Chapter 18 | Section 18.3| Significant Other
This is the chapter where we evaluate one of the most important decisions we will make as human beings. Do we want to be with someone else and if so what do we want out of that relationship? Then finally, you can ask yourself whether you’ve gotten what you hoped for or if you are taking steps toward getting what all sides need out of it? And, we are afforded the opportunity to mock ourselves with such things as a head shake and muttering of what we were thinking whenever we embarked on X, Y, or Z relationship. Yeah, he/she was hot… but you found yourself willing to use your forehead as a brick wall demolition tool after about week two.
Where things like “Family” cannot be chosen and to some degree you are handed the set of cards with which to play… Your significant other is something you have in most cases almost total control of. As awesome as control is, you soon realize there is essentially no one else to blame and this particular constant seems to haunt certain personality types. Conveniently, my estimations of success (getting a 1 vs. a 0) in this category don’t require you to be in the best relationship of your life at this moment or for you to have never once had a bad day with the person you are involved with… You can actually be completely single and get a 1 as well.
Let’s break down the single folk first. Being single and free has epic benefits at times of your life. You can scale mountains, take a job on a crab fishing expedition with only the Kraken to worry about, and move freely from one location to another if need be. Many people have been in a somewhat successful relationship before and yearn to have that again. Almost to a point of occasionally trapping themselves into a subpar relationship just to be in a relationship. So the first step is asking yourself what you need right now in life.
Are you recently out of a long term relationship and in the mode where you find yourself hanging out more with friends than you have in a long time. Coming up for air and realizing that many of your friends have had significant life changes or friend set changes since when you used to hang out a lot with them? Chances are being single is a 1 for this person. Even if you miss the constant interaction of a devoted relationship, moving forward in life is a good thing. You might not always want to be single, but worrying about the next person to walk into your life isn’t and doesn’t need to be your focus. Honestly… you’re coming off of months or even longer of having had a 0 in the significant other column and you finally did what you needed to in order to move on.
And the single people that have been single for a while now: Do you want to be in a relationship but haven’t been able to find one? Or are you a person who has never enjoyed your follies at this significant other thing and are honestly happy with not pursuing people and truly don’t feel like you are missing anything and won’t hate yourself at age 60 asking why you never tried more? There isn’t a right or wrong. For those yearning to be in relationships you might be a 0 when floating around single because you recognize that as happy as you are, you are even happier when you have someone to share your highs and lows. At the same time, a single person completely comfortable with being single from now until forever can be a 1 while single. The thing I challenge single people to evaluate is this though. You can’t call yourself a person that is equally happy single or in a relationship. You either would enjoy a relationship or want to stay away from them for the foreseeable future. You are always allowed to change in life, but don’t go selling yourself that you’re at your happiest either way. We in the business call that “Bull Shit”.
For those in the dating phase: You clearly recognize you are a relationship person to some extent, and you’re giving the opportunities you can a shot. That’s a 1 if you find yourself going on multiple dates with the same person part of the time, and likely a 0 if you are 1 and done on the vast majority of your dates.
And for those in a committed relationship… you’re the people that are going to have the hardest time evaluating what is going on. Because you don’t have to just evaluate yourself, but a person you clearly care about as well. A few things to keep in mind here:
- Assume positive intent
- Until someone has abused it past the point where you can reasonably give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Evaluate an average day… not the biggest argument you’ve had or the day she walked into your room wearing a new piece of lingerie… If the average day is your lady walking in wearing a new piece of lingerie then skip this book. Entirely. And write your own, and send me a copy.
- Are you happier than you were when you were single, or the last relationship you ended?
- Is your relationship something where you look forward to the next moment you see that person when you are stressing about other stuff?
- A good day doesn’t make up for a bad year
Add all this stuff up and you’ll know where you are netting out most likely. If you don’t, you are most likely struggling to tell yourself you might be in a relationship that is making your life harder vs. easier. All relationships take effort. To get a 1 you don’t need perfection here, just to be in a situation that you want to come home to each night or recently have taken strides to get there sooner vs. later.