Tuesday, May 27, 2003

a working definition, by Michael Sherrillo

A real relationship does not involve worship. There is no leader, no hierarchy, no god or goddess... there is no slave and master, no one higher, better, or more worthy... no red carpet should be rolled out for only one party. This is infatuation. This is immaturity. This may be many things, and this may work for some people, but to me, this is not true love. So, I am here and now, for all time and history, setting forth my definition, my desire, my thoughts, my feelings, and my hope of what I believe a mature loving and serious relationship is, and what I hope to someday have. (This may encounter several revisions as time/life goes by)

My 10 Relationship Commandments:

1) A relationship requires first and foremost two very forgiving people. If someone can't or doesn't ever think they are partially wrong, and even worse never apologizes honestly and heart fully, I don't think the relationship will work. This is also true if they never say they forgive you when you do make a mistake. If a person holds grudges and doesn't forgive you or let you know you have been forigven, how can you have room for anythng except bittnerness, hostility, and hurt? Becasue you will both, always, need forgiven.
2) A relationship requires partners. Neither is better, worse, deserves more or less, you must see each other as equals. Which means you appreciate each other, respect each other, and give to each other. Neither is higher or lower, which means the relationship isn't one sided.
3) A relationship requires two humans. This means each person will make mistakes, probably lots of them. If you can't accept that they aren’t perfect and love them, mistakes and all, then you are working with the wrong species, and I suggest you take up sheep farming instead.
4) Each party did have a life before you. There history, good and bad, is what has made them the person you love and are with now. Either forget history and be grateful for what they are and you have now, or accept their past and that is made them into the person you love.
5) The golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat the other person in the same way you want them to treat you, whether you think they deserve it or not. Do not treat them the way they treat you! Only the way you want to be treated. (i.e. you want them to call more often, call them more often)
6) Each party has a life outside of you. Friends, family, and traditions... these are also a part of them, and make them the person you are with. How can you expect to be with them without becoming a part of their life? People are like an interlocking ring. These relationships with other people are circles that are all interconnected, with your significant other being the small central space they all share. You cannot connect to them if you don't want to also connect with their other circles of friends, family, etc and become a part of them as well.
7) Share. Everything. Share your heart, your thoughts, your days, your ideas, your dreams and desires, your hopes and fears, your problems and your worries. Why be with someone you can't talk to, how will you ever truly know someone who won't talk to you. Open honest sincere communication is the key to any good relationship. The better it is, the closer you will be.
8) Listen. You need to try to understand where your partner is coming from, to empathize with them and see their side and reasoning. You don't have to agree, but you need to try and put yourself in their shoes; And to do that you have to listen to what they say.
9) Be flexible. No relationship is static, there are always new situations and issues, which bring new problems and need new solutions. Never stop trying to work things out together. Try to compromise as much as you can.
10) Trust. Trust how they feel about you, trust what they do when your not their. No amount of gifts or attention proves or means anything. These only sooth your own insecurities. In your heart, you either trust someone cares about you and loves you, or you don’t. It's can't be shown and doesn't lay in big gestures, but in the small every day actions that show you who they really are. Trust can't be bought with 500 roses for you 5 month anniversary, its in the way they hug you extra tight when they leave, or the way they look at you when they think your asleep. Trust them and let them be themselves, or you will both be unhappy.

*Have any ideas, thoughts, comments, questions, and curiosities? Anything you think I missed, or which you feel is inaccurate or should be changed? Let me know! Just click on the "UEF: messageboard" button under "Links of Interest" to your right and post away!

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