There comes a time in all of our relationships, whether it’s friendships to the most serious of relationships, and sometimes family, where we have the thought of if we are on the same page, or we are ready to start on a new course. We often look for clues and suggestions from the other person because that fear of rejection can be overwhelming. Sometimes we need to step out on the limb and ask the pertinent question: Are we really at the same point?
With our current lifestyles speeding through time, we set stringent goals on ourselves to hopefully reach within a few years: I want to finish grad school before 30. I want to get married before 35. I want kids – maybe? Maybe not? When will I finally lose 40lbs? Aim to finish the addition to the house. Should we even buy a house? Should we seek counseling or start the process for a divorce? It has been a few dates but I can’t tell if that person actually likes me.
I never advocate setting goals wrapped around a time limit. Life can get very hectic where we may have a delay in reaching a goal. It may take an extra year to reach your desired ending, which can cause some to simply give up. It may take you seven years to accomplish your undergrad degree because other responsibilities get in the way, or maybe you had to sell your dream home because there was an unexpected tax hike in your area, or you or your partner lost their great job. How we survive during the down time indicates how we will sustain ourselves through the high times. When everything is great we forget to plan for the possible negative outcomes that we may encounter. This goes beyond saving money. If you are married, are you two really prepared for the ” for better and for worse” aspect that comes with marriage? It’s easy in our modern time to file for divorce. Some areas offer $99 divorces that are quick and easy – The dollar menu of the legal world. Some people start new relationships and families before they divorce their previous partner in an effort to save time on going through the mill of dating to find another person to spend their life with. It makes you wonder if they look at relationships the same as buying a piece of furniture? Just keep the receipt for future returns if the product has a flaw.
What about temporal challenges we strive to achieve? It’s important to further your education, not just for the work force, but also to be aware of the world around you. Companies both in the US and internationally, are changing at such a fast pace that the demand for further education across the board is great. A lot of students, even in high school, are feeling the pinch to be at their best at all times. They are fighting for the top spot at graduation with a pristine GPA and a hope all their hard work in K-12 will land them an interview or acceptance from the “right” school(s). Most of these kids feel the pressure and with this intense pressure breeds depression. Things may not always work out the way we planned, but you can reach your goal in time. It may not be in the amount of time you originally hoped for, but giving up when you are half way there is worse than not trying your best at all. I have met adults who once they finished their undergrad realized they did not want to complete the higher learning required for their original life path. Some bio majors end up not wanting to go through the process of becoming a doctor but would rather stick to research or teach. It doesn’t make them any less of a person deciding in that moment that they don’t want to be on that same path – the same point they were maybe 4 or 5 years ago. They may have found their happiness elsewhere, and that is what is most important.
Being honest with ourselves really is the essence of where we are, and where we plan on going. Whether we are starting out in the dating world, in a serious or committed relationship, debating on ending a marriage, any level of education, or navigating our way through the difficult financial paths in life, the more honest we are the better results we will see in the end. I invite you to sit down and lay everything out in front of yourself. It may seem suffocating to think about, but sometimes when the ideas or problems are there in black and white, your mind clears and a solution can be found. Never give up!
I leave you with the line from the song, That’s How You Know in the Disney movie Enchanted: “…You got to show her you need her. Don’t treat her like a mind reader…” Whether the person is a love interest, family member, business partner, male or female – include them in your life. Include them, remember them, and appreciate them – they will do the same in return. Stay on the same page, even through the hard times, and give them the respect they deserve. Love can be translated in so many ways, start sharing it!