Yeah, you heard me. I’ve figured out how to make a relationship work. I’m basically Batman right now but better, even though I don’t have a neat utility belt (I’ll get one though, I swear). That’s not to say I’ve actually employed my theories, or that I’m even capable of being able to fulfill their terms, but I get the distinct impression that if I did I would be happy forever.
I’ve been watching a few friends struggle with what we’ve all struggled with in relationships—dissatisfaction with aspects of their partners’ personality or lifestyle. Don’t roll your eyes, you’ve done it too; we all have. He smokes. She talks over me. He doesn’t tell me I’m pretty when I’m dressed up. She’s so scared of getting hurt again. He wears the wrong shoes. She hates my shoes. You get the picture.
So here’s the thing: Get the fuck over it. As long as someone isn’t abusing you (or anyone else for that matter) emotionally or physically, you have to accept your significant other for who they are. Seems simple doesn’t it? Yet it’s the one thing that people seem most incapable of doing. So what if someone feels, thinks or acts in a way you’re not entirely in tune to—if they treat you well, does anything else really matter?
Of course, you want to find someone who makes you laugh, that you have similar interests with and can communicate naturally with. But sometimes, even when we find these things in another person, and that person is patient, kind and loyal, we still find ourselves criticizing and looking for things to change. And this is the point at which we have to ask ourselves what the hell it is we’re really looking for. A throne made of diamonds and a pet fairy?
If you’re nitpicking, you’re a dickhead. Or, you’re with someone that you don’t really like and probably shouldn’t be with anyway. If it’s the latter, then case closed. If it’s the former, then we have a much more serious problem because you’re probably going to do it to every person that comes into your life, whether they deserve it or not.
Look, I know this is New York, and I’m not blind. If you’re in the kind of demographic that’s reading this, chances are that everyone you know and interact with professionally and socially is really, really ridiculously good looking, talented and successful/on their way to being successful at said talent. Most of these people are probably intelligent, worldly, sharp and funny. Basically, everyone is perfect, which means we’re all trying to upgrade all the time.
Not to get all “generational studies” on you, but isn’t that how we’ve been bought up? If you don’t like something, change it. Get a therapist. Buy new shoes. Quit your job and get a better one. Start eating kale. In the quest to always be better, I think we sometimes forget how to be happy, because, let’s face it, kale tastes awful, and it’s time we acknowledged that.
In sum, the way to make a relationship work is to stop being such a whiny bitch. Instead of finding things to dislike in someone, find things to like, and don’t take the shitty things personally. He didn’t buy those ugly shoes just to slight you. People are people, and everyone is broken in their own special way, but that doesn’t mean you need to try and put them back together. To have a successful relationship, all you need to do is wrap your arms around all of it, cracks, warts and bruises included, squeeze it all so, so tight, and just be good to each other. Because there’s just far too much kale and not enough goodness in New York right now.
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