Why do we shy away from relational conflict? Certainly, no one likes to be vulnerable and have hurt emotions. Could it also be, we’re not experienced in dealing with conflict in a healthy manner? The models we’ve read in novels and seen on television and in the cinema scream dysfunction and we parrot the same because we do not know any better.
In today’s virtual world, relationships are experienced in real-time, over the phone, through letters and emails, and instant and text messaging. A virtual relationship is a stepping stone toward a real, face-to-face relationship. Though poor in the longterm, a virtual relationship can be a start. Unfortunately, virtual relationships are also becoming the finish of many relationships.
I read in the Wall Street Journal about a woman who had her love relationship broken via mobile text message — this story appeared in the Valentine’s Day issue no less! Author, Jeffrey Zaslow, made a good observation, “…interpersonal relationships today are often less personal and more cowardly than they used to be.”
Face-to-face relationships are hard but worth the risk. They are at times messy but worth it in the end. There is a unique part of us all that longs for intimacy – to know someone inside and out and to be known inside and out. We all want someone to share our hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties without the threat of rejection. Yet, relationships take work and that is where we falter. Love relationships, marriage relationships, work relationships, family relationships…they all take work. Unfortunately, in our self-service culture of “I want it now” we opt for speed and efficiency over patience and quality. The fact is, it takes guts. Are you willing to take a stand? Roll up your sleeves and do the hard work.