Any gamer will tell you how frustrating it is to buy a new game on release day, bring it home, and there’s already an update for it. We have this notion that a game needs to be complete when it ships, most likely because that’s how it was in the days before online gaming. But there is something comforting about the notion that even after a game comes out, the developer isn’t quite done with it. There are very few things in this life that are perfect right at the beginning, and taking time to update can be rewarding. This is exceptionally true of relationships. It’s important to keep your relationship up to date by patching it when it needs to be patched. Your love life isn’t Windows, you can’t just keep postponing the updates.
Patching Your Relationship
Entering a relationship is like picking up a new game: there is a lot to learn, and new features to explore. After a while, it can feel like you’ve “mastered” the mechanics. You know all the right things to say and do to keep things running smoothly. Then it happens. Your old tricks get nerfed, and suddenly the balance is off. If you want to stay on top of the leaderboard, you have to study the patch notes.
People change. The guy you started dating is not the same man you married. Your new bride is not the same person as the mother of your children. As we grow, the same approach doesn’t work as well. The way to keep your relationship up to date is by making sure that you know as much as possible about these changes. How do you do that?
Check for Updates
Talk to each other. The human spirit updates constantly, but each new experience may be small. Attuning to the slight adjustments to your partners course ensures that you stay close. Talk to each other. Go on regular dates, and ask big, important, pointless questions. Check for updates before you crash.
If you are wondering if you need to check for updates, ask yourself these questions: Do you know who your partner’s best friend is? Can you name three people they work with? What would they do if they won the lottery? What is their favorite sport?
Immersing yourself in the trivia of your partner’s life is the best way to make sure that you have the most up to date version of your relationship software! If you know the answer to all of those questions I just asked, try to think of a question that you can’t answer. Then go find the answer.
Restore a Crashed Relationship
Relationships crash. Sometimes it’s a fatal error and you have to break up; and sometimes it just means it’s time for a big update. Just because you have a big fight doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to shut the whole thing down. Fights happen, and trying to avoid one will just make the next one bigger.
When fights get big, it’s easy to forget that the goal is not to win, but to grow. Putting on armor and facing the challenge like a battle is a sure way to make things more difficult. I’ve talked before about the importance of being vulnerable, and never is it more important to be vulnerable than when you and your partner disagree.
By shifting your focus from getting what you want to understand what your partner needs, you can restore the system and keep your relationship up to date.
Read the Patch Notes
In games, if you don’t study the patch notes then you are at a huge disadvantage. Sometimes a patch changes the whole game, like when Destiny decided that auto rifles were too strong and turned them into airsoft guns. If you kept running auto rifles, you lost every time. But if you read the patch notes, you switched to a pulse rifle and were good to go.
Even though you JUST got the Suros Regime and it was your first exotic, but it’s fine. Whatever. I’m not bitter…
Things change, and it’s critical that you are willing to be flexible when they do. Don’t keep trying to do something just because “it used to work.” Try something new, and see if it works!
What are your experiences with “patching” your relationship? What helps you stay flexible when changes happen in your relationship? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to share this post with your friends!