If you long to be an expert golf player you will not want to golf with me. Most athletes would agree that in order to improve your game you must play with teams and competitors more skilled than you are. Relationships are sort of like that too. In the loosely quoted words of Mathew Kelly, author of The 7 Levels of Intimacy, we rise or fall to the level of those around whom we surround ourselves.
Our relationships develop in a context over which we have tremendous influence. Who do you spend time with? How do they value or treat your relationship? How do they approach their own relationships? What is their understanding of your commitment to your relationship and how do they support or sabotage it?
Our relationship will grow or atrophy according to the environment in which we require it to exist. Is your relationship visible? Do people know it exists? Are those people supportive of your relationship? Do you protect your relationship from forces that don’t support it? How? Are you choosing your relationship above other people, places and things?
This week I encourage you to discuss these questions with your partner:
- Who do you spend your time with?
- How do these people treat or value your relationship?
- How do these people treat or value their own relationship?
- What is their understanding of your commitment to your relationship and how dothey support or sabotage it?
- Is your relationship visible?
- Who, if anyone, holds you accountable to a successful relationship?
- Do you protect your relationship from forces that don’t support it?
- Are you choosing your relationship above other people, places and things?
- What can you do today to create a better enviornment for your realationship to grow?
10. Who is your greatest relationship supporter?
Hopefully these questions will trigger discussion that leads to a more conscious examination of how well you surround yourselves and consequently your relationship. Find supporters and those who hold you accountable to one another and your love.