The last few months have been rather interesting for me I must say. See, I’m not who you’d call a ‘relationship person’ (whatever that means loll…). Friends and family have teased, questioned and probed into my odd nature (as they choose to call it) of not being overly big on the guy-girl drama (if only they knew!) as would be expected of any red-blooded 20-something tall, not-so-dark and kinda-handsome dude (alright, now I’m pushing my luck). But hey, that’s just me.
Lately though, I’ve picked up an (open) interest in this subject, observing relationships, contrasting them against the word and trying to see if there’s a better way to make them work. Our relationships (especially those few, very significant ones) affect our lives in very profound ways. My observations have led me to a discovery (actually several discoveries but we’ll leave some for another blog)- that many people DO NOT even know what they are doing in their so-called relationships. They just kinda wandered into it. You know the drill- he saw her, liked her, plotted his way to get close, said all the right things, made all the right moves and played all the right cards. She hesitated at first (don’t they all?), suspecting his motives, he persisted, she resisted (though she just wanted to find out how serious he was), he softly insisted until she could resist no more. And there they are- awww…don’t they just look cute together? Now what?
Today’s tip is simple but I’m sure it’ll help you have a better (romantic) relationship with that special ‘somborry’. It’s the practice of the common database (pardon the techie language). What on earth is that?
See, when two people decide to become more than just friends and start looking at building a life together, ‘love’ sometimes obscures the fact that they are coming from very different worlds. The emotional euphoria shades out many things. Their life experiences, lessons learned from parents, siblings, environment are quite different. Hence, they are two very different people; each with his/her own expectations, their subconscious ideas of what’s normal and what’s a no-no, what’s funny and what’s plain stupid, what a relationship should look like and what it shouldn’t. The long and short is that they’re two very different individuals. That’s the obvious part.
The question is: How do you ensure that those differences do not become sources of serious irritation, confrontation and love-breaking friction as you seek to build a beautiful existence together? Start building a common database- together.
Whether we know it or not, each of us has an internal database against which we measure the world and judge the events, stimuli and people around us. That subconscious database affects how we see everything. It informs our worldview and outlook on life.
If we are to make the best of our relationships, both parties must make the conscious effort to establish common reference points that will become the foundation of how they see the world- AS A TEAM. No longer just as individuals, but as a new 2-in-1 (or should it be 1-in-2?) personality. Amos 3:3 summarizes with a legitimate question:
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
That’s where purposeful communication comes in. Building a common database will require that you guys share alot- about alot. Observe each other. Talk about anything and everything. The idea is to create a common platform from which both individuals view the world, process information and make decisions. The aim is to create, not necessarily a meeting point, but a place from which it is easier (and faster) to reach meeting points on the different issues that will inevitably arise as you go along.
Be honest and do your dead-level best to be real. Encourage the other person to stay true to themselves and reassure them of your ability to ‘take it’ when (take note, not ‘if’) disparities arise. But don’t just reassure, be ready (emotionally and mentally) to handle it (trust me, you’ll know why I said so when you try this out).
A Related Blog I’m Sure You’ll Love: I Called Your Name (come back up for it when you’re done)
Here are a few thoughts.
1. Be sensitive to timing and throw up those seemingly sensitive topics. Ask him about his thoughts on sex (that’s right, stop being such a prude, you know you’ve thought about it (loll)- ask already). Talk about his idea of success and how far he’d go to get it. Ask her about her views on money, her concept of love, her take on the issue of ‘submission’ (My Next Blog!) and other such issues. Discuss your personal convictions about life and how each one feels it should be lived. Discover the fundamental assumptions each person holds. For instance, if one person believes life owes them ‘something’ and the other’s principle is that we get what we put into life, their basis for making decisions, taking risks and what they do with life AS A TEAM is already shaky. You could almost sense the tensions that will pop up later.
2. See a good movie together and casually talk about it afterwards. Role play and discuss how you’d react if really placed in similar situations. Come up with ‘crazy’ scenarios and just share your thoughts with each other (those ‘crazy’ what-ifs sometimes lead to eye-opening, database-building conversations). Keep it breezy and light-hearted, it’s neither a job interview nor an interrogation (learned this in a very interesting way, sorry, I ain’t telling…loll).
3. Here’s another one- get two copies of the same relationship book (especially the gender-specific ones), read and review it together– you may be surprised at just how much your ‘special’ one is similar yet very different from the general assumptions about their gender.
4. In today’s world, there’s always a trending topic. See how you can creatively engage in getting to better understand each other as you share your thoughts, reactions and opinions on topics that are making the rounds.
5. Take it from here and look for simple ways to build a ‘database’ that you can both relate with in all honesty.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, building a common database is a long-term adventure, and it will last as long as the relationship. But it’s important to attain some basic level of a shared outlook on life before making deeper commitments. If this doesn’t happen, there will be division (di-vision= double vision= chaos).
Take note, I said division, NOT neccesarily separation. There’s a huge difference between those two. I bet if you think about it, you probably know at least one couple who aren’t separated, but they are undeniably divided. They are operating from different databases- different paradigms. That’s not a good place to be. That’s why you need to start building that common database from today. It’ll take some work to work it out, but it’ll be worth it. The sense of deep intimacy, oneness and the indescribable unifying force that having a common database has on a relationship is simply mind-boggling. This practice will reinforce your ability to do great things together and live the exciting life as a team.
So there you have it, I’m not (yet) a guru on this subject but I sure hope this has sparked off some thoughts in your mind. Run through the suggestions above again and see which you could adopt THIS WEEK. I’d also recommend you share this blog with your special someone (that’s where the common database begins!) and get started on how you can consciously do better in your romantic relationship. If you’ve been doing this, keep up the great work. Afterall, if it’s worth your time, it should be worth giving your best to make it as lovely as it could possibly be.
Keep living, keep loving.
Remember the related blog you scrolled past above? No need to go back there. It’s right here waiting just for you- I Called Your Name. That’s after you read this:
I blog, not because I have all the answers, but to hopefully stimulate enriching conversations among U-30s. I’m sure today’s blog just got the ball bouncing. Now it’s in your court- hope you’ll play it. I’d love to hear from you- in what ways have you been building a deeper connection in your relationship and how (if any) has today’s blog helped you in this regard? The comment section is just below- can’t wait to read yours!
Live by Design.