I don’t think that I have been in a lot of relationships but I will say that I have found myself in a lot of situations. What’s the difference? I don’t consider myself in a relationship with someone until we make a committment to one another while a situation is that middle ground between getting to know someone and having a committment. Back in the day they called it dating… check out “The Lost Art of Dating”
Anyway, one thing that many people don’t know about me is that I don’t feel the need to always “check” people. I see a lot of people doing and saying things that I believe are out-of-order but I don’t think it’s my place to confront them about it or to try to correct behavior. Obviously, this rule applies to adults who should know better and not little people looking for guidance.
In relationships and situations, you should always be looking for behavior patterns because that helps you to predict what the other person will probably do in a similar situation. For example, I once dated this guy and he would lie to me about the smallest, craziest things. I am not sure if he knew that I knew that he was lying but he would always ask, “You believe me, don’t you?” to which I would just smile and chuckle to myself. The guy was fun to be around and liked taking me out to eat (the way to my heart is definitely good food) so I gave him a little more lead way than the average guy would have gotten. However, I knew that I could not be in a serious relationship with him because I couldn’t trust him. If he was okay lying about little things, then where does it stop?
The situation that I would imagine in my head following one of his untruths was… we are married, he’s supposed to pay the mortgage, doesn’t, tells me he did and we get evicted. Yes, that may sound extreme but I can usually imagine the worst case scenario of a situation to determine how deeply I want to get involved.
This situation caused me to accept two truths about being involved with other people:
- I can not change other people. If this dude was a habitual liar then there was nothing that I could do to make him an honest person. There are certain character traits within people that you don’t have the power to change. We could have argued, I could have caught him in a million (not literally a million) “ah ha!” I got you moments but what would that have accomplished? It would have made him a better liar.
- You have to love people as they are and not for who you want them to be. No matter who is a part of my life, I try to look at them as they are today and ask myself, “Is this someone that I want in my life?” I don’t think about their potential or who they want to be but who are you today? We all have the potential to do this and to do that but many of us never reach that potential. So standing still, take a look at the person next to you and ask yourself if you can accept them just as they, flaws and all. Don’t try to overlook certain things or say that they don’t matter when they do.
So… what’s the one thing your relationship must have to survive? Trust. You have to trust the person to be who they are whether that is the most loyal friend you ever had or the most scandalous boyfriend that you never imagined yourself with. Once you take a serious look at a person, you have to first accept them for who they are and then trust that this who they will be.
Some of you may be saying, “what the hay is she talking about?” Trust is not only believing that a person will be faithful to you but also that they will be faithful to themselves. Believing in the great things about a person and the not so great things. I have found myself in situations with friends that caused me to wonder if the person was someone that I really wanted in my life because of some personality differences. However, I had to do an honest assessment and ask myself if the good things about the person outweighed the bad and if I could live with those bad things without the expectation of this person changing? In some instances, the answer was a resounding yes while other times caused me to realize that their toxicity outweighed the positive attributes.
No matter who you are in a relationship or situation with, you should keep this advice in mind. Trust is the one thing that your relationship must have to survive.