I’m supposed to be on a date night with my true love.
It didn’t work out so well because I thought it was Parent’s Night Out at the girls’ school and its not. I didn’t realize this, so we drove up to the school with excited kids, charged into the locked door, were rebuffed, then peeked through a window to see all the lights were off.
So we had ice cream for dinner and instead of going on a date, I’m going to end up curled on the sofa, watching a movie at home with my best friend, who happens to also be the man I was blessed to marry.
Being able to laugh at how our evening turned out made me think of people who can’t roll with the punches in their relationships – everything has to look and feel perfect or they’re out, they take their ball and go home.
Obviously that’s not the most helpful response to adversity in a relationship!
Some observations I have regarding relationships that showcase health?
Healthy relationships help you “bloom.” I thought this wording was so silly before I met Lizard. Now I realize it’s completely true – by living in an atmosphere of love each participant in the relationship is given the freedom to explore their own personality and bloom (which, by the way, is a very different thing than becoming a copy of your partner!)
Healthy relationships love you into the best version of yourself. Chapter six of Rob Bell’s book, Sex God gets me every time. He writes that change in a relationship is rarely a result of nagging. Instead, change takes place when people realize they are loved “despite” all their warts. That unconditional love allows them to look critically at those flaws they have and approach change from a safe base.
Change based on desire to improve rather than fear of consequence is lasting… and healthy.
Healthy relationships aren’t temporary. When I saw the movie Up Close and Personal in 1996 I was not only sporting a nifty ’90s hairdo, I was also actively pursuing a journalistic career. It hit me hard. I cried and cried and cried as the credits rolled, slobbering and snotting all over myself in the darkened theater.
One thing I remember, aside from my guttural, public sobbing, is when the character played by Michelle Pfieffer proposes marriage to Robert Redford’s character.
“You’ve already have me around in the morning,” Redford’s character responds. “How, I don’t know, but you do.”
“I want to know you’re legally required to be there,” Pfieffer’s character answers. They get married (ah!! sniff, sniff!), and the concept of formal affirmation as a relationship need stuck in my head.
We are living in a cultural moment where temporary seems to be ok. Fast food, paper plates, razor blades, contact lenses… so many things surrounding life are disposable.
But the “temporary” mentality is not best and healthiest for relationships. Consistency and ability to commit to not go anywhere… that’s the stuff that healthiness is made of.
There’s my armchair psychology for the evening. I’m going to curl up with my husband now and have a date night at home!