“Honey, can you fly to the moon and back and be home for dinner?”
Requests are not negotiable. Your partner has the right to ask for whatever he or she might want. Even if it is outlandish.
It is not a good relational move for me to try and talk them down, roll my eyes or sell them a lesser deal. Besides, it is an opportunity to be curious about the longings of their heart. Why the hell is my flying to the moon and back and being home for supper so important to you? – I ask, in my head, of course. I always need to be a good student of my partner’s internal world.
Rather, I get to then respond in generosity with what I can do. Maybe flying to the moon and back is not in my wheelhouse today. Maybe it will be tomorrow, but certainly not today. But what I can do with love in my heart and a smile on my face is go to Safeway and back and pick groceries and make your favorite dinner. That I can do. And I can even do it without that nasty string attached called resentment.
Will my partner be disappointed that I did not agree to fly to the moon and back?
Probably. But, that’s ok. You heard them. You took them seriously. You got curious about why they even want such a thing. You then paused and did an internal scan as to your ability to realistically pull off such a magical feat. Then, you came up with a close second or a partial rendition of something in the ballpark of their heart’s want or need. You then offered that and followed through without punishing them with resentment.
That, my friends, is a relational win. Even if your partner is disappointed that you didn’t grab the entire brass ring.
Besides, it’s just disappointment. A feeling, rather than the end of the world. Your partner got a responsive, thoughtful partner (i.e., loving) and a wonderful dinner out of it. That was far more than he or she had five minutes ago.
Furthermore, your partner’s best relational move at that moment is gratitude. Sugar attracts more bees than honey. The disappointment over not getting the moon thing will be temporary. But, the magical exchange between two conscious and relational partners will over time build a solid foundation to last a lifetime.
For the rise of your life …