There is a word we use so often with dating and relationships, we don't even think about it anymore.
But we should.
That word is 'Getting.'
Getting the phone number, getting lucky, getting married.
I'm not saying the word is the source of society's ills and should be eliminated. The word itself is harmless. Use it all you want, however you want.
But behind that word is a mindset that is a romantic posion pill. What makes that mindset even more dangerous, is that it looks like our friend.
The Getting Mindset ties our success or failure to other people's behavior. "If I'm funny, she'll give me her phone number" or "If I wasn't so needy, I'd be married right now."
There are three things that make the Getting Mindset so dangerous.
1 - It often appears helpful. Maybe the fellow in our example COULD benefit from developing his sense of humor.
2 - There's often truth behind it. It is very possible neediness has caused problems in our second' example's relationships.
But the real poison about the Getting Mindset is this:
3 - It often works.
And when something appears to be working, it's easy to overlook the hidden costs.
The problem with the Getting Mindset is that while it won't stop you from getting what you want, it WILL stop you from being able to enjoy it.
The Getting Mindset is like drinking seawater. It looks like something that will quench your thirst, but with each drink you are becoming more and more dehydrated.
When it comes to relationships, you are better off measuring the success of what you do by the act itself and not by the results.
Telling someone how you feel is more important than whether or not they return your affection.
Being able to walk away when someone crosses the line is more important than whether or not they chase after you.
Showing kindness and compassion when appropriate is more important than whether or not it is appreciated or gets you something.
We'll work more with the Getting Mindset in future installments. We'll also cover the alternative, which I call Giving and Receiving.
In the meantime, try the practice.
In a previous post, we asked ourselves, "What do I want and what am I willing to do to get it?"
Over the next couple days, we're going to use a variation on this question. Over the course of the week, if you find yourself in conflict or in a difficult situation, stop and ask yourself:
"What do I want and what am I doing to get it?"
It's sometimes hard to remember this in the moment. If you need to wait until after the crisis has passed that's fine too. The important thing is to pay attention to what you want, the things you're doing to get it.
Is what you're doing working? Are things you say you want the things you REALLY want? How does the whole thing feel?
Pay attention to what you notice.
-May All Beings Be Sexy
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