If he would just learn to… If she would just understand… And, so begins the process of coming to love the “one that could be.” Who is the one that could be? Well, that’s the person you believe your significant other could be if only (fill in the blank). If only…if only…if only.
This is another among the lessons I’ve learned from various perspectives through the course of my relationships: you have to be loved and love the one you’re with – as you and they are, now. Not as she or he could be…but as he and she is – right at this moment. It’s kind of like the lesson Richard Gere’s character had to learn in Pretty Woman.
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If we cannot accept a person as they are when we meet them, then the relationship isn’t right. That’s not to say people should not strive for achievement. That certainly is not to say that people should lack ambition. But that is to say that we should be able to accept the other – as he or she is, in this moment.
Many times we come across people who may have many things we like, but there’s that one nagging piece that just doesn’t work for you. He might treat you wonderfully, consider you in everything, and shower you with “Love and Affection” but he just doesn’t earn enough for your preferred lifestyle. But he has potential: he’s smart, ambitious, has a plan. So, you convince yourself that you can endure his present position in life…at least, you try.
She might be smart and sexy, she may have a great career and winning personality, but she doesn’t cook – like at all. Not the: “It’s just me so I don’t bother cooking.” That’s understandable. I’m talking about the: “I don’t cook. I eat out.” Now, cooking really matters to you, so you think twice. But, the sex is good, so you determine you can ignore the absence of any sort of cooking. But even that won’t last.
Your Best Relationships: Can you love the present and not the potential?
We tend to ignore the caution flags. Even red flags are sometimes overlooked. But, if our relationships are to have a fair shot we must be able to accept – to love – the one that is…not the one that could be. Ladies: can you accept him as he is? Gentlemen: can you accept her as she is?
The two examples mentioned above fairly prevalent. Yet, for a well-balanced couple these issues are not important. (More on how that might work in another post, if y’all interested…)
What of more serious matters, such as matters of faith?
What happens when your partner has no expression of faith, or one that doesn’t gel with your expression? This happens easily. Two people come together. The way typical dating goes, couples start off on shallow matters because they are easier to discuss with someone unfamiliar. Lacking strong language for expressing our own faith, we shy away from discussions about our beliefs. Nevertheless, we notice that he or she doesn’t share a similar level of importance for faith in relationships. Despite that, we remain in the relationship hoping that one day faith will be important to their life…and to your shared life. If only…
Of course we should still have ambitions on behalf of our partner. And, love still desires our best interests: so, we should love each other into a more full sense of ourselves. We should love each other in ways that bring out the best in the other. We have to be able to accept a person as they are, if the relationship is to work.
We can grow and learn to be better at certain things. Yet, to build a solid foundation we must come to the job site with the proper tools. If we come to the site with the proper tools, we can learn how to better drive a nail. But if all we have is a spatula, there’s no way we can ever be an effective carpenter.
Beloved, we know very early on whether or not there is something about a potential mate that just is not compatible. Maybe the issue is something that can be resolved. But, if it is something of vital importance to you then it’s not worth forcing yourself to accept what is unacceptable for you.
Moreover, because something is unacceptable for you does not mean that your potential partner is a bad person. It simply might mean that he or she is not the right partner for you. At times, I know it is hard to admit that this otherwise amazing person has a quality that does not fit your makeup. Yet, what financial advisor would lead you to invest in a fund that will most likely fail?
We all want to be loved. And, we should not be loved what what another might think we are or might want us to be. We should be loved for who we are. Only when we are loved for who we are can we become the best of who we could be. When others ignore who we are and only see who they think we could be, they ignore our very real existence. Only by seeing someone as they really are – in the present moment – do we really see that person. Only be seeing someone as they really are do we acknowledge him or her as a person. No wonder the person rarely becomes who we thought they would be!
Do you know who you are? Do you know who your partner is? Do you both understand your personality types, wishes, conceptions, and etc. enough to determine if you can love each other as you are now and as you will be in the future?
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Buju Banton said it right. So, rather than continue I’ll just let you listen!