They say that the path to happiness is not walked in only your own shoes but a marathon in someone else’s. Don’t take that the wrong way. The path to happiness is not to be someone else, it is to understand where other people are coming from. Empathy. Sympathy. Other pathys. Psychopathy?
But until recently, I was just fine walking around in my stilettos never needing to know what it was like to step into some men’s loafers. Self centered? Sure, when I think about it now. Men’s loafers may not be as hard to walk in, but the come with a whole different set of problems especially if they’re walking next to my stilettos.
Like many independent women I clung to the idea that I would have someone who would want me for who I am, take it or leave it, or I’d rather be alone for the rest of my life. Funny enough, this prevents the learning process that is part of life. Imagine that.
I opened my eyes recently and allowed my dogmatic beliefs to fall to the wayside and open-mindedly looked at my history. What was the trigger do you think? Maybe it was the remnants of a bad past relationship. Maybe it’s dating someone who was exactly like me in my past relationship. Maybe it’s getting grounded and wanting a real relationship. Maybe it’s knowing what I need and finally deciding to get it. Whatever the catalyst, here is the first of my lessons.
Me Vs. You Vs. Us: The difference between a serious relationship and flings/short term relationships is that at some point in time, you stop thinking about things in the context of “me” doing things for “you” and it turns into “me” doing things for “us.” And doing things for “us” entails that what is in the best interest for the relationship is in the best interest for oneself. Why? Because the survival of the relationship brings value to your life. It’s survival and success is to your benefit.
This also alludes to the fact that the relationship has become an integrated part of your life. That the person you’re with has come to the level of one of your closest friends or even family. For these types of relationships to work out, there has to be a level of inter dependency and it has to be reciprocated at the same level. One person cannot be thinking in terms of “us” and the other person think in terms of “me” or “you” because inevitably that mentality turns into “me” vs. “you.”
When was the last time you thought of one of your relationships in terms of “us”?
By: Leah Tran