Sometimes we can think ‘When this happens, I’ll be happy…’ Or ‘When I get to this point, things will change…’ I used to think my romantic relationship would one day just be strong and amazing. But I realised, thinking that it will eventually just be different, is unhelpful and can weaken our relationships.
I love a good quote. I often forget who exactly said it and sometimes I need to do a bit of paraphrasing, but I’m a sucker for a good quote.
One that sprung to mind when I was thinking about writing this post goes ‘Madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.’ (I think this one’s from Albert Einstein).
Plan vs. Plan Maker
To give you a bit of context, I’m someone who always falls into the trap of thinking that when I achieve ‘this goal’, or reach ‘this point’, then I’ll be different and I’ll be happy and satisfied.
Recently, God has really been challenging me to avoid this thinking. To put my faith and fulfilment in him, the plan maker instead of the plan.
How do I live like He is enough
God has really been humbling and challenging me on this recently. Take this website for example. Instead of running after a goal to find fulfilment, like having a website that gets ‘X’ number of visitors, I try to focus on how to seek God more in the process and see what he’s doing now.
How do I live like He is enough because nothing in this world will satisfy.
One Day I will Change
I’ve been thinking about this and I realised that I used to think this about my romantic relationship too. When I was single I thought, ‘If I get a girlfriend things will be different and I’ll be happy’.
Take prayer for example. I always struggled to get into a rhythm of daily prayer. I used to say to myself that when I get a girlfriend things will be different. We will spur each other on to pray more and I will be closer to God. Well it didn’t happen like that. (Read Should We Be Praying Together?)
And when it didn’t change I thought that once we got engaged it would change. When it didn’t, I thought that when we’re married it will change because then we’d be living together and it would be easier. Then when it didn’t, I thought maybe after next year it would change.
It didn’t just happen. We had to sit down, make a plan, fail at that plan, make another plan, and get it to work. We’ve thankfully got into a good rhythm this year, but it didn’t just happen.
I couldn’t just do the same thing and expect a different result. I couldn’t expect things in my relationship to just be different, I had to work at it.
What About Today
I had to come to this realisation a few years ago when it came to relationships. The way I dated, the way I view my marriage, I couldn’t just believe that one day it will be different. I couldn’t keep moaning about the same thing, or hold grudges. I had to make the change happen.
I had to communicate more. I had to work out why I was getting upset. I had to realise that some things I did made the relationship weaker and act differently next time.
We need to realise relationships take work and we all need to learn the skills needed
I have some friends who are in a relationship with someone and they seem to argue all the time. They both seem to blame each other, but both say it will all be different one day. They have the same arguments and same frustrations over and over, hoping for a sudden and different result.
It’s upsetting because if we want it to work, we need to realise relationships take work and we all need to learn the skills needed. No one can just play an instrument or read and write, we have to learn that skill. (Read What Makes A Happy Couple? Fresh Insight.)
In films, on T.V., in books, we seem to get told that the ‘hard part’ of the relationship is finding someone, then it’s easy. People struggle in films to get together, but when they do, they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Really?!
It’s okay to admit we need to learn the skills
Relationships take work. I had to decide to think differently. To put the work in, to learn what made a great relationship, and what made a God-centred relationship. Instead of relying on future ‘sudden changes’ and future achievements to fill me up.
We all need to learn to build good relationships, it’s okay to admit we need to learn the skills. It okay to realise we need to start implementing them today if we want to change things. ( Read Dating Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint.)
Imagine if, instead of hoping that ‘that issue’ will sort itself out, we paused to think about what it is that’s upsetting us or annoying us. And what we can do now to change that.
Why are people sometimes passive about relationships, but more active about learning skills in other areas, like to further their career? Comments welcomed below.