Is it difficult for you to maintain friendly or romantic relationships?
Even if you try your best, you just end up disappointed, disillusioned and tired that the same thing “always” happens?
It may be that you’re doing something that inadvertently causes your relationships to break dawn.
In this post we will discuss two behavioral patterns that could be responsible for these breaks, and I’ll try to give you some solutions.
This time I’ll explain it through a story, because some times, that’s easier to understand.
The story of Lady Plant
I’d like to tell you a little story, and for it, you need to imagine the following scenario:
a) Shortage Pattern
Imagine that you get a plant, as a present. It’s wonderful!
So beautiful, so tender, so bright, so colorful… you love it.
So you put it in a place in the house where you can see it, and every time you look at it, you are dazzled by its beauty.
The following day, when you wake up, you go to see your plant, you tell it how beautiful it is and how happy you are to have it at home. Then you continue with your daily tasks.
This morning you gave it a quick look when you passed by it, but as you were in a hurry, you just quickly went away.
Three days have passed and you’ve been so busy doing things that, you didn’t have too much time to see your plant.
After 7 days, when you wake up, you remember about your plant and you go see it.
How can it be that it began to wilt after a week?
But what kind of plant is this?
Why can’t it remain as pretty as it was in the beginning?
You get angry at your plant because it’s not as you expected it to be.
Two weeks later, your plant is dead.
But what happened?
You start thinking and then you realize that you’ were so “busy” that you forgot to water it.
Do you remember to water your relationships or are you too busy “doing” something else?
The opposite may also happen. Let’s go back again to Lady plant’s story.
b) Excess Pattern
You’re so excited about your new plant that, every morning when you wake up, you water it.
Of course, plants need water.
But you don’t think about finding information on how much water “that specific plant” needs, because you’re so enthusiastic about taking care of the plant, that you pay no attention to those details.
After one week, your plant has wilted rather than being radiant.
But how is that possible? With all the care you gave it!
That day you are angry at your plant, and don’t water it, but the following day you feel bad, and water it again.
After two weeks, your plant is dead.
But how is that possible? If you watered it every day!
Notice that it was precisely due to that, an excess of water, that the plant died.
Do you take care so much about your relationships that you “drown” them?
How to maintain friendly or romantic relationships
The example of the plant helps me explain two ways in which a relationship can be “drowned”, but of course, there are others.
The important thing is to assess your behavior.
Is there a pattern that you repeat in your relationships?
If you have a shortage pattern:
You may have lots of fights, duties and responsibilities in your life and maybe you’re not investing time into your relationships.
But, do you really want to maintain your friendly or romantic relationships?
If your answer is yes, then you’ll have to start changing things.
Answer the following question:
What position is your relationship in, in your priority list?
It’s clear that there’ll be different relationships and different places, but right now I’m speaking about those that are important to you.
Your partner, your best friend … where do you place them?
Once this is clear, ask yourself the following question:
Are you giving the relationship the value and care it deserves or do you take it for granted?
Even if you have a lot to do, if you want to keep a friendly or romantic relationships, you’ll have to give them time and space in your life.
It’s the only way to preserve them.
Check your schedule, look for gaps and share them with those you care about.
If you have an excess pattern
This pattern can be a little harder to understand, but it’s the opposite of the previous one.
It’s being so focused on the other person that, in the end, you stress him or her out.
Of course it will depend on the kind of person, because there are some who love to be the center of attention, but not all of them.
And I hear you asking…
But if it’s my friend or my partner, shouldn’t he or she be delighted that I’m focusing on them?
It depends on how you show them your attention.
I remember having a partner who sent me about 30-50 messages throughout the day.
The first day, I was amused.
After a week, I was fed up.
Because I need my space, and so many messages, they overwhelmed me!
So you’ll have to investigate and ask the other person how they feel so you can calibrate your attention.
Because excessive and unbalanced giving, could steal the other person’s space.
And what started out very well, may end very badly.
Relationships need balance
An unexpected consequence
This second pattern has an interesting consequence.
And it’s that the closer you get, the further the other person goes.
The person may love you and want to be with you, but if you don’t let them have their space, they will have to create it.
So, what may happen is that:
- the more you call, the fewer answers you get
- the more you propose to do things together, the busier the others are
and you just end up completely confused about what is going on.
It could be that he or she is trying to distance himself or herself, as to not drown. But it could also be something different. You can’t generalize.
My advice is: hit the brake and stop.
- Don’t propose 5 Things, propose one and wait to see what happens, to see how the other reacts.
- Remember to take care of the relationship, but don’t spend the entire day contemplating it.
- Wait until he or she proposes a plan
- It’s not about giving everything on the first day, nor of giving nothing.
It’s more about “giving” a little or proposing something and waiting.
Wait to see if the other person also gives or propose, and if they look at you and try to get close.
And so you balance the relationship.
Remember that maintain friendly or romantic relationships depends on BOTH people.
And what if the other isn’t watering the relationship?
Well, then, it will be time to stop and think it over.
- Are you willing to maintain that relationship on your own?
- Do you want to be the only one who waters it?
- Are you sure you do NOT want a reciprocal relationship?
I’ve met many people in therapy in this situation. In fact, I’ve also experienced it.
And from my experience and oddly enough, I can tell you that women tend to have difficulties with letting go of people who don’t give them what they want.
Does this happen to you?
Do you cling on maintain friendly or romantic relationships just because “you want” it to work?
Are you aware of the price you’re paying?
My advice, here, is: Take a deep breath, turn around and start walking the other way.
You deserve to be with someone who will water the relationship as much as you do.
Don’t settle for less.
Because if you do, you’ll just make your self-esteem plummet.
And it isn’t worth it.
- Respect yourself and the other person
- Have reciprocal relationships in which both feel good with what they have
- Spend time watering your relationship
- Stay away from people who absorb you and leave you empty
- Choose relationships that nurture you as a person and, above all
- Don’t take anything for granted
This will help you have lasting relationships.
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