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Challenge #11: Redefine What’s a Successful Relationship

Think about a successful relationship. What does it look like? What is it that makes it successful? Is it something you are striving to have, that you already have, or maybe something you've already given up on?

As you were thinking about a successful relationship, did the word "perfection" somehow play a role in it?

Because that is what people often want from their relationship - they want it to be perfect, just like in the movies. They want their partner to be perfect; someone to look out for them, to be receptive to their needs, to earn enough money for a comfortable lifestyle or to keep the house in perfect order, to be patient and smart.

But expecting perfection is ultimately something that sets us up for failure. None of us is perfect. That's what makes us human. That's also what makes each individual particularly lovable but also what can drive us nuts when sharing our life with someone.

We can't achieve perfection. Not as an individual, and not as a couple. And since perfection isn't realistic, it's not something worth striving for.

Instead of striving for perfection, try to find other ways to gauge the success of your relationship, like:

  • Are both you and your partner happy in your relationship?
  • Do you both feel respected by the other?
  • Do you have some goals as a couple that help you shape your relationship toward your common vision?
  • Are you there for one another when the going gets tough?
  • Do you trust each other?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with each other?

You may come up with a number of other criteria that we haven't mentioned here. Each person and couple has a different definition of success.

This week, keep your personal criteria of success in mind as you go about everyday life.

Maybe you'll find at the end of the week that holding your relationship to standards other than perfection will change your view of your partner or your relationship.


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