Maybe you’ve heard of these mythical creatures.
Or seen them in movies.
Perhaps your best friend/sister/neighbor is even dating one.
The Perfect Partner.
They always clean up after themselves.
They plan surprise weekend getaways.
They buy sweet, thoughtful gifts and spontaneous bouquets.
They say things like “I’m so lucky to be with you” and “You’re gorgeous” and “I like everything about you that makes you who you are.”
Meanwhile, your partner can’t seem to pick up their wet towels, forgot your birthday, and made a crack about your jeans getting a bit tight.
And so you fall down the “If they loved me” spiral.
“If he loved me, he’d pick up his towels because he knows I hate cleaning.”
“If he loved me, I wouldn’t have to remind him that my birthday is coming up. He’d remember
because I’m the most important person in his life.”
“If she loved me, she’d never make negative remarks about my body. Surely she knows
how sensitive I am!”
And you come to believe that if you have to ask your partner to change, to do something, to say something
it ‘doesn’t count.’ Because if they really loved you, they’d figure it out on their own.
That, dearest one, is some grade A bullshit.
Having to ask for something does not make it less valuable.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your partner should know what you need without you
having to say anything – that if they really loved you and knew you, or weren’t so selfish, they would
just naturally do it. You might then feel that a change in their behavior is somehow less
“real” or valuable if you had to ask for it.
But human beings, even those in the closest of relationships, think and see the world differently.
Something may seem obvious to you, but simply not occur to them – not because of
some character defect or lack of love — but because they are simply a different person
with a different brain.
Instead of seeing their inability to anticipate your needs on their own as
a flaw, accept your differences. And instead of seeing behavior changes you directly asked for as
less valuable, appreciate the way they’re willing to meet that need, even if it doesn’t come
naturally. It’s just as worthy as a gesture of love and commitment, if not more so.
So take a deep breath, and clearly + calmly + lovingly, ask for what you want.
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