Hi friends –
Those of you who read Mondays with Motivo regularly know that I’m a big fan of podcasts. I love books – but I’m not a very fast reader and I tend to always fall asleep after the first 10 minutes. 😴
Podcasts, for me, are one of the best ways to listen and learn, while also doing other things like running, cooking, or walking Lucy.
During the episode, Dan mentioned a term I had not heard of before, which was “short-term relationships” or STRs. He stated that, in our society, there is a normalization around long-term relationships – and an expectation that in order for a relationship to be successful, it must last forever.
However, Dan shared his view that short-term relationships can be just as successful and should be seen with the same level of validity.
Dan says, “One of the things I see all the time is that when people want out of relationships, they feel like they have to blow them up. They feel like the only way they can legitimately leave a relationship is if there is high conflict or a lot of anger.”
As a marriage and family therapist, I was really interested in the conversation. It made me think about how this same concept relates to many relationships – both romantic and platonic.
Several years ago, I had a friend named Mollie. She worked at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA, and we used to go on walks around the gardens at least once a month and have such great talks.
I remember her telling me once that she typically anticipates her friendships will be shorter-term. She said that she never felt the need to hang on to a friendship when it had run its natural course. Rather, she chose to feel grateful for the friendship and all the ways that she had learned and grown from it – and then move on.
At the time, I thought it sounded pretty strange. I remember thinking, “Wait, Mollie, you don’t want to grow old watching the Bachelor together?!?” But, looking back, I see that Mollie was really quite right. Relationships don’t have to last forever to be successful. Some have a natural sunset.
This has inspired me to pay less attention to the longevity of a relationship, and far more to whether or not the relationship brings joy to my life and helps me evolve and grow into a kinder, more self-aware human.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them if you’d like to share.
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