If you don’t know by now, I am a big fan of Iyanla Vanzant and her show, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” Two episodes in particular were the catalyst for this blog. One episode featured a married couple with kids where the husband had a secret and the other episode was about a man with 24 kids by 17 different women; while each episode focused on very different things, one thing that struck me in both was that in each of the marriages featured, one individual decided to marry a person they were not in love with. As I listened to each couple’s stories and their reasons for marrying, I wondered if this happens a lot in our society.
I am not talking about situations where you get into a relationship and then something happens that changes the original dynamic of the relationship. I am talking about the situation where you know from the very start of the relationship that you are not feeling connected or attracted to the other person but you continue to move forward anyway. I know that many of us have been in this situation but as I watched those people on the show, it confirmed one thing for me: staying in a relationship with someone you don’t love can have long-term negative effects on all parties involved.
As I started thinking about this, many questions started going through my mind. How does this happen? How does it go on for so long? How can it be prevented? The other day my co-worker came into my office and we were having one of our many life conversations. He referenced an article he read and wanted to share it with me. I read the article when I got home from work and I knew I had to share it: (please excuse the title) http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes.
The author, Mark Manson, makes some very valid points in this article but his last point is the one that resonates most with me.
“If all of the people you pursue give you…mild responses, or outright rejections, then it’s time to focus on improving yourself. Ask yourself, what is it about yourself that would inspire others to say “Fuck Yes” about you? If the answer is not obvious, then you get to work. Build yourself into a person others would say “Fuck Yes” to.
And this is the ultimate dating advice lesson — man, woman, gay, straight, trans, furry, whatever — the only real dating advice is self-improvement. Everything else is a distraction, a futile battle in the grey area, a prolonged ego trip. Because, yes, with the right tools and performance, you may be able to con somebody into sleeping with you, dating you, even marrying you. But you will have won the battle by sacrificing the war, the war of long-term happiness.”
We all must love ourselves and be honest with ourselves before we can have good, sustainable relationships. If we don’t do our work and stand in our truth, we will end up in relationships that are not built on honesty and may result in cheating, unfulfilled desires and hurting others unnecessarily. As Manson says, in the case of love- both of others and of yourself- don’t win the battle by sacrificing the war; the costs are too great and too deep to justify.
So remember: do your work!