Are You Having a “K-Mart Relationship?” (Love the One You’re With: Part One)

woman in mirror borderI was re-listening to Arielle Ford’s interview on the Lifetime Love Affair Summit about “How to Wabi Sabi Your Relationship”, based on her new book, Wabi Sabi Love.  For those of you who missed it, Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese art of seeing the perfection in the imperfect. 

The Quest for Perfection or How to Be Miserable for Life

We have an obsession with trying to be perfect, and it’s ultimate commitment to misery. The very idea that perfection exists is at the core of what keeps alive our sense of inadequacy, and encourages the voice in our head that says, “I will never be enough.”

Not beautiful enough, smart enough, sexy enough, successful enough, rich enough, conscious enough, accomplished enough….and we project our demands to be perfect all over our partners as well.  If only they were somehow “less flawed” ….

Then instead of loving the one we are with, we look at partners as some kind of Fixer Upper or “home improvement project”.   A person who, with a little work, might turn out well.  This is a
1D0-51B vicious trap that keeps both your and your partner’s feelings of “never good enough-ness” front and center in your relationship.  There’s a whole family of feeling that come along for the ride when we are feeling not-enough including: anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, depression – none of which are supportive of the kind of relationship experience that we really want!

Solution: Love the One You’re With

If you’ve ever studied personality testing, you have experienced that as you identify your core strengths, inherent in our strengths are things that we aren’t so good at.  One couple I worked with were a perfect example of this:  She is an organizational wizard whose personality type tends to really like structure.  He is the opposite – works well with a minimum amount of structure and is spontaneous and creative.  Of course she is always trying to get him to be more organized and he is always trying to get her to just relax.  Sound familiar?  In what ways are you doing this with your partner? They each want the other to stop doing what they do best, rather than be advocates for what they each do best!

Let’s take an example in business:

Walmart is the #1 store for lowest prices.  Target makes their niche having higher quality items but their prices are higher.  What did K-Mart try to do? They tried to combine those two things – be the middle road.  What was the result?  That’s right! No more K-Mart! No more Blue Light Special!

When you do what you do best, you thrive.  Instead of seeing your partner “imperfections” as their weaknesses, why not see them as their strengths?  Your disorganized spouse is actually a creative genius who thrives in a lack of structure and a certain amount of chaos.  Start trying to get him to be an organizer and you are going for the K-Mart Blue Light Special Relationship!  Instead, just give him a list of some things that you would like him to do around the house, like fix the shelf in the washroom or move the pots on the patio.  Don’t expect him to be the one looking around and figuring it out.  Think again!  Who does that?  Ahhhh….that would be you!  That’s your genius.

Instead of trying to get your structured and organized spouse to “loosen up,” just let them create as much structure as they need in order to be able to relax.  Remember, what gets you to relax may have nothing to do with what gets them to relax.  Men often like to relax by sitting and watching TV.  Often, women relax by getting things done or chatting.  So let go of trying to “improve” your partner by being more like you!  Instead, just “love the one you’re with” and Wabi Sabi your relationship. Remember, your partner may not be perfect, but parts of them are pretty awesome!