Opposites attract but similarities endure… a popular phrase I hear and observe in the relationships of my clients… a reality I find to be grounded in truth! In my own experiences, in the stories I hear from friends, family members and clients… there seems to be a pattern of people eventually hating the traits and characteristics of their partner that they initially fell in love with. As bizarre as this seems, there also seems to be a great deal of pain involved in trying to turn the partner you fell in love with into the person you would like them to be now!
I have discovered that “the person you would like them to be now” is often a reflection of self. If your world view is too different from mine, maybe I can get you to share my world view… so it’s easier for us to communicate and make decisions. If your world view is too different than mine (or maybe just a little different) the process of communicating and making decisions is much more difficult and time consuming! In our busy world, who has time for that? Who has time for conversations that are hard and take time to sort out so that both our needs are met?
When the needs of two people in a relationship are taken into consideration and met with regularity, relationships thrive. Healthy relationships are all about balance… if we are too similar it typically won’t last long term… if we are too dissimilar it typically won’t last long term… this applies to all relationships (intimate, work, friends)… they end when they fall out of balance for too long.
So how do we keep relationships in balance, healthy, easier? We must become better observers of similarity and difference in my opinion. And when we find ourselves observing the traits and characteristics of someone with whom we are in a relationship and wanting to change their thoughts, feelings or behavior to more closely match that of our own, we have a responsibility to take a step back, take a deep breath in… and communicate! I find that the best balance results in you getting all of what you want sometimes, me getting all of what I want sometimes, and sometimes we agree to disagree and find compromise somewhere in the middle!