"Picture me upon your knee
Tea for two and two for tea
You for me and me for you, alone.
We will raise a family
A boy for you
And a girl for me
Can't you see how happy we will be".... Doris Day
When I wrote in December, about Dr. Solomon's tips for reinventing romance in modern times, I promised to expound on each tip in January. His book, Reinventing Romance, focused on an altruistic view of love that opens the lens of a relationship to allow for growth, change, endings, etc. The first step, he pointed out, is our willingness or desire to build a life a together.
You don't have to be a therapist, coach or counselor to realize that many of us have no idea how to build a life together, based on anything more than love songs.
A starting place for relationship understanding is that we make different kinds of commitments. One partner may be ready to build a life with someone, while the other wants to enjoy the ride until he or she gets bored, or tired, a condition which invariably happens, but does not necessarily mean the end of something. But for many marriages, boredom is a sign to shake things up or move on.
Some folks enter relationships (and unions) based on the need to stay free yet still connected (a no frills attachment) while others enter a union conditionally, stipulating how the relationship will function. We accommodate to one another's conditions unless or until we reach a point that our relationship is no longer operating on an altruistic wish to see our partner(s) happy, or happier, but rather, we're spending our time negotiating conditions to maintain our own happiness.
Then there's the commitment that calls, beckoning us to give all. When we surrender to this kind of commitment, it's not about how we feel day- to- day, week to week but rather, we're accepting the commitment we made, even as we shake in our boots. This requires a letting go, a letting of things be. I know. I know. Some folks are disagreeing even as they read this. But trust me. It's possible to learn how to let things be. To stay on the course, even as the course changes. Now that's where I can help.