Some of you might have heard of Seth Godin, but I’m willing to bet that most of you aren’t as geeky as me when it comes to teaching yourself marketing stuff.
Fair enough … so what’s he got to do with you?
Good question. I was having a conversation with someone recently about her relationship. She was bemoaning the fact that things in her relationship had started out great, but that they’d hit a plateau and it wasn’t like it was a bad relationship now … it was boring.
No one sets out to have a boring relationship. But it happens all the time.
This is where Seth comes in. He published a book back in 2007 called The Dip. In this book, he states that “almost everything in life worth doing is controlled by the dip. At the beginning, when you first start something, it’s fun and interesting, and you get plenty of good feedback from the people around you.”
In the beginning, relationships are fun.
It’s new! You’re getting loads of sex! You have someone to spend your Sundays with! You have that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling every time you see your new flame! Your friends tell you they’ve never seen you so happy!
And then The Dip happens.
The Dip is the long road between starting a task and mastering it. And, I’m telling you, relationships are something to be mastered. Seth says that “the dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.”
Or, if you prefer the straight-talking version: the part where you realize “the sexy” has gone.
The difference between a mediocre relationship and an excellent one is not innate talent. Or not being a child of divorced parents. Or being totally convinced that you look good naked. The difference is the ability to do what it takes to push through the moments that suck or are boring when you know it would be easier to quit.
Sometimes though, quitting can help.
Immediate caveat—I do not mean quitting the relationship.
Seth and his shiny pate (he’s bald and has a head so shiny you could do your makeup in it. Seriously. Google him. I’ll wait.) say that “believe it or not, quitting is great strategy, a smart way to manage your life and your career.”
What he’s saying here is that in order to be the best at something, you must quit many pursuits along the way. Quit doing the stuff that no longer serves you. He says it this way: “You should quit if you’re on a dead-end path”.
This is not to say you quit the relationship when you love your guy, abandoning your long-term goal of being in a satisfying, healthy relationship, but quit the tactics that aren’t working.
I’ve encountered so many women who continue to practice the same ineffective methods of being in their relationship. More often than not, these apply specifically to communication and conflict. The number one thing people consistently want to improve in their relationships is communication. But get this:
The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I’ve annoyed and pissed off enough of my friends by saying that if they want their relationships to improve, then they need to change rather than bitching about how annoying their boyfriend is (you were nicer before you retrained … they mutter).
The key to having a great relationship starts with you. Ditch what’s not working and step up to invest in learning new ways that work better.
Lean into The Dip, hear the messages it’s giving you—the way you’re handling this isn’t working and that’s why it’s boring/hard/frustrating. Change the game as you go along, and ask for help when you need it.