There is a certain level of hell that feels exactly like the PGR.
The Pretty Good Relationship is comfortable but not exactly fun. As a couple, you don’t argue that often and things aren’t bad, necessarily, but they aren’t great. You get along, but your partner doesn’t inspire passion in you or challenge you. Maybe you’ve spent months or years trying to avoid hurting each other’s feelings by sidestepping awkward conversations and telling small white lies. You succeeded at not pissing each other off, but you also never really let that person break you open and see the real you.
If the PGR were a color it would be beige, or taupe- maybe.
I see more PGR’s than any other kind of relationship. (I don’t have acronyms for those yet). They are the unfortunate result of the imbalance of emotional priorities:
When the fear of being alone is just slightly greater than the desire for an amazing relationship.
It happens when both partners haven’t given much thought to what they really want. They are indiscriminate about what feels good, what kind of sex they like, what turns them on, what makes them passionate. This sort of foggy blasé approach to relationships is probably similar to the way they function in their jobs, their friendships and their self-care.
I often hear these people say “I just want to be happy” and then when I ask them what happiness means to them, they say “you know… happy.”
No, I don’t know. That word has lost all meaning and is a useless emotional goal that justifies inaction.
WAKE UP. IF YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR A SIGN. THIS IS IT.
Every relationship is a series of decisions. And the decision to NOT make a decision is the only guarantee that you won’t get what you want. There are certain things that I believe you shouldn’t leave to chance or passively let happen to you. Love is at the top of that list.
Talking about sex is awkward, asking tough questions can mean hearing answers you aren’t ready for, working through issues can mean heartache and lots of crying, telling the truth can mean hurting the person you love (until they figure out you’re right).
But all of these things are what make great partnerships -, well great. Extraordinary even.
So if you’re still reading, it likely means you are currently in a PGR or have been in one in the past and want to avoid the deathtrap of mediocrity that comes along with it.
Here are a few suggestions:
Expect more from yourself; not your partner
When we wake up to the fact that we are in a boring-ass relationship we can be quick to blame our partner. Don’t. You are responsible for your own happiness. You can’t suddenly ask your partner to change without first putting those changes into action in your own life. Expect more from yourself and your partner will likely follow. Or they’ll scoff at your changes (what I would consider icking your wow) and you’ll know the relationship has run it’s course. Either way, blaming your partner can lead to resentment and passive hostility which is where PGR’s go to die.
Turn a PGR into a FAR
It’s possible the two of you just fell into a routine. Don’t abandon a PGR just because you’re bored. You fell in love for a reason and your partner could be the perfect collaborator in the redesign of your relationship. I’m sure they are feeling less-than-enthused about how things are going and maybe they would meet you halfway on making changes and setting new goals. And that starts with a conversation about how you’re feeling, which I know, can be very scary. But so worth it. This is your opportunity to flip your PGR on it’s head and make it a Fucking Awesome Relationship (FAR). Acronyms are everywhere.
Let it fade with grace
A successful relationship is one that you got out of in the right moment. We blubber about our “failed relationship” when we break up with someone, but I can’t imagine a better sign of success than acknowledging the end of a season and moving the fuck on. IF you intuitively know that this isn’t the relationship you want to be in for the rest of forever, let it gracefully end. Try a separation to see if your mood improves. A few weeks apart will quickly define whether your relationship is awesome and just got a bit stale, or if fear of loneliness is keeping you in a bad relationship too long. You will miss that person, but trust your gut on pursuing other people, or recommitting to your person.
Take space to figure it out
It’s ok to say you don’t know what you want right now. Maybe it’s best to move on, maybe it’s time to double down and commit. Only your intuition knows what you really want and your intuition doesn’t always give answers immediately when we demand them. If you can’t feel a difinitive Hell yes or no – give it a sec, jeez. Create space for your intuition machine to work it’s magic and you’ll feel a pull towards one answer when the moment is right. Communicate with your partner that you need some time and space to figure your shit out because whatever direction you move it, you want to do it without regret and for the right reasons.
Don’t listen to fear
As a society we have a prescribed timeline for relationships. We date for a few weeks, then we get all exclusive and when the L word gets thrown around enough we are expected to start thinking about engagements and marriage and tiny human beings that live with us. When our relationships don’t follow the prescribed paths we tend to freak out. Fear takes hold and we are paralyzed by the overwhelming life decisions that need to be made. So we don’t make any decision at all. Not to sound redundant, but – fear of commitment and fear of loneliness aren’t good decision makers.
Having a great relationship takes courage. Demand a FAR.
(image via kylekriegerhair – Instagram)