By: Renezmai Rude
The best dating advice I ever received came from my 75 year old grandmother who has been with my grandfather since high school and has known him since the second grade. The wonderfully wise and slightly annoying old lady told me to “Evaluate the Relationship, not the person”. The advice came on a day when I was upset in high school because of my boyfriend, I was explaining to her that there were times when we just didn’t get a long at all and spent entire days fighting as couples do. She asked me if I was going to break up with him, and end it all- when I told her that he was a great guy she told me to evaluate the relationship, not the person. That he may be the greatest guy to have ever walked this earth, but he may not be the greatest guy for me.
Some people are just not meant to be together, and while I am still with that splendidly frustrating guy, I took my grandmothers advice and evaluated our relationship. What was wrong with it and what was good about it? What could we do together to fix what wasn’t working? This process didn’t take us one day, we weren’t perfect overnight and we still aren’t perfect. It’s a continuous process that you must come back to and work at; to this day I still have to remind myself to tell him if something is wrong, and he has to stop himself from screaming when he gets agitated. It isn’t about fixing everything immediately, it’s about continuous progress. Now I can not say that this man and me have the best relationship in the world- there are still days we spend fighting and can’t stand to deal with each other. However, we always work it out by trying to figure out whats wrong and how we can fix it together.
So if you’re in a sticky relationship situation or just don’t know if the relationship is worth it anymore, do as my dear old grandmother says and evaluate it. Do you still want to be with this person; what can you do to make it better; what can they do; how can you fix your problems together to get better as a couple? Really give it some thought and discuss it with your partner. They may have some important information to add to it. In fact, evaluate your relationship together; see where the other person is going as an individual and as a part of your relationship. It doesn’t have to be a serious conversation about whether you will get married- just ask them if they are honestly satisfied and if there is anything you can do to make them satisfied; the answer may surprise you. You may find out that making your partner and your overall relationship happier is just a matter of you talking to them more, or helping out around the house occasionally.
The more tragic alternative is you both coming to the conclusion that your relationship isn’t working and will never work, so you break up and go your separate ways. It may seem horrific at the time because they were an amazing person, but being an amazing person doesn’t make them an amazing life partner. Being better as a whole is more important than being better as an individual when it comes to relationships.
No one is perfect in relationships- take it from me, I am the worst communicator in the universe. But being perfect isn’t an important aspect of dating- it’s being good together that matters. Every relationship has its flaws, but it is a healthy and happy couple that work through to fix them together. Evaluation may not be the secret to all good relationships or how to stay together forever, but it is a fantastic tool for growing as a couple.