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All Things

everything bagel by niznoz One of the hardest things to learn in life is that we don't have to be all things to even one person.

I was thinking about this the other day talking to a teen about dating, then thinking more about my own relationships.  Until after college I was always convinced that I had to be all things to the person I was dating.

If she wanted to go dancing, I should go too, since it dhows I'm interested in her interests.  If I want to go on a fishing trip, it's better to at least ask if the other person wants to come along.

In our constant drive to make our significant other happy we often forget what makes us happy.  We change to fit the other person, both for good and for bad.

This stretches beyond dating.  I know a lot of people whose lives began centering on their kids life and never make time to go out with friends or do anything without the kids around.

This also happens to married couples who spend all of their time at work or with their spouse, never making new friendships and often letting existing ones lapse.  The sad part here is that if the worst happens and a spouse leaves both people find themselves without anyone to share their grief and feelings.

One of the most important things we can communicate to teens, and ourselves, is the need to have a life outside of our primary life.  Spend time with friends away from your spouse.  Spend time with your spouse away from your work.  Heck, spend time with someone you're dating away from your friends.

At no point is it possible to be all things to any one person, and no one person can be all of the things you need.  When that realization comes it can often split up a relationship, unless you've recognized this reality beforehand and always fostered a spirit of time away from your primary life.

Peace,
+Tom

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