Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. —Maya Angelou
While I haven’t discussed relationships much on this blog, they are extremely important. When personal growth resources talk about relationships, they often pair the topic with the quote by Jim Rohn that states: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
To leave that quote in charge of summarizing relationships is selling relationships short. Humans are social beings, and the people we talk to can cause us to cry, or provide the shoulder we cry on. We learn, create memories, laugh, and navigate through life with others.
When I talk about relationships, I am referring to romantic and non-romantic connections alike, and both types cause people an immense amount of both happiness and stress. One of the reasons relationships create so much stress is because of the expectations we put on others, and how we approach our relationships. As technology has improved, people have depended on technology for social interactions, which can be quite troublesome. Instead of talking to one another, we stalk their profiles, ignore those who are around us and compare ourselves to others based on likes and comments.
Technology has become a crutch used for romantic relationships too. People swipe through images, trying to scout out the perfect partner. We look for flaws, then once we find them, we look the other way and try to find a new potential partner.
There is nothing inherently wrong with using technology as a tool to communicate with friends, or even find a partner, but technology is a tool; and like all tools, they can be used to help us or to create problems.
When looking for a new friend or relationship, don’t have low expectations. Instead, have realistic ones. Take an honest look at yourself. You aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else because no one is perfect. We all have flaws and problems and struggles, and that’s what makes life interesting and memorable. Find people who are kind, treat you with respect, and have qualities that you admire.
I’ve been in a romantic relationship for about five years now, and while I am no relationship expert, I have learned a lot. You will frustrate each other, and if you’re lucky, you’ll laugh with each other. Relationships, romantic or not, take communication, compromise, and commitment. If you’re lucky, the relationship will change you and make you a better person, and make you strive to become an even better person.
So keep realistic expectations and be yourself. Don’t rush into a relationship just because you want someone to be with for the holidays or you are looking for someone to “fix you”. And don’t go into a relationship if you can’t love them for who they are without fixing them.
It might take some extra time, and some extra work, but be patient and take your time. Things, and people, worth having in your life don’t come easy, but that’s what makes them worth it. And once you find a relationship that’s worthwhile, that wait will be a small price to pay.