Article: But, It Just Didn’t Work!?

Huh?  Okay.  On one level, I get it.  You found out that he’s a narcissist, of the pathological type.  Or, she came out of the closet and prefers women to men.  Or, his addiction to alcohol, or sex, or gambling is unrelenting.  And most importantly, he or she doesn’t give a shit.  And, on top of that, they are unwilling to do anything about it.

Yes, by all means, I get it.  It just did not work.  The end of the line is staring us in the face.  The relationship has “failed.”

But, what still boggles my mind is the nomenclature. Or the tense of the verb. It allows us to lose sight of the reality that there is a choice. And we have chosen to quit.

Relationships are not graded.  In other words, if we are in a relationship where there is some type of commitment or accountability or at least, assumed ongoing connection, we are either working it or we are not.

Relationships are a present-tense action.  They are not a future prediction or some end-game declaration.  I have no idea if it will “work.”  All I can really do is work it today.   We either put in the energy, time, attention, thought, affection, care and concern or we don’t.  We either own our contributions and work our side of the court or we don’t.  We either roll up our sleeves and do what it takes to deepen and strengthen our relationship or we don’t.

There is no future if we are working the present.

So, will it work?  I have no idea.  But if you do what you need to do today, then the outcome will take care of itself.

But, of course, there is another side to this equation.  Your partner.  The one relationship advice I give to my young single patients who are looking for love – pick someone that can own and work their shit.  It should be the hands-down #1 quality on your list.  Without this, you have nothing.  You don’t have the key ingredient to long-term relational success.

So, get to work.  Today.  It’s not gonna be easy.  But that’s ok.  Nothing worth having ever is.

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