How To Best Approach a Relationship

Here’s the deal. Most of us approach relationships like drunken sailors, intoxicated with the ideas and fantasies we have about relationships as opposed to the sobering reality of them, and desperate (or lonely, as the case may be) like your ship has just come in—or is about to leave port. Not a great strategy if you want a great relationship.

So, get a piece of paper and write these things down:

1. First, what do you want? (spell it out)
2. What are you willing to do about it?

I know, I have said this before, but let’s take a closer look—trust me. Let’s start with number 1: What do you want? On your paper, across from each item you have listed in your want column, write down what you have instead. For example:

I WANT

An ideal partner, someone to share my life with
A big house with 3 kids, a dog and live near the water
To be debt-free and have 1 million dollars in the bank

I HAVE

I am single and live alone
I live in the city, small flat w/a fish
I am in between careers and in debt

Whatever the case is, write it down. The space in between what you have and what you want, let’s call your motivational crevasse. For some this may seem gaping, for others totally achievable. Which brings us to number 2: What are you willing to do about it?

On the back of that paper, write down what time you woke up today and what you did, go ahead, write it. Include when you got up, who you spent time with, what books you read, TV you watched, when you went to work, and so on. And be as specific as you can! Then I want you to get another piece of paper, draw a monthly calendar, and mark the days that are pretty much like this day. Go on.

If you’re like most of us, we do about the same thing pretty much each day, consistently, whatever those things are; hang out with certain people, go to particular places, participate in certain activities, watch TV, go on our computers, etc. We have routines and patterns. We are creatures of habit.

We also know that it takes a certain amount of discipline and practice to bring a thought or idea into fruition, or “make them real,” as they say. For example, we get our diploma by going to school, studying, showing up and doing what it takes to make that happen. Same applies for our dream relationship, our dream life.

Now for the math equation: Take what you want, add what you do all day, and see if it equals what you have!

I know, this seems harsh, well…what can I say, it is. When we want something bad enough, we do what it takes to make it happen, rather than sitting around believing in fairy tales, hoping “the one” will just show up and we’ll live happily ever after. Odds are this is never going to happen, and the facts are in, ladies and gentlemen; it almost never does. Why wait? Go make it happen yourself. The good news is, since what you do begets what you have, try something different! Instead of watching TV, take a relationship class; or instead of hours of doing things that aren’t getting you what you want, start doing things that will bring you closer to creating what you do want! Next thing you know, you will want what you have… which, Buddha says, is the definition of happiness.

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