closed, and minds are wary.
We need to create environments in which the people around us can feel comfortable to talk about anything without fear of abrupt reprisal. If we don't like what someone is saying to us - ask ourselves why we are reacting that way - if you feel offended - clarify what they're saying and what they mean. In most cases I find people are misunderstanding the intended communication. Arguments can be constructive - nut out the issues - the real issues - often the things we see as problems are just symptoms of deeper issues. Figure what those are - and you're half way to solving the problem. And work on them - they can make relationships stronger and intensely powerful.
Today I'm proposing Wild Wednesday - a day to say the things that you are normally too afraid to say, and a day to listen to those around you without reservation or pre-conception.
Talk a little.
Listen some more.