Once upon a time, some sage mentor told me a piece of advice that changed everything for me. This person will remain nameless, but primarily because I have forgotten who it was. It was a piece of wisdom I sorely needed, and still heed to this day. So if any of you are looking for love right now, take heed. If you are already in a relationship or a marriage that you hate, I believe this could help you too.
One thing to be said about my life is that I am very happily married. And I don’t say that for the cliche it is. I am incredibly grateful every single day for the relationship I am part of. But it hasn’t happened by accident. It has taken more hard work than you might believe.
So here it is. Someone told me to run as hard after Jesus as I could and then look around to see who was keeping up with me. Now, this doesn’t have to be about spiritual stuff if you don’t want it to be. The point is, whatever you are chasing in life, chase it the best you can. Work to become the best person you can become.
In physics, there are three parts to movement. There is position (where you are), velocity (how fast you are going and in what direction), and acceleration (how fast your speed or direction is changing). If you are staying in the same position in life, you are likely to find other people who are staying still. That means you will attract (and be attracted to) people who never change. I have often heard the cliche “you just aren’t the person I fell in love with.” And to that, I say THANK GOD! I loved the woman I fell in love with. But I’m pretty sure I would hate my life if I was married to her right now. She was childish and immature and made lots of unwise choices. And the same could have been said for me. I am so grateful that my wife has grown and changed. But I am even more grateful that she will continue to do so.
So the reason I fell in love with my wife is her velocity, which has two components. I fell in love with the fact she was keeping up with me. That means that whatever we run towards in life, she has the capacity to grow and change at the same rate as me. In other words, we are less likely to leave each other behind. Secondly, we met because we were running in the same direction. That doesn’t mean motivations won’t change. But we are less likely to direct our lives in completely different directions from each other.
The key is to seek to become the type of person you want to be, and then look around for who else is seeking those same things and keeping up with you. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but I think it will put you ahead of the pack.
Now, as for the implications for those already stuck in a bad relationship. Just because you didn’t have this advice when you got together doesn’t mean you are hopelessly stuck. It just means you have a harder road. But in my opinion, the principle still applies.
Relationships take two people. But if neither of you is willing to move, then your position will always stay fixed. You have no velocity. So accelerate! Change your trajectory. Pick a goal. Decide who you want to be, not just in life, but in your relationship. Think about the person you want to be in life, and then work to become that person. Ignore whether your partner follows you or not. This is about you becoming a better version of yourself. Now hopefully this inspires and leads your partner to do the same. But if not, that’s ok. You will be a better person and you still win.
Lastly, for those of you already happily in a relationship. If you didn’t pick up on it, I think this has implications for you, too. Complacence is the enemy of good relationship. Just because you found the right person doesn’t mean you get to slack off now. In our world, things that don’t grow are dead. Don’t fall into the trap of letting a good relationship be good enough.
Run as hard as you can toward the person you want to be. In my opinion, it is the path to a great relationship. Perhaps even the key to a happily ever after.