“We reap what we sow”
Performance observation is the foundation of the relationship maintenance program- this means utilizing your power of perception and intimate awareness and familiarity with your partner to properly interpret their inner state, based on a multitude of observable behaviors, while appropriately making behavioral decisions to nurture and support that relationship. It’s odd, but a very common human phenomena, that we naturally tend to be less observant to the subtle social cues that we were once highly vigilant of, when we knew our partners far less. We need to be aware of this phenomenon and guard against it, by observing our partner and relationship for early signs of low morale and ego depletion, which will tax the capabilities of your partner and threaten the relationship by impairing their abilities of self-control, willpower and decision-making. Likewise we need to maintain the fences that define our sense of self-worth, self-respect, and self-esteem with regards to the personal boundaries we set for ourselves with others. Performance observation of our partner and our relationship against established standards and expectations is critical to maintaining control of the circumstances of your life.
We each enter into relationships wanting to meet a number of personal needs and do so as a result of having many of those essential elements fulfilled by our partner. Are those reasons still being met? If not, what is constraining performance? If this was a business model, are your employees getting paid on time? Are they compensated appropriately? Are they able to take sick leave and vacations, as needed and desired, or is that benefit package in name only, due to workload and staffing constraints? Is the working culture what was promised when they interviewed? Are their contributions and work efforts recognized and rewarded? Do they feel that they make a difference? If you don’t know, you need to ask and determine their emotional needs, solicit feedback, actively listen and provide empathic understanding while doing so. Ultimately it will not center upon providing those needs, but what is constraining the performance in meeting them. By maintaining focus upon providing the value, services and intent for the relationship establishment in the first place, we are servicing not only our partners needs but actualizing our relationship brand and winning them again and again—and that spells out into relationship longevity.
Driven by our personal history, life experiences, personality, personal development and temperament we are drawn to particular people and relationship states by many complex and often hidden emotional and psychological drivers. Habitually, we seek out partners in relationships to fulfill a number of objectives, not associated with direct relationship benefits; Frequently we will take on relationships based on narratives scripted in advance- to reaffirm family history or cultural beliefs for example. Often we will mimic a previous relationship to effect an emotional or psychological change to previous relationships in this one. Or by selecting a partner for the validation we receive based on their packaging- the sexual dimorphism of attraction, beauty and sexuality, the social dimorphism of femininity and masculinity and the status dimorphism of status, wealth, power and fame. Others are survival based, either directly, because we cannot provide for ourselves or indirectly because we are not whole and this partner represents a possible solution to our emotional, psychological and social development. Who hasn’t heard or understood the nature of the rebound relationship, in which one seeks a healing connection following loss, struggle, deprivation, stress or mourning? Understanding that we enter into relationships not just for their direct benefits, but as vehicles for our own sense of fulfillment and development objectives, is terribly important, if we are to get these needs met and addressed. We can help discover these by way of taking psychological self-analysis and relationship autopsies, which will be central to truly understanding what your specific relationship purpose is or should be. Much like people who are lost in life without a purpose, so too are couples within relationships without one.
Many people feel as if they’re adrift in the world… they lack a direction or a purpose… Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your idealized future and for motivating yourself to turn that vision into reality. By knowing what you want to achieve or aspire to, you can concentrate your efforts, energies and resources into achieving those. In addition to that, you can accurately identify any distractions that will ultimately lead you astray, none more acutely than a failing relationship or a partner whose goals, values or purpose do not align with yours. To make sure we don’t become adrift in the world and with our life, we need to not only establish personal life goals, but clearly make sure our partners are on-board for these and that the relationship is working in support of them. Part of a goal maintenance plan is to recognize the value in having short-term goals that build into medium-term goals, that culminate with long-term goal and objectives and that for all of these they are in direct alignment with one another. In maintaining life’s aspirations we need to not only review and update our progress, but as importantly take joy and satisfaction in our journey and to appreciate the benchmarks and mile-markers of success. This is one of the reasons I always keep a chilled bottle of champagne in my fridge, because within one’s life, the most important aspiration is to celebrate life in the moment that it occurred.