Some Thoughts About Relationships — Colin Wright

Relationships are hard, and cultural knowledge and archetypes aren’t helping us. It’s surprising to read a book that talks about relationships in a such rational way. Even though a rational approach might sound distant or cold, the way it’s written makes complete sense. The ideas expressed are pragmatic and, in most cases, actionable.

My rating: 4/5. I really liked it. My notes length: 3 min.
Date read: March 19, 2016. More information on Amazon.

My Notes

All relationships are different. These guidelines should serve as ideas on which to build your own guidelines. Figure out what makes sense to you, and commit on a daily basis.

Develop the habit of questioning the pre-established notions about relationships. Never play a predetermined role.

Stress test your relationship by traveling together. The randomness and uncertainty of traveling brings up the best and worst of everyone.

Be Rational

Believe in cause and effect, continuous improvement, and looking for solutions to problems. Relationships doesn’t grow just by wanting them to. Even if you really, really want them to.

Be intentional and conscious in your relationships. Relationships doesn’t depend on circumstances or luck.

Build trust. If someone makes a mistake unintentionally, then you’ll have the trust to discuss the problem and look for solutions.

Communicate Well

Communicate what you are thinking and feeling. By communicating you make your relationships rational.

Always consider that everyone assumes different things while communicating. Words can have slightly different meanings to different people.

Make an effort to develop a clear communication channel. Make sure the language you’re using is not misinterpreted. Try to make it a habit rather than something that requires too much effort.

Develop the habit of telling your partner when something is wrong. It’s better to assume everything’s fine until something is brought up, than always feeling something is wrong.

Don’t rely on your partner reading your mind. Don’t secretly hope they do exactly what you want them to without telling them.

Always reflect on your relationships, and discuss these reflections. It’ll generate an instance to reinforce positive behaviour or talk about problems before being emotionally involved.

Pick your battles. Not all concerns are created equal. Not everything needs a solution.

Expectations

Focus on making friendship the basis of your relationships, both professional and romantic. It’ll reduce the anxiety and stress associated to getting to know someone new. Communicate this approach if you feel it can help the relationship.

Communicate your goals and expectations early on. Don’t hide important expectations that might shake your relationships in the future.

Identify the needs of each one, and try to adjust for everyone in the relationships to get what they want.

It’s not your responsibility to fulfill every need your partner has.

Be willing to try new things, but only if they makes sense to you.

Romance

Learn enough about your partner to know what makes them feel special.

Try to consistently increase the level of happiness of your partner. Do it on a daily basis instead of once a year.

Allies

Consider your partner an ally. Whatever you do, it’s for the benefit of everyone. Everyone wins, or nobody wins.

Don’t focus on your partner or yourself separately. Start focusing on both of you together. Discuss situations so that everyone is closer to what they want.

Carry your own weight, and motivate your partner to carry their own weight.

Don’t tell negative jokes aimed at your partner. Enhance the good things and build your partner up. Don’t put them down with jokes or criticism.

Space

Learn to balance the presence of someone else with your own life. A relationship doesn’t need for you to be all the time together and doing everything together. It means sharing aspects of each other’s lives, while still having space, time, and privacy for your own life.

Silence is not a bad thing. It’s not your responsibility to keep your partner entertained at all times.

You’re entitled to have privacy. Don’t hide important things from your partner. But you are entitled to your own thoughts, projects, or whatever you want to keep private.

Happiness

Focus on what makes you happy now. Happiness is subjective and evolves through time. Don’t get stuck on outdated ideas.

Don’t search for someone that completes you. The idea that you need someone to make you feel fulfilled is irrational. Be happy by yourself instead of looking for someone to make you happy.

You are The One. You are the only person in the world who can complete and fulfill you, and ensure your happiness. Everyone else is a potential, hopefully wonderful, addition to that fated situation. — Colin Wright

Don’t look for someone to change. Look for someone whose personality, wants and lifestyle you already accept and value.

Encourage growth. This is not the same as changing someone. Growth allows everyone in the relationship to achieve better things over time.