You Want a Partner Not a Project
Hello everyone! Today's blog is about something I learned about first hand. I can't put it better than I did in the title of this blog, you want a partner not a "project."
First of all, let's define a "project." A "project" is a person you think you can fix or a person who wants you to fix them or make them happy. A "project" requires a "fixer" to be in the relationship. The "project" is typically emotionally immature, controlling and co-dependent on the "fixer" for self-worth. The "fixer" is typically more emotionally mature yet more docile, eager to please and co-dependent on the "project" for self- worth (been there and done this people, it's not pretty). Alas, let me let you in on something, you can't fix a person nor make them happy. Happiness has to come from within. People have to work on themselves and let God work on them - we can't fix personality issues, bad habits or bad thought processes. A person who is a "project" expects you to be able to work magic and do all of that for them. They have never taken responsibility for themselves, their feelings or their choices. They wonder why they are left behind and disappointed in life. The person trying to do all the fixing wonders why they are so drained emotionally, physicially, mentally and spiritually. They wonder why they eventually have to leave the relationship or friendship.
Here are your answers, to the "fixer" - you aren't God, you can't fix them! Be responsible for you and your own self-worth apart from anyone else! And to the "project" who expects that of someone else - take responsibility for yourself! Your significant other or friend is not God and can't fix you nor do they exist to make you happy all the time nor make you feel good about yourself!
If the above defines a "project" and a "fixer" and the dysfunction that ensues, what is a partner?
A partner is someone who comes along beside you to help you in life's journey. They support you and love you, even when you make a wrong decision. They let you be you and you let them be them. They don't have unrealistic expectations like wanting you to fix them or make them happy all the time. They were happy before you met them. They take responsibility for themselves, their feelings and their decisions. They expect you to do the same. They believe in you and want you to do well. They are not jealous nor selfish. They do not seek to control you. They do not belittle you or put you down. There is no co-dependency. Each person has their own self-worth not based on the other person but on who they are in Jesus Christ. If this definition does not describe the person you are in relationship with, then you do not have a partner.
Now, of the two definitions, which one would you prefer? I would prefer a partner as well as to be a partner. Afterall, partnership is what God designed. "Projects", "fixers" and co-dependency is what we humans have designed and get ourselves into to feel like we are worth something and to feel good about ourselves.
I believe as long as we are alive, we can change how we do relationships of any kind. We can go from being a "project", "fixer" and co-dependent to being a partner and a healthy human being. In other words, we can do it God's way anytime we choose to do that.
Are you a "project"? Are you a "fixer"? Are you co-dependent? You can change, you still have time. You can change direction. God is still good and willing to meet you where you are. For you "fixers", you deserve a partner not a "project." For you "projects", there is a better way than your way. There is a way not to be disappointed and alone in this life. For both of you, there is a way to have successful, fulfilling relationships that don't damage you. Are you willing to try it God's way?
I would greatly encourage all of you to read the Boundaries book series by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud. They provide biblical and practical advice on how to have good, safe, and lasting relationships free of "fixing", co-dependency and "projects."
To all the "fixers" and "projects" out there, you can do this. I did and you can too.
Until next time,