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  • Dr. Andre Blaylock

Diversifying Your Social Portfolio May Save Your Relationship!

Are you Expecting too much from your Partner?

Many people desire a partner who’s simultaneously responsible for making us feel loved, sexy, and competent, but also ambitious, hungry, and inspirational. How do you make somebody feel safe, loved, and beautiful without making them feel complacent? How do you make somebody feel energetic, hungry, and eager to work hard without making them feel like you disapprove of the person they currently are?

It depends.

You can do it, but you should be aware of what you’re asking your partner to do. In some sense, the pursuit of those goals are incompatible. In others, you will both need a way of connecting that can make those desires possible.

For example, your support conversation may sound something like this: “I’m so proud of everything you’ve achieved, and I’m proud that you’re never fully satisfied with it. I'm impressed with how you relentlessly work toward improving yourself.”

That can convey a sense of approval, while recognizing your partner's aspirations.

Think about what you’re looking for from this one relationship and decide if these expectations are realistic in light of who you are, who your partner is, and what the mutual dynamics are.

If not, then you might want to outsource. them to another member of your social network.

There’s no shame at all in thinking of ways that you can ask less.

The benefits of having a diversified social portfolio...

Dr. Elaine Cheung at Northwestern University, looked at the extent to which people look to a very small number of people to help them manage their emotions versus an array of different people, to manage different sorts of emotions.

It turns out that people who have more diversified social portfolios, that is, a larger number of people that they go to for different sorts of emotions, tend to have a overall higher-quality life.

I think most of us will be shocked by how many expectations and needs we’ve piled on top of one relationship. I’m not saying that people need to lower their expectations, but it is probably a bad plan to throw all of these expectations on one person.

A re-calibration strategy, which looks to fix any imbalance, by decreasing the amount of unspoken expectation within a single relationship may prove beneficial.There’s no shame at all in thinking of ways that you can ask less. That’s not settling, and that’s not making the relationship worse. It’s saying look, “These are things I’ve been asking of you that have been a little bit disappointing to me. These are things that I’m going to be able to get from this relationship but frankly, given what I understand about you, myself, and the way the two of us relate, it’s just going to be a lot of work to be able to achieve those things.”

The question isn’t, “Are you asking too much?” The question is,“Are you asking the appropriate amount, in light of the nature of the relationship right now?”

We like the idea of "Ride or Die“. We want our partner to help make us feel loved and to give us an opportunity to love them back. To be somebody who’s going to help us grow into an ideal version of ourselves and we're going do the same for them.

That is a massive ask! And if you are requiring that, then you have to make sure that you have sufficient time together and that you pay sufficient attention to details while investing in the relationship.


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