I once believed that a successful relationship could be achieved through one person’s efforts. That is, if at least one person in the relationship knows information on how to create and sustain a satisfying relationship, any relationship can be revived. I believe I was not the only one. Many people wander down the self-help book aisle of bookstores in hopes to find a cure that would heal a relationship or prevent problems in the future. While such information is invaluable, the message that it requires two people to make a relationship work is somewhat unnoticeable.
Immersing myself in the scholarly literature on relationships, I’ve learned that relationship is not like following a recipe, which is typically how most people interpret the advice – if only I do this or that, then a particular issue will be resolved. Rather, relationship is like a dance that consists of two people. Thus, if one person is dancing Rumba and the other Tango, it doesn’t matter how many new Rumba moves one partner learns because these improvements may not apply to Tango. The key, of course, is dancing to the same tune – holding the same vision and growing in the same direction, which is the underlying premise of couples’ therapy.
That said, if you are not dancing the same style, your own efforts to improve the relationship wouldn’t be very fruitful. Magic happens when two people join each other in the dance that they both enjoy, giving their 100% of their efforts each. Yes, 100% – counterpoint to the adage of 50/50. Unless you want half of what your relationship could be. Remember, the outcome is the direct proportion of your efforts.