We’ve all had that gut-wrenching moment in a relationship. I’ve gotten that text. I’ve heard the words out loud; more times than I would like to remember.
We Need To Talk.
In the past, I would get very upset. My heart would race, my blood pressure would rise, every horrible scenario I could imagine would go through my head. I would send text after text, asking, nay, begging, for the “TALK” to happen sooner rather than later. Even though honestly, I didn’t want it to happen at all.
But it doesn’t have to make your blood pressure go up, or make your heart race, nor do you have to allow every life altering scenario run through your head until the moment arrives for THE TALK.
I’ll tell you a secret. In order for all of those things not to happen, you have to put in some work first. Before “we need to talk” ever comes out of the mouth of your partner. Or out of your own mouth.
Yes, relationships require work in order to work. A lot of work. Relationships/marriages are hard. And it’s not 50/50, not if you want it to work. It’s 100/100 folks. Well, in a perfect world, which we do not live in.
So, since nothing and no one is perfect, let’s just leave numbers out of it. Besides, a mathematician I am not. We’ve all heard the platitudes. S/he is my everything! They are my world! I couldn’t live without him/her. No. Please. Stop. That is not love. That is infatuation at best, co-dependency in the middle, and toxic as fuck at worst. I know, I have been that toxic person. I have been the one to say all of those things, and probably a lot worse.
I have been the person who wrapped my entire self, my entire world, around the person I was with. I thought that is what love was. I thought that is what a good partner did. Instead, I found out too late, I was not only suffocating them, I was also suffocating myself.
Love puts the self first. Both partners. Not selfish, self.
Love means having separate interests. Both partners. You need to have things just for you. For me, it is my writing. What will you talk about otherwise? The weather gets pretty boring, pretty fast!
If you want to speak in terms of everything, then make that what you give them. Love them with everything that you have, but don’t make THEM everything that you have. Savvy?
When you make a person the object of your happiness, your joy, you set yourself up for pain and suffering. You also put a lot of pressure on that person. If they falter, so does your joy. In other words, if they have a bad day, whether you realize it or not, you have just given them the power to make you unhappy. Simply because something bad happened to them, now it is happening to you. Why? In a healthy relationship, you could be a source of support, comfort even.
You’re there to invest in one another, in your individual interests, your common interests. You’re in this life together, with compassion, care, and love. Not toxic love, but real, lasting love. Hopefully.
So when they say, we need to talk, there’s no need to get all worked up. If you’ve both done the work to have a healthy relationship, then whatever comes after that, should be something worth talking about.
And, in the case where the talk is not all sunshine and roses, if you’ve done your job of protecting yourself, in the end, you will be OK.