by Gina B.
There are no relationship guarantees. Most relationships aren’t meant to last forever, however I truly believe that we would have happier couples if people would just do the right thing.
So . . . what IS the right thing?
In relationships, on a basic level, it means acting in the best interest of your relationship and your partner.
If whatever you’re doing, or thinking of doing, could jeopardize your relationship, don’t do it.
If you put yourself in your partner’s shoes and you wouldn’t like it if it were done to you, don’t do it.
If what you're doing would be an immediate deal-breaker if your partner were to walk in and catch you, don't do it.
Sounds easy, right? But, apparently, doing the right thing is much easier said than done. It involves maturity and self-control. When faced with a decision, it’s important to be mature enough to identify the best long-term option, and have enough self-control to execute it.
The most dangerous type of wrong-doers are either those who have no intention of doing the right thing, or those who only do the right thing when they’re on public display.
I’ve dated a lot of men who simply couldn’t seem to identify the right thing, let alone act on it.
When questioned, they give interesting excuses, like: “I didn’t think you’d get upset,” “I didn’t think it would affect our relationship,” or my personal favorite: “I didn’t think you’d find out.”
The common thread being: “I didn’t think.”
Three minutes of additional thought might have changed the outcome. But those relationships are past tense for good reasons.
We all have moments of weakness when it comes to doing the right thing -- whether it's in dating, or other facets of our lives.
For example, I'm doing a fitness challenge. Intuitively, I know that salad is a better option than chocolate cake. So, if my diet is important to me, I must choose salad. Knowing myself the way I do, once I start eating chocolate, I might not be able to stop. I know it’s not good for me, so I have to exert self-control because my diet will produce greater personal rewards.
You might be imagining the horrible alternative of boring wilted-lettuce salad, with unexciting vegetables and unfulfilling light dressing. On the contrary. Salad can be good too. Great, in fact. I’ve had wonderful salads that aren’t fattening, yet have had the perfect blend of ingredients and spices.
But of course I’ve had weak moments of indulging in that cake.
Those moments have proven to be ungratifying in hindsight, because the temporary pleasure of that sweet frosting on my tongue was ruined by the guilt and the amount of time I had to spend in the gym to counter the other unpleasant by-products of sugar. It tasted good at the time, but SO not worth it in the long run.
Doing the right thing is hard. Sometimes, if we think we’ll get away with something, we don’t see the harm. Or we might talk ourselves into believing that making selfish decisions won’t affect our partners.
I often wonder . . . could the inability to do the right thing be an indicator that we’re with the wrong person?
We’re all in search of people who can do right by us. Reciprocity is the necessary hard work that relationships are made of. If it were easier, the world would be full of sweet and harmonious love. In the meantime, many of us are still searching and hopefully trying to do the right thing.