(Author not attributed)
An African proverb states, “Before you get married, keep both eyes open; after you marry, close one eye.”
Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don’t let lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem make you blind to warning signs. Keep your eyes open and don’t fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults isn’t really that important. Once you decide to commit to someone, over time their faults, vulnerabilities, pet peeves and differences will become more obvious. If you love your mate and want the relationship to grow and evolve, you’ve got to learn how to close one eye and not let every little thing bother you. You and your mate have many different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses and strengths.
You are two unique individuals who have decided to share a life together. Neither one of you is perfect; but are you perfect for each other? Do you bring out the best in each other? Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare, and control? What do you bring to the relationship? Do you bring past relationships, past hurts, past mistrust, past pain? You can’t take someone to the altar to alter him or her. You can’t make someone love you or make someone stay. If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment and ‘a life,’ you won’t find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or responsible for your pain. Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness and selfishness are not the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting relationship. Seeking status, sex, wealth and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship.
What keeps a relationship strong? Open communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humour, sharing household tasks, plus regular getaway time without business or children. Daily exchanges (i.e. a meal, shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note). Leave a nice message on their voicemail or send a nice e-mail. Sharing common goals and interests also creates a closer bonding. Growth is important too. Grow together, not away from each other; give each other space to grow without feeling insecure. Allow your mate to have outside interests. You can’t always be together. Give each other a sense of belonging and assurance of. Don’t try to control one another. Learn each other’s family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless. Don’t put pressure on each other for material goods.
Remember, for ‘richer or poorer.’ If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty and pain replace the passion.
“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never raise higher than your thinking.”