Check Please!

Relationships can be like a poorly cooked steak: Beautiful on the exterior but a disgusting disaster if you take a peek on the inside. There are people that will immediately leave the table, those that will eat it anyway because it’s all they have, and then there are those that will take the necessary time to make it what they want.

I was standing in one of the infinitely long lines at WalMart a few days ago, casually minding my own business when a guy and his female friend took their own places behind me and struck up a pretty interesting conversation with each other. I was standing with my mother-in-law (mom-in-love is what she prefers to be called) and even though I generally try to avoid eavesdropping I couldn’t really help but feel like I was a part of their conversation anyway.

The guy was basically complaining to his friend about the fact that his girlfriend was a real piece of work and never seemed to be satisfied with anything he did for her (this was on Valentine’s Day none the less). He claimed that she always seemed to take interest in other people and never really appreciated him for being the person that is always there for her at the end of the day. I had a hard time really keeping up with his rambling but it seemed like he thought she was immature, oblivious to the effort required to make a relationship work, and was only worth the trouble because she was pretty.

Now, I’ll be honest, I really wanted to just turn around and tell this dude to stop whining because he sounded pretty annoying. But there’s a real teaching moment buried within his narrow minded view of his relationship: Most people will dine and dash on their relationships and some others will sit until the restaurant closes and never ask for the check.

I get it, relationships are work…sometimes they are hard work, but that’s something you have to be willing to understand when you decide to put two people together and expect them to make their lives mesh. I’m coming up on 3 years of marriage this month and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but that’s a part of the fun. Conflict is how you grow and the mistakes that you make can lead to valuable lessons, but you have to be willing to learn from them. I think that most of my generation falls victim to a microwave mentality because they can basically find a partner with the push of a button (Tinder, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) but the moment things start to require a little work, they lose interest and give up. And I’m not knocking that method of starting a relationship, it just illustrates the point I’m making.

Sometimes people get so caught up in wanting a relationship that they don’t actually think about the work that will be involved to make it last. If you’re not ready for the commitment, you’ll probably make your exit sooner than later. On the flip side, some people want a relationship so desperately that they are willing to stay in the worst situations just to say that they have someone. Neither of these scenarios are particularly desirable.

But I digress, you have to know and be honest about your own situation at the end of the day or you just might find yourself asking:

“Am I about to run for the door or am I still sitting in the dark waiting for the check?”


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