MTR – Every moment counts

My MTR plan was a good one, but there are things about it that I hadn’t thought through. For me, the MTR grew from a frustrated desire to date without a Uhaul in tow, with a clear understanding of my plans to move. I was very focused on the idea of dating without expecting the (misguided) fairy tale ending. I was tired of the notion that relationships must last “forever” to have worth, must be long term to be real.

Turns out there are other benefits, some which may seem obvious to you but that I didn’t expect. Being in an MTR changes the way I look at the little things. I know all about not sweating the small stuff, and in some areas in my life I think I’m even good at it, but in intimate relationships, not so much.

Here’s the thing, I can manage most any thing if I know the time on it is limited. I can work at a job I don’t like, eat too many salad greens, suffer without AC, and even suffer through too expensive, lackluster graduate classes if I know I only have to do it for 10 days, six weeks or one semester.

Guess what? This principal can be applied to relationships, too! I mean, a mildly annoying habit can become the focus of a break up – I have heard people complain about tiny issues in great detail over and over again – but when you know that it won’t be annoying you FOREVER…it’s much easier to let go.

Let me be clear that I am not talking about straying from my own values or ignoring any major red flags – nor am I saying that my current partner is full of annoying habits. I am just talking about the mind-set that I find myself in. And the more I think about it, the more I like it. I mean, I use the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff method in so many other areas of my life, I kind of feel bad that I haven’t done so in my partnerships. Because that is what this really seems to be about.

I mean, ok, let’s pretend the issue is “finishes the last of the dessert” (don’t laugh, this has been an issue in my past). If you think about it from the “forever” viewpoint, it kinda sucks. Who wants to spend FOREVER with someone who ALWAYS finishes the last of the damn dessert?! Not me, let me tell you.

If you think about it knowing that you will not be with this person forever, it allows you to soften a bit – do I really begrudge this person – with whom I have so much joy – do I really begrudge them the last piece of pie? Of course not! So, what if we approached long term partners the same way? Wouldn’t that help us to be kinder and gentler to one another?

Yes, yes, you might want to come to some agreements about dessert, and if it really was a big deal hopefully you could, but in the long run, really, there are so many more important things in a relationship. I think even some big items might be manageable this way…because the truth is that even when we call them LTRs and we want for them to last forever, we really just don’t know.

Things can change in an instant, through folly, chance or choice. We don’t actually have FOREVER with ANYONE, why waste the time we do have worrying about it? I want to spend my time in joy, to cherish every moment, to love every minute. Wait, that reminds me of a song…

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