One must be great before Two can be better

Early last week, I posted a blog entry titled Two are better than one – unless we’re talking about weeds!”  It included a gardening metaphor related to relationships. I promised to follow up with a “plain English” version of that metaphor, so today I’m delivering just that.

The following are some of my thoughts on relationship principles.  They are as applicable to my relationships with friends and family as they are to my romantic relationship.

  1. I can identify, love and fully accept my authentic self before I can successfully love and accept anyone else. My ability to be happy by myself is a prerequisite for being happy with someone else.
  2. When I choose to invest in a loving relationship and commitment to another, it is in full recognition that they are perfect – and perfectly deserving of my love – just the way they are and they way they are not. For instance, I wouldn’t commit to a relationship with an introvert and then expect them to be happy going to parties with me every weekend.
  3. Successful relationships aren’t necessarily the result of hard work. In my experience, it’s more important to  to communicate clearly, frequently and lovingly to ensure clarity about expectations and address conflicts (about things that really matter) before they become battles, which strung together become wars.
  4. Closely related to the above is the act of simply, truly and sincerely releasing the things that don’t really matter from influencing my interactions with my loved one.
  5. Aretha Franklin had it right all along – R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a key ingredient for relationships. Respecting, honoring and being grateful for those I care about is a powerful elixir for joyful relationships.

So what’s your answer – are two better than one? From my perspective, One and Two are not comparable, nor are they in competition with each other. One must be already great before Two can be better.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • What are a couple of your relationship principles?
  • When are Two better than One?

Thanks for reading!

Love, Tomboy Tam

Two are better than one – unless we’re talking about weeds!

I attended a wedding this weekend, and have not been able to get the theme of relationships out of my head since the ceremony, so I guess I have to write about it.

My reluctance stems from my self-professed status of “student” when it comes to relationships. Fewer than 10 years ago, I embarked on a deliberate journey of personal growth that included reading, workshops, conversations and prayer, trying to understand my challenges, successes and expectations regarding relationships – romantic, platonic and familial. Who am I to blog with The World about relationships?!

Then I realized that I expect to be a lifetime student of all my key topics for this blog: Relationships, personal growth, health & wellness, spirituality, career and lifestyle. So unless I want to quit after one week of blogging, I better start the dialogue with The World on the topic of relationships, since that is what’s on my mind. So here goes . . .

The key point of the sermon, “two are better than one,” was introduced in the scripture readings. My reaction to the sermon was to qualify the point with thoughts that included words like “if,” “unless,” and “when.”

Once the seed “relationships” was planted in my brain, I tended it until it sprouted into a gardening metaphor for my evolving philosophies regarding relationships with people I care about. (Intentional corny pun – meant to make you chuckle, groan or pay attention!)

I’ll follow up with a plain English version of this metaphor later this week, after I hear your feedback on what the following bullet points mean to you, as a metaphor for relationship building:

Gardening 101

  1. I will start by honestly assessing my skills, time and commitment to having a garden. If I need some remedial preparation for gardening – such as reading how-to books, consulting with other gardeners, plowing under weeds, and creating a fertile environment for growth – I will do so before planting any seeds.
  2. My vision for a garden will be based on the reality of the environment in which I will plant my seeds. I won’t expect bamboo to grow in the desert, and I won’t try to turn the desert into a rainforest. I will appreciate the beauty of a desert garden, if that is where I intend to plant.
  3. A successful garden is not necessarily the result of hard labor. I will combine research and planning with consistent watering, weeding, fertilizing and pest control to result in the harvest of abundance I envision.
  4. I will pull small weeds frequently because it is a lot easier, takes less time and hurts less than extracting large ones that have deep roots, sharp stickers and many offspring.
  5. I will reap what I sow. I won’t expect to harvest sweet corn if I plant garlic.

Two may indeed be better than one – what do you think? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Love, Tomboy Tam