Social scientists tell us that it takes about three decades before partners are truly able to smooth out a relationship. Three decades! Yikes! In an era of instant gratification, it’s hard to Imagine any couple wading through what often is a sewer to get through to the “clean” side. Many stay in the relationship but continue to reside in the sewer.
I’ll use the analogy of a sweet cherry tree (think sweetness of a good relationship). It takes 4-7 years for the tree to bear fruit. Few would argue about the enjoyment of eating the fruit, but you have to wait … a long, long time. I use the analogy of a tree because of its similarity to relationships. Unlike seasonal fruits and vegetable that grow quickly but only last brief periods of time (strawberries, watermelons, lettuce, etc.), trees have to be well taken care of, grow their roots deep, be fertilized, and be protected from disease and things that might do it harm.
Relationships are quite similar. They start out as seedlings. They have to be planted so that they can grow deep “roots.” They have to be protected. Most importantly they have to be “fertilized,” meaning both partners have to invest energy into the relationship. Otherwise, the relationship will not bear “fruit,” and both partners will miss out on the sweetness that only a good relationship can provide.
There will always be obstacles to overcome. There will always be challenges. There will always be unforeseen circumstances. However, when partners put their relationships as the number one priority, the relationships continue to flourish and bear “fruit.”
In today’s atmosphere of instant gratification, giving something time to develop and mature is often a hard task in and of itself. Investing in a relationship will pay many dividends far beyond what most people expect. But that’s only true if you give it energy and time to develop and remove as many obstacles as you can.
Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.