Do you recall the story “Chicken Little” from childhood? I don’t remember most of the details either honestly but what I do recall is that there was this constant irrational fear that the sky was falling. Moral of the story (I think) was that no, the sky wasn’t falling, and even if it was, going around yelling in or outside your head about it is crazy making and does nothing. If the sky is falling, it’s going to freaking fall. End of story. If you are at that point where you aren’t sure if your guy or girl is about to pull the plug on the relationship (or whatever the labeled contemporary version of spending time together earns), there are ways to decrease the crazy making. Step 1: ASK YOURSELF IF YOU’VE ALREADY TRIED TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR GUY.
If you have, good for you. However, you (or both of you more likely) have failed to some extent because there is continued ambiguity on your future status (based on my assumption that you’re reading this). It’s okay though, this is a common experience for modern day mates.
Step 2: LOOK AT THE “DATA” IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS.
I don’t really want to hear your rationale about how you guys had an awful weekend and all these issues came up. It’s not enough to draw conclusions. Choose 3 significant intimate moments during the past week. Since we are in the technology age I’ll include (squeamishly) texts and over public displays of irritation or affection via social media walls, tags, and tweets. Don’t get too held up on which three points you chose. The fact that you chose them means something. No need to overthink them.
Step 3: PICK YOUR EVIDENCE
Assess the three data points by filling in the following sentence with one word, and make it a different word for each example: More or less, this data point that occurred in the past week represents the ________ (fill in the blank) part of my relationship. Choose just one word. It could be any adjective you can imagine (i.e., fun, adorable, amazing, exciting, loving, caring, withdrawn, hopeless, hopeful).
Step 4: GO TO COURT
Now you’re going to pretend (if you are one, wear a different suit) to be a lawyer. Make your case to a judge. Just for fun, assume that’s me. Hi, I’m Dr. Marie Land. Judge of all relationships. Make me your case using the three instances of data you filled out above. I stand before you (confident lawyer representing yourself) and say “Explain to me why I should believe that there is any chance in hell that you and your partner will last another two weeks?” You can use your three data points and accompanying adjectives to make me a case.
Step 5: VISUALIZE HOW THIS WENT DOWN. Take your time. Close your eyes and see my facial expressions (I apologize if they were less than friendly). I know you don’t know me personally, but what do you think Judge Marie would say? If you had to guess….would you be granted another two weeks to remain in the relationship? Be real with yourself. None of that self-doubt and lack of confidence crap. Just pure evidence, pure argumentation and pleading your case.
Step 6: IF I GRANTED YOU TWO MORE WEEKS, THEN ACCEPT THE VERDICT AND LET IT BE!
You have permission to stop thinking about the status of your relationship and will actually be fined (maybe not monetarily, but definitely emotionally) if you violate this request. You have two weeks to accept that that person is going to remain with you and your only job is to trust that they are. You will always deal with the outcome later….the future is inescapable so lets just get on with trusting what the data says now. If I did not grant you two more weeks…guess what? You also get the same piece of advice. Sorry if it’s anticlimactic. Your job is not to break it off right now. But you are to take two weeks from looking at the data. When you’re two weeks are up you get to do the same exercise. If the data has not changed, then you have to think about acting on the data. For now, fearful loving and lusting is a fast track to destroying any hopes of a relationship. Don’t do it.