Just Be Willing

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s Washington DC. But I get many competent professional (and gorgeous) single women in my office trying to navigate and succeed at the dating game. I must say, I am glad to not be in their shoes. It’s a jungle out there.

When asked, or when I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer, I tell them the #1 quality they need look for in a partner – willingness.

Willingness to do what?

A willingness to show up. To own my shit. To work my shit. A willingness to take responsibility for the part I contributed to the failure of my prior relationships. A willingness to “roll up my sleeves” when the relationship gets difficult. A willingness to be generous when being nasty would be more fun and temporarily satisfying. A willingness to not always have things go my way. A willingness to temper my ego and swallow humble pie. A willingness to stretch and grow beyond my comfort zone.

Last night, I witnessed such willingness. On my green couch sat a distressed couple. She tearfully reported yet another incident when her husband failed to show-up for her emotionally. Trying to budge her off her well-weathered victim dime, I questioned if she had asked him for what she needed.

“I no longer consider him to be my go-to person,” she said, understandably protecting herself while justifying her victimhood.

I reminded her that we are working to create a new and different marriage.

I then encouraged her to ask him (admittedly, I was fearful as to how he’d answer) … is he available to be her go-to person?

She bravely took the risk. Right there in my office. Right there on my green couch.

She turned to him and asked, “Are you willing to be my go-to person?”

Without hesitation, he looked at her and said, “I am. I just don’t know how.”

Wow. Silence. A golden moment. It, he, was priceless.

Give me willingness and a secure, sustainable partnership make.

Go find it, ladies … and gentlemen. And more importantly, be it.

One thought on “Just Be Willing

  1. wow. this is so sweet. yes, often we think partners are unwilling – but even more often than not, they would show up if they knew how. even the simplest things (like being responsive) come naturally for one person, yet it’s just hard for the other.

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