Rule Eight: Make It Easy

Recently, a person asked me a series of questions that reminded me of a blog post I was going to write, or was supposed to write, but didn’t. So, here I am, on this beautiful and snowy Sunday, deciding today is a good day to get back into the swing of things, blog style. I hope you missed my opinion pieces and rantings.

(Before you get started, if you haven’t read the other “Rules of Dating” posts, please check out Rules of Dating, Rule Six: Intentions, and Rule Seven: Team Mentality.)

Here are the rules we have so far:

Rule One: enter with a positive attitude or don’t enter at all.
Rule Two: be the person that expresses kindness and care, and uplifts.
Rule Three: communicate clearly, listen, ask and answer questions.
Rule Four: be accepting and patient of others and compliment their weaknesses with your strengths, accept their strength in your weaknesses.
Rule Five: be yourself, but your best self.
Rule Six: enter with the best and purest intentions, to love and be loved.
Rule Seven: be a unit and maintain a team mentality.


MAKE IT EASY

Some of you have seen an Internet quote that may or may not have been said by Marilyn Monroe, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” I’m not sure how many subscribe to this line of thinking, but it triggered me.

In regards to dating or courting, there is one principle we should all understand and embrace: we must always aspire to be our best, especially to those with whom we’re entertaining a romantic relationship or the idea of such. If a person is communicating an interest in being with you, and you reciprocate that interest, you should be your best. Be yourself. But be your best self. That’s Rule Five.

One of the things that bothers me about the aforementioned quote is the lack of humility. People will use this argument to completely absolve themselves of responsibility and reallocate blame: “Yea, I have issues, but if you can’t handle it, that’s your problem. Obviously, you’re not man or woman enough to handle me.” That’s the mindset of a person that makes relationships difficult, stressful.

The better quote, the best mindset: “Yes. I am a work in progress. Both of us are. I take responsibility for what I did and do and am working on growth and abolishing flawed behavior. I need you to be patient with me, as I will be with you. Together, as a team, if we stick together, we can overcome many of our individual issues or failings. At the very least, we can find a way to work around or live with them.”

Any person who believes you do not deserve them because you have an issue with their misbehavior does not deserve you. We must chase after humility, recognize our own humanity, and build relationships on honest communication about our failings. From there, we grow.

Relationships are an opportunity to grow outside of ourselves, to be more than what we are. When we are by ourselves, it’s easy for us to get cozy and comfortable in who and what we are in the moment. We’re in our headspace, doing our thing. When you introduce another person into the scenario, you have to see outside of yourself and expand your thinking to consider their needs and feelings. Make living in your company easier for them.

I grow more loving, protective, aware, giving, considerate, and altruistic when in love. I become a bigger and better person when loving on another. That is because God designed us that way. It’s certainly not something I came with on my own. It’s also because of experience. It drives me crazy when I try to bring my best and others aren’t bringing anything at all. I want to make things easy, be a blessing and not a curse. That principle is our eighth rule.

Rule Eight is make it easy. Be a blessing, not a curse.

People say relationships are hard work. Shouldn’t our goal be to make it easy? Why do we make things so complicated? When you look at that person, you must think to yourself, “Life is hard enough without me making things more difficult. As far as I am capable, I will make life easier for this person.”

When we get to know a person, we have the fortunate opportunity to hear their complaints. See and hear their wants and needs. We may not be able to meet their every need, or any need, but sometimes being present and listening is one of the best gifts a person can offer. That is a simple thing.

The harder thing, the thing that separates us from the average boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse is looking inward, questioning our own behaviors, and challenging ourselves when our behavior might be burdening the other person or making things harder instead of easier. Afterward, it’s fair to voice your concerns to the other person if you need help correcting yourself for the betterment of the relationship. Give yourself a list of things about yourself you’d like to improve.

Being a blessing, making things easy, can be having those honest and sometimes painful conversation about your companion’s behavior in a polite and open-minded way. Instead of putting your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse on blast, which would make him/her feel defensive, make your relationship a safe place. Reach out to God for peace, patience, and humility, then approach that person with the humility with which He has bestowed you.

Reflect on the everyday things you do that could make life easier for the other person or stepping beyond that and looking for opportunities to make that person’s day easier. Day by day, especially if you’re married, you can find those one or two simple things, those thoughtful things, to make daily things more convenient.

(Ex. If your spouse typically wakes up a little after you and showers after you, toss a bath towel or robe in the dryer before you get in your shower. Once that person is taking a shower, slip in that toasty, freshly dried towel or robe. Perhaps prepare a quick and easy tray of yogurt, chopped fruit, and juice or water in the morning. Simple things.)

When you’re dating or married, remember gratitude. Thank you does not get old. Appreciation does not get old. Recognition of the little things a person does throughout the day does not get old.

At the beginning of a relationship, communicate communicate communicate. Make it easy. Give the person time to clearly explain him or herself. Ask questions. Listen. Repeat what they said. Accept revisions and reexplanations. Communicate your doubts or concerns. Don’t assume. Remember rule three.

All of the previous seven rules of dating are purposed to make dating, courting, relationships easier. To make the relationship a blessing instead of a curse. And it’s good if both people are on the same page, embracing the same principles.

Most important, don’t forget prayer. Pray for the other person. Pray for the relationship. Pray for the people in that person’s life, their job, their hopes, their dreams. Lift their fears up to God so He can totally obliterate them. Try your best to pray together whenever you’re together. Pray before you see that person. Pray after you’ve been with that person. Even if it’s just a brief conversation with God about what happened, having a regular dialogue with God about your relationship will have a significant impact on that relationship.

Glorify God, always. Be grateful for the gift of love you have. Because there are some of us who have never had what you have. Le sigh.

God be with you, my loves.

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