We all have past relationships, experiences and memories. No one comes into adulthood with a clean slate. And if you’re past the age of 25, you most likely have had at least one significant romantic relationship if not more. As you look back and reminisce on your past, you will find that some of those memories are sweet and some are sour. Life is filled with both. Your past is filled with both. The question is not if your past in lurking in your present relationship, but how.
We are a society addicted to adrenaline. We associate excitement with instant gratification, success with final measurable outcomes. We expect or at the very least want to feel good all the time. These messages are reinforced with commercials, marketing and sales strategies, and images that we are bombarded with day in and day out. Our relationships are not immune to the pressures of instant gratification. If we find ourselves bored or dissatisfied we immediately go to “something is wrong”—wrong with us, our lives, our mates, or the world. We have a hard time looking at the big picture. Instead we focus on the circumstances at hand and react accordingly. To illustrate my point, let’s hear Bill and Brenda’s story.
Think about the last time you had a good laugh. I mean one of those belly laughs that left your tummy sore and bladder weak. The kind of laughing spell that felt out of your control but in the end left you feeling good and satisfied. Laughter is one of the best feel-good drugs around. It raises your endorphins, releases stress, and creates a healthy connection to those with whom you have shared the moment. Laughter is free, non-addictive, and promotes physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. It’s one of the best things we have going and it is completely and utterly underutilized.
Last week we highlighted our discussion on disappointing the one you love. Today I’d like to switch roles and talk about being disappointed by the one you love. Think about the last time you were disappointed by a loved-one. What did you want or need? How did your significant other let you down? How was that message delivered? And most importantly, how did you deal with it?
Disappointments are a part of life. And they most certainly are a part of relationships. It is impossible to be in a relationship with another human being and not experience disappointments in one form or another. Sometimes you can be disappointed in your loved one’s choices or actions because they don’t match up with your values or expectations. Other times you can be disappointed when your loved one is unable or unwilling to meet your needs or requests. Both are challenging but today I want to focus on disappointment number two.