A couple of years ago, my friend gave me this book. It’s called Why you’re not married yet by Tracy McMillan, a relationship guru.
I laughed. I chuckled a bit. I definitely cringed. Seriously babe!?
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good read. It gave me clarity on how to get unstuck and move forward in a relationship” my friend urged.
I was flattered, really. But I was quite nervous! What if I read something I didn’t want to know? This was totally going to shatter my self esteem right…
It was a good read. Why? Because it was very honest and offered practical advice on what kind of steps a person should take should she/he face certain obstacles. And I’m all for practical advice.
There was one particular point that struck a chord and never left my head since. McMillan said and I paraphrase “In a relationship, it’s not about what the other person can bring you and vice versa. It’s about how you feel in their presence. That’s the first and only thing that matters. Everything else is secondary.”
I thought long and hard about this. (To be honest it was hard to digest because I was adamant on believing that in a relationship, you must bring something. Doesn’t that sound logical? No?)
McMillan said that when you think this way, you get more clarity about how the relationship really is. It’s detrimental if a person positions a relationship based on how their partner treats them. It’s not about if he got you those flowers, or said the very thing you wanted him to say.
It’s about how you feel in their presence, plainly and simply. How do you feel? Happy? Relieved? At peace? Do you want to continue seeing them? Or do you wish you were elsewhere?
She explained that this is important to ascertain because once you know how you feel, you’ll know the direction. If you’re happy in their presence, a problem or obstacle should be secondary to this happiness. It would just be part and parcel. Not a determining factor.
I feel happy in his presence. I thought to myself.
To test this theory, I continued to ask myself this question each time I saw my now boyfriend.
How do you feel? I feel happy.
Would you rather be anywhere else? Not really. But like can we please get coffee?
It didn’t get rid of the obstacles. But it became secondary. Because I knew how I felt. And according to McMillan, that should be the only thing that matters.