Relationships are challenging. It’s frustrating and disheartening when a relationship is operating below its potential. It can take the wind out of your sails and affect the tone of your day. You come home and you can tell she’s in a mood already. You wonder if you should ignore it or confront her about it.
With everything you have going on, the last thing you need is a problematic relationship. It’s distracting and it’s eating into the limited time and energy you could be spending on your side-hustle/world-domination project.
You ask yourself, “How can I get her to understand this is only temporary? How can I get us back on the same sheet of music?” The simple answer is by acting like it is temporary; by acting like it’s an investment in extraordinary. Fortunately, there’s only one way to do that; by not being ordinary.
If there’s one thing that’s true it’s that ordinary guys make explanations and excuses. Extraordinary guys make a difference. The way you handle her moods tells her volumes about which side of that line you are on. If you want a relationship that fits into a self-actualized life, start being extraordinary.
Here are 5 ways you’re being ordinary:
1. You use her for validation
It’s natural for you to want validation, want her to fawn over you, and to treat you with awe and respect. But do you want it for doing nothing? Instead, do something amazing; try changing the world or changing somebody’s life. You’ll find you care a lot less about the applause once you do that.
2. You expect fairness
“She’s not fair, she misunderstands me. It’s supposed to be 50/50 right?”, you say. This sounds about as sexy as a household cleaning product commercial. Stop wanting fair and start wanting to light your life on fire. Start wanting extraordinary. Make her want to spontaneously combust because of how you make her feel. That’s an end zone worth driving for.
3. You want it to be safe and easy
Remember when you fell in love? Remember telling her you loved her for the first time? Remember the lump in your throat and the racing heartbeat? You need to understand that real love isn’t safe, it’s a risk. If the relationship is to be extraordinary, it will not be easy and will challenge you at every turn.
You know this from your job or running your own business. Rather than risk chasing a dream, most of your colleagues would stay in a job that was secure and paid decent even if they hated it. Most people pick mediocre and safe over extraordinary and risky. Which one are you going to choose?
“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
4. You over-share
How many times has this happened to you? You walk in and your partner asks “How was your day, honey? The floodgates open immediately. You bore her to tears about that new diet or new workout you’re starting and how hard it’s going to be. Or you go on and on about the problems you had in your day without showing interest in her day.
A little sharing goes a long way in relationships. Keep a little mystery and make her a little curious about what’s going on inside your head. Give her the bare minimum information about your day and instead be interested more in hers.
5. You’ve forgotten who you are
Here’s how to tell your identity is slipping: You get defensive and feel misunderstood; you feel like people don’t get you. Now, I don’t know you but maybe you’re totally intact. Maybe you are making a difference in your life that is completely in line with your identity; with who you want to be most.
Maybe you are creating meaning in your life and climbing Maslow’s pyramid every day. Sadly, I’m betting you’re not. I’m guessing you sold out a long time ago. Sold out to the money the promotion, the toys. Your wife’s affection or even just keeping her in a good mood took the place of the search for meaning. It’s time to get it back.
“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley
An exercise you must do to change your relationship
Imagine this, you come home to the same scene you always do. Your wife is sitting there with the same look and moodiness, ready to pounce on you for leaving your socks on the floor as always. But something’s different this time. This scene just doesn’t feel the same as normal.
At first you can’t place what it is, but then it hits you. It’s you that is different. The heaviness is gone and the burden has been lifted. For some reason, you find her mood endearing. You are strangely excited by the idea of engaging with her and the risk doesn’t scare you.
Instead, you feel confident and grounded in knowing who you are and the meaning you want to make in this situation, in your relationship and in your life. So if you’re ready to start being extraordinary here’s your assignment:
Step one: Share this article with five guys you know who are settling for ordinary in their relationships.
Step two: Spend the next five days keeping track of every time you fall into an ordinary guy pattern from above. Keep a journal and every night before bed brainstorm ways you could have handled those situations differently. Once you’ve done that, then come back here and tell me what happened.
What problems did you figure out you had in your relationship and how did you fix them? Leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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