A couple years ago, Mr. Wonderful gave me a Q&A book for Christmas. It’s basically a one-sentence-a-day journal for couples filled with 365 questions to answer over the course of three years – starting over again each January. The idea is that, with a little bit of effort, you’ll have a pretty sweet snapshot of your relationship.
(What I’m saying is that if you put a daily reminder on your calendar and leave the book in places you think your partner will notice, and also cross your fingers, you should net out with enough answers for a respectable comparison.)
Clearly, I enjoy this ritual much more than he does. I’m lucky if Mr. W documents more than three words at a time. On the flip side, I have trouble stopping myself at one sentence. This should surprise no one.
The thing is, the data is SO telling! I’ve harvested this information after just a year’s worth of entries, and there’s already so much evidence staring back at me to reinforce my investment in this relationship. Most poignant are the recurring themes of family, faith, finances, career and goals for the future. It’s fascinating to see where our answers match up and where they don’t. And when I ask myself why these insights are so meaningful, I know it’s because I got it right this time – especially after so much time getting it wrong. And the only proof I need is the way my life looks today with him in it.
Clearly, I get pretty geeked up when it comes to drawing parallels for growth, development and expectations – both personally and professionally. Some people can play an instrument beautifully. Others are fantastic athletes or chefs. I don’t have a green thumb or a knack for writing code, but I do get pumped about the sociology of relationships.
Allow me to elaborate. Recently, the Q&A book asked us to fill in the following blank:
“I wouldn’t have really understood ( ) if it wasn’t for you.”
Now, a number of answers would have fit nicely here.
(Hey, we don’t have to agree on everything to love one another.)
But the word I wrote in that space was “MYSELF.”
So much that I know about me has come from who I am when he and I are together. And it reminds me of something I read recently by Glennon Doyle Melton:
Marriage is dogged, determined patience. It’s also one of the only ways we’ll ever truly know ourselves. Because to know ourselves we have to stop flitting and face our demons in the face of another person who serves as our mirror. Who reflects the best and worst of ourselves back to us.
DING! DING! DING!