One of the most popular questions that’s asked in the getting-to-know-you phase of dating is, “If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?”
When I’m asked that question, I feel a strong pull to immediately respond, “Flying, of course! How cool would that be?!”
But when I ponder the question further, I think my answer would have be time travel. I’m not sure if it’s actually considered a superpower, but it’d be cool nonetheless. It’d be cool to move forward in time and see what life will be like. But it’d also be nice to travel back in time and take a peek at how I used to be and to maybe have a chance to right a few wrongs.
I heard an interview once with the wife of Dr. Seuss and she shared something that surprised me. She said that he didn’t write for others. He wrote for himself. If people liked what he wrote, so be it! But that wasn’t the reason he wrote.
There’s a younger man in my office who recently became engaged. He met his now-fiancé in high school and had been dating her for the past 12+ years. When he told me he had proposed, I congratulated him then asked if he’d like a little piece of advice.
In Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak, he talks about how we use the word “make” a lot. We use it when we talk about making friends, babies, and love. But in order for these things to be healthy, we need to be growing them instead. We need to be growing friends, babies, and love. That’s how real development happens.
The same is true for our relationships. Healthy relationships aren’t made. They’re grown. Kute Blackson writes,
“The real purpose of a relationship is about two people coming together to serve the growth and evolution of each other’s soul.”
A healthy relationship is like a plant. It can become stagnant, wilt, or die when we fail to take care of it. Like a plant, our relationships need the following things to be healthy and grow:
Lately, I’ve been trying to practice being in the present moment. I’m learning to accept and be present with both the comfortable and uncomfortable things in my life. This week, I discovered the importance of not only practicing this with myself, but also in my relationships with other people as well.
Here’s what happened.
My dear sister called and was very upset about something happening in her life. I wanted to soothe her and make the pain go away. My mind was racing trying to think of what to say and how to help and I spouted out a few suggestions.
And then she said,“I don’t need you to fix this. I just need you to listen.”
Ever notice when you find the right mug–one where the character and quality feel really good–it can positively enhance your coffee or tea experience?
I’ve discovered the same is true for finding the right person. Not that finding the right person will only enhance our coffee or tea experience, but all of life’s experiences as well. And the right person must feel good from the start, just the way they are.
I’ve learned this lesson about the similarities between finding the right mug and finding the right person the hard way by mistakes I’ve made in the past.
After spending over a year on the dating app Bumble, I’ve decided to call it quits for awhile. I’ve deleted the app from my phone and am now using the time I spent swiping, chatting and meeting people to focus on other things.
As I look back and review my time spent on the app, songs always have a way of bubbling up in my head to characterize the experience. In addition to my post, 7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble, here are 7 more songs that capture the final few months:
I click “print” and wait a few seconds for the “I’m on it” whirring sound from my printer but instead I get crickets and error messages. Argh. Why isn’t it working?
I could say the same thing about my marriage.
I’d been having a problem with the printer. For some reason, it wasn’t printing. I was sending documents but kept getting error messages. I’m not a techie person, so I asked my former husband to help. But he didn’t seem to understand how much this mattered to me, so it wasn’t high on his list of things to do. In fact, it wasn’t on his radar screen at all.
This question always baffles me. When I’m asked this, my reply is “Of course I’m in a relationship with him–we are relating to each other.” In my opinion, aren’t we in some type of relationship with everyone in our lives? Aren’t we in a relationship with the people in our family? With our friends? Our co-workers? Our neighbors? With ourselves?
So the question, “Are you in a relationship with him?” isn’t enough for me. There are other more meaningful questions to ask–questions that get to the heart of the things.