There are a lot of people that are happy to tell you the right way and wrong way to have a relationship. They be happy to tell you definitively that this is the way, the only way, to do a relationship correctly.
I actually believe that there is only one correct way as well. I just have a slightly different spin on it. I believe that the correct way to have a relationship is this – do it in the way, no matter what it is, that works for the individuals in the relationship. That’s right – find the way that works for you even if that is different than how others are doing it or saying you should do it.
Now, there is a big caveat to that. When I say “you” I mean everyone in the relationship. I don’t mean just one person. Because the way one person might choose to do it might not work for another. It is about finding the path that helps everyone get what they want out of the relationship. If you want a relationship to last it won’t work to do it your way if that doesn’t work for your partner.
I certainly don’t want to make it seem like I don’t have my own opinions about what tends to work best in creating healthy relationships. I do think there are some core things that typically should be in place for a relationship to work. I also recognize that those things aren’t absolutes. There are people that have very successful relationships and do it differently.
I can probably even think of things that I do feel are absolutes. Respect for one another is one that jumps to mind. It is difficult to imagine a successful relationship where there isn’t some degree of mutual respect. But maybe even that exists!
Relationships that work are ones where the people involved are happy with the relationship. What each of us wants from a relationship is different. The beautiful thing about relationships is that we have the ability to communicate our wants and needs and to create a relationship that works for everyone.
Our society tends to present a fairly specific view of what relationships should look like. The reality is that relationships don’t have to look that way. If the relationship you create works for everyone involved then it doesn’t matter if it looks the way others think it should. That ranges from things as minor as what interests are shared to more significant like the number of people in the relationship.
Embrace the relationship that works for you. Don’t let the judgement of others drive your relationship. If someone offers advice consider it. It might be useful. But if they simply want to tell you that you are doing it wrong, maybe you should suggest that it is just wrong for them.