Updated: Mar 1, 2022
When Dan Pfeiffer was working with the Obama White House communications team, ex-Mr. POTUS gave Dan some solid relationship advice. Written in Dan's book, Yes We (Still) Can, the former president told Pfeiffer to ask himself three questions for a successful partnership.
Are they interesting?
Are they funny?
Do you think they'd be a good parent (if)?
That smooth, Obama cool!
Lately, you'll find yourself seeing your peers either getting married or planning to get married soon. You may even be surrounded by everyone who has someone. While you may also tend to get obnoxiously sulky about your no partner situation, don't just settle for anyone.
Relationships do seem cutesy happy and all cheery but well, relationships are hard work and shit loads of emotional ruckus!
Before you think you are ready to make sacrifices for someone who is not you, make sure you know that they are worth fighting for.
How do you find THAT someone? It is simple.
Find someone better than you.
When you find someone better than you, you will automatically want to be a better person around them. When you strive to be a better person for them, it will also uplift you.
Ask yourself this: "Does he/ she make me want to be a better person?"
If the answer is affirmative, this is it.
Making this advice actionable, here's how I go about it. (Trust me, this works!)
Step 1: List down 5 CORE values that you'd want in your partner.
Step 2: Don't settle for just about anyone who doesn't match these.
Step 3: Profit.
I believe it works because it makes you throw your 'I want everything' list right out of the window. Funnily enough, even though for a short period in life, I had a checklist too, but all it did was lead me to brutal heartbreaks. Unbeknownst to me then, I was the one allowing myself these disappointments. We all have grown up to think that we should get the best of everything in our partner. But, what we fail to realize is that we may not be THE best for someone else.
I came across this story on the internet some year back, which I wish I could find now to maintain the original effect of it. But after searching for it till 8th Google Page result and an overdose of gooey love quotes (yuck), I decided to try writing it out to match the same effect.
The story went something like this.
A man wanted to find the perfect partner for himself. He walks through the ends of the Earth, swims through the oceans, treads through the jungles. Every day he collects a flower as a gift to give to his perfect lady when he meets her. One day, armed with five hundred and thirty flowers, he comes to know a person who perfectly fits the bill. Ensuring the best of his behavior, he knocks on her door and tells her about his quest to find the perfect partner declaring his love. The lady, flattered by this over the top gesture, turns to him and says, 'I may be perfect for you, but you are not perfect for me. I am sorry.'
I remember being so blown away by the thing that I ended up throwing my checklist away and instead adopted a version that satisfies expectations that matter. I realized I shouldn't want a textbook version of a partner but who, wait for it, makes me better.
I will go ahead and say that one really needs to have a rational approach while listing down these 5 core values. At the same time, one should exhibit emotional intelligence and not settle for less.
Some days back, I tried helping a friend using this approach. After what seemed like a productive session, the friend still went back to give her partner another chance (sigh).
Friend, if you are reading this, he still isn't treating you right. You are not giving him another chance, but are just prolonging your heartbreak. Having said that, I am still going to be there for you when he does that. I hope he doesn't tho.
Well, that's it. This is how it will feel to get relationship advice from me - brutal but effective.
Before I go, here are 50 seconds of 'Let's make Devieka blush':
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