I understand that many G@Gers are not Christians, or are not religious at all. This myTake is NOT about religion or religious beliefs, but it does begin with a Bible verse about men and women:
Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
There are lessons in the Bible that are good lessons for life without regard to religious beliefs. This is one of them.
A relationship begins with two people following different courses, like two rivers flowing in different directions. Each person has different ideas, different goals, different priorities, different preferences, different needs, etc. In the initial stages of a relationship, we evaluate a potential partner for their ability to satisfy our needs, and they evaluate us for our ability to satisfy their needs. We evaluate the relationship from a very self-centered perspective and that is absolutely appropriate . . . in the early stages of dating.
After some months, we might begin to think that our significant other could be The One. At that point, the rivers turn and they begin flowing parallel to each other.
Once we entertain that thought, it takes some time to fully consider the possibilities and to become convinced that he or she is, indeed, The One. When we make this decision, it is possible that we have made a hasty judgment or even fooled ourselves. Perhaps we are so lonely and so desperate to find our lifelong companion that we have overlooked obvious red flags or warning signs. Maybe there aren’t really any warning signs but we simply don’t have enough common interests or desires; maybe the strongest part of our relationship is lust.
If we have found The One and we have fallen in love, a wonderful thing happens. The two rivers that were flowing parallel now merge and become one stronger, mightier river. The two become one flesh! We begin to think of our partner’s needs, interests, desires, etc. as being as important as our own needs, interests, desires, etc. That doesn’t mean that we become totally selfless and forget about our own needs, but our partner becomes as important to us as our self.
This means, for instance, that if we are struggling with a limited budget and there is only $200 left at the end of the month for non-essentials, we think about using that money for something our partner wants instead of just focusing on what it is that we want. And if the decision is made to purchase something for our partner instead of our self, we are just as happy as if we had purchased some non-essential for our self.
It also means that we recognize that our partnership is a valuable thing worthy of cultivation, protection, and promotion. When we encounter a problem or a conflict in the relationship, our first thought should not be to run away from the relationship. No, our attention turns to working on resolving the conflict and making the relationship even stronger.
You may be saying to yourself, “Damn! This old guy is off his rocker! Definitely OlderAndNuttier!” I remember a time when I could not imagine saying this about a partner and, looking back, I know that I was not ready for a long term relationship. But now . . . I’ll bet that if you were to read this to any couple who have a successful relationship, they would respond, “Yeah, he’s got it right!”
Suppose you are in a relationship and you think about your partner and you say, “No, that could never be us.” Maybe this is the test for you to decide if the current Mr. Right or Ms. Right is The One. If you cannot envision having this selfless love for your partner, then maybe they aren’t The One, or maybe you aren’t ready for a commitment.