Maybe you consider yourself good at relationships. Maybe you don’t. But even if you are a relationship expert, you are not the relationship expert in your relationship. If you were, then you wouldn’t be in that relationship.
When you are in a serious relationship, this is–by definition–the very best relationship you can manage at that time. If you had a better relationship available to you, you would be in that relationship. Most people in committed relationships have a longstanding to-do list for their partners, an ambitious “partner makeover” plan. Even though you are imperfectly fulfilling your partner’s needs, you feel he or she owes it you to fulfill yours. You even tell him/her just how to do it–if only he or she would listen!
Like it or not, you get the partner you deserve. You can’t choose your parents, you can’t choose your siblings, but you do choose your romantic partners.
Imagine you take a job you are “overqualified” for. You feel you are overworked and underpaid. But the thing is, you took the best job you could find. To then complain that you deserve to be treated differently by your employer is to misunderstand your actual value in the job market. If you can find an employer who will treat you more fairly, then do just that.
We do this with our closest relationships. We like to lecture our partner, explain to him or her how a relationship should really work. But if you really understood how a better relationship works, you would be in a better relationship. If you work on yourself and, over time, genuinely surpass your partner’s capacity for intimacy, then you will level up, you will leave that relationship. Period. If an angel dates a devil, then the angel isn’t really an angel, or the devil isn’t really a devil.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.