A ‘typical’ day in the life of your relationship: what does that look like?
Of course, every relationship will have different days. That said, all relationships—family, friendship, business, or intimate—have a baseline, a ‘typical’ of its own, upon which it revolves.
From that baseline, we have both ups and downs, but these excursions are by no means representative of the overall reality of the relationship.
It is easy to fictionalize or fantasize (not sexually) those unique or special days. We all have them. The days that we imagine, days that play out so perfectly in books and movies.
For some of us, those book and movie days never seem to materialize. And let’s be honest—first with ourselves and then with others—those wonderful, grand days (if we get them at all) are the exception, not the norm.
I believe that too many people live their lives longing for those rare “unicorn” days rather than understanding and accepting the reality of their relationships. The fact is, real relationships are built up of one average day after another.
There is a sports analogy that says that “baseball games are won with singles, not grand slams”. Likewise, relationships are lived one simple day after another.
If we don’t know what to expect from our relationships on the majority of these days, then how can we expect ourselves to deal with those days?
Similarly, if the people who we are in relationships with don’t know what a day in the life of their relationship with you looks like, then what are they likely to do in the relationship? How are they likely to act?
Now, I’m not saying you need to plan out every moment of every day. Quite the contrary. It isn’t your plan I’m talking about, it is the very real effect of life itself on you and your relationships.
No one could keep up the frantic and frenetic pace of one excitement-filled day followed by another, and another.
Not to mention that those excitement filled days would ultimately become the typical, the baseline, the norm. At this point, the excitement itself is “just another day”.
All too often, we want what we don’t have. It’s a matter of “the grass is always greener”, but this is an illusion. We always seem to think that what others have is preferable to our own reality, when the truth is that others are likely thinking the same about us.
But be careful what you wish for. We tend to over-emphasize the negative of our current situations, while at the same time we over-amplify the positive situations of others.
Again, this is because we don’t really know what to expect from our relationships. Our energy would be better spent not looking so far and wide, but rather focusing on shoring up our reasonable, rational expectations of relationships.
We need to understand what is and is not acceptable in our relationships
We need to understand that there is good in a stable relationship
We need to understand the proper balance between the highs, the lows, and everything in between in our relationships
Only by having a good understanding of what to expect – in real terms, in real time frames – can we begin to set limits and boundaries within those terms and timeframes.
The question to ask might be: “What can we do about it?”
We begin by expending efforts within our relationships. Only when our normal days become abnormal should we look towards making a change.
How will you know? How can you tell when it is time to either modify your relationship or change the relationship altogether?
We take our normal, calm, and possibly even mundane days for granted, or worse, we look on them with disdain, never taking any responsibility, accountability or ownership for those days, never making any attempt to intervene or influence the days of our very own lives.
To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, the possibilities are endless once we make the decision to act rather than react.
A Day in the Life Challenge
This week’s challenge for you is to review and evaluate some of your own relationships, both past, and present. What did a day in the life of those relationships look like? Were they what you expected? And if not, why not? What would you have done or wanted to do differently?
Don’t forget to let me know what you find – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships
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