a different perspective: we don’t have relationships; we earn relationships

language is a tricky goddess.

i heard someone this week mention that we shouldn’t think of relationships as something we have, rather, as something we earn.

i thought this simple framing shift rather inspired, don’t you think?

to have implies ownership. it’s a given, a done deal, the result of a transaction, one that will be constantly scrutinized for benefits and flaws. we never want what we own to fall short of our vision and expectations.

yet when we earn something, it means we worked for it. and the earning doesn’t end. there’s no ownership. the investment here is different. we didn’t simply trade with others. we also traded with ourselves. a trade that teaches and transforms us. a trade that requires maintenance and care involving not just another person, but also, ourselves.

to earn i feel requires a willingness, which is a gateway to positivity, self reflection, learning, compassion, effort, appreciation, growth.

while love is something that we offer completely, and something that grows, i rather like the perspective of earning a relationship.

it invites us to transform ourselves, and do so willingly, thoughtfully and with gratitude for the privilege. it seems like a beautiful mindset to build a healthy, rewarding, genuine and lasting connection as opposed to passing through life with brief episodes of novelty.

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