“It is not good for man to be alone.” This is a quote from the Christian Bible.
Humans are not meant to be alone. It is not good, yet so many of us are alone and lonely.
One of the main reasons we have trouble maintaining relationships is because we live in the age of “i” iPhone, iPod, iPad, iii – everything in our world is customized to our specifications. We even have single serve coffee (read Optimism and Me) that is customized. We are so “i “ that we have trouble becoming “we, “ therefore we remain alone and that is not good.
If you are immersed in an iRelationship, here’s how to convert it to a weRelationship.
1. Go slow. You meet a person’s representative, not the “real deal.” It takes time to remove the mask and learn the real person. What’s the rush?
weLast: Get to know the other person.
iAmAlone: I found someone. Dig in NOW before they run off.
2. Carry yourself with dignity. A Rolls Royce is treated better than a Volkswagen because not everyone can have a Rolls. You are a treasure but you must recognize this and carry yourself accordingly. If you make yourself available to everyone, you devalue and cheapen yourself. This advice applies to men, too.
weLast: I am a high quality person and want to be treated with respect.
iAmAlone: I am so happy that I am with someone. Treat me any way you see fit. I don’t deserve any better.
3. Change YOU, not them. You cannot change another person. If the relationship is not working, the only thing you can do is change yourself. If you are not willing to change, then don’t expect your mate to change.
That does not mean change your core values or personality, simply be flexible and adapt to the relationship. If you do change and the relationship is still not working, it’s time to move on. Read Relationships That Fit for more.
weLast: I am going to be flexible and adapt to this relationship.
iAmAlone: I am going to change you.
4.Have a mutual attitude of service. Too many people look to a mate as “what can they do for me.” Instead, both people must think in terms of “what can I do for my mate.” If the relationship is mutual, you will get yours. If not, learn to move on.
weLast: What can I do for you today?
iAmAlone: What will you do for me today?
5. Do what you require of your mate. Many times we require perfection in our mates, yet not from ourselves. We make unreasonable demands on them yet are unwilling to live up to our own expectations. If you cannot live it yourself, then why do you expect your mate to live it?
weLast: Let me show you how to do it.
iAmAlone: Do what I say, not what I do. I don’t clean, but you should.
6. Accept your differences. You really, really, really don’t want to live with a carbon copy of yourself. Don’t demand that your mate do everything your way or be exactly like you.
weLast: Thanks for sharing your way of doing things. Keep doing it that way since it works for you.
iAmAlone: The only right way is my way.
7. Build your house, don’t tear it down. Respect one another. Don’t put your mate down, especially in front of others. Minimize the slip-ups and remember the times that you slipped up. Shout his or her accomplishments from the rooftop, no matter how minor.
weLast: Sweetie, even though you forgot to take the trash out, thanks for cleaning the bathroom. Do you know how much time you saved me by doing that? It smells great, too, what did you use to clean it….
iAmAlone: I can’t believe you forgot to take the trash out again. What is wrong with you? You must not have been raised right…
8. Keep your relationship between two people. Treat the phrase “if I were you…” like the poison that it is. Friends and family are often well-meaning, but if you are to have a great relationship, it must be between 2 people, not between you, your mate, your friends, your mama, etc. Discuss your issues with your mate only.
weLast: I know that sometimes you want to meet your friends after work. That’s fine, but could you give me a call so that I don’t worry?
iAmAlone: My mother thinks that you should come straight home from work. She says that if you don’t, you are inconsiderate.
9. Make your home a soft place to land. Fire and explosions are the only bad news that should greet your mate at the front door. The outside world is stressful enough, no one wants to walk in the door to more stress – and they won’t, they’ll find somewhere else to go. Coming home should be a pleasant experience for both of you. Who wants to listen to whining and complaining every day? Drama can wait until after dinner if it’s that serious.
weLast: Why don’t we unwind for a minute. I had a rough day and I’m sure you did, too. I’m glad we can have some time to get away from it all and relax.
iAmAlone: It’s about time you got home. The washer broke down and the kids are driving me up a wall. On top of that, the electric company didn’t get their check and are going to shut off power tomorrow if we don’t make a payment right away….
10. Move toward the same goals. Every relationship must have goals, whether its buying a house, raising the kids or retiring. If you are working in opposite directions, you pull further apart, not closer together. (Think of a triangle) This is why rule #1 is so important.
weLast: Since we both want to retire in 10 years, let’s put together a budget that will make it happen.
iAmAlone: We HAVE TO take a vacation every year. I don’t see the point in working and then saving every dime like you want to. We need to enjoy life NOW and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.
More tomorrow. In the meantime, if you can think of more, I’d love to hear them, share your comments.