Spring and the weathering of relationships
At our office, we have a whiteboard in the kitchen where we leave each other notes and updates. Around the beginning of March, someone wrote on our communal whiteboard that Spring was just around the corner. What followed that comment over the next few weeks became quite amusing for all of us. Every day someone would add an additional comment. It developed into this entertaining ongoing dialogue that ran down the whiteboard like a script from a play that varied from hope to skepticism. As Canadians, we love to talk about the weather and take it all in stride, but I loved how everyone just intuitively got into the act. That lead me to think about relationships and what makes them work.
Clients often ask me what does it take to have a healthy, long-term relationship? How do you know when you have found the one? Like the running commentary at the Centre about the impending arrival of Spring, we all have thoughts and feelings about what a healthy relationship should be like. There are, of course, a million different opinions. Only the individual can intuit what is right for them but a few guidelines to consider when you are in the early stages of a new relationship certainly doesn’t hurt.
Personally, I think Barak Obama said it the best when he was asked, how do you know when you have found the “one”. His response was absolutely brilliant and nailed it in three simple statements. One: do they make you laugh? Two: can you talk to them about anything, any time? Three: do you see this person as being a good parent to your children?
I think it also highlights another very important consideration – can you be a team that works together and support each other dreams, goals, and aspirations. I have witnessed a lot of relationships fail over the years because of a lack of teamwork, shared goals and mutual support.
When I first met my husband, he had just started a new job that he was very proud to have secured. A couple of the job requirements was being on call 24/7 and travelling around the country. In the early days of our relationship, filled that first blush and bliss of love I said nothing. But eventually, after a few weeks, it dawned on me that we were having to do an awful lot of rescheduling because he had been called out at the last minute. I realized I needed to say something, so I spoke up.
I remember him looking at me and saying very calmly. This is the job. My job. If this isn’t going to work for you then we are done. I was shocked! Devastated! Furious! How dare he talk to me like that! I stormed out in tears and went home crying to my mother.
Arriving home sobbing, my mother waited until I had calmed down and after I shared what had happened she asked me what did I expect? I didn’t know. I wanted him to be around all the time, I guessed. She very wisely said well if that is what you need and expect then you are lucky he is being so clear, and you need to decide what is right for you otherwise this relationship is founded on false expectations that will only poison your love.
God, how I hated the clarity of that statement from her. But she was right.
The writing was on the wall. Was this the right relationship for me or not? My mom talked to me about how, in her opinion, a relationship was like a business where you go to work together every day. You could either get along and help each other out or you could always be picking at each other and be in a constant state of irritation which only results in conflict and unhappiness.
It forced me to really think about what I wanted in a partner. What I needed, expected and hoped for in my life.
On our very first date even though we came from completely different backgrounds we could talk about anything and everything. And we talked all night long, about everything! We laughed at all the same things and if we found ourselves disagreeing about a subject it was heard and honoured with respect. I thought about all of those things and I could see how we could be a team. Our conversations and the qualities that he displayed over the following weeks helped me to see what a good father he could be. As I thought about his job and our relationship long term I could see it would give me what I needed more than anything else. To be independent. My mother called that “building and creating a solid foundation”. I went back.
Over the next few months, we talked frankly about our future and started to see how we could make things work. It wasn’t forced or manipulated. It was supportive, respectful. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes we could both be infuriating but we could see the humour in it. Making it work was easy because we stayed open, honest and clear and didn’t put each other down.
Now forty years later I can look back and see how we grew and managed to build up from that firm foundation. We were a team.
Like the conversation on the whiteboard at the office, everyone played along as part of the team. It was easy. It evolved and flowed naturally with humour and respect despite our different viewpoints about whether Spring was ever going to arrive or not. Life is like that when it is the right fit. Then you know you have found “the one.”
Atherton Drenth is a clairvoyant medical intuitive and the author of Intuitive Dance. Building, Protecting & Clearing Your Energy, (Llewellyn Worldwide) and Following Body Wisdom. Atherton also appears in the documentary, Voyage to Betterment as one of 12 experts along with other internationally renowned physicians, researchers, and pioneers in the fields of consciousness research and spirituality.