Saturday, April 5, 2014

Which Season Defines Your Relationship: Is It An Asset or a Liability?

Just as seasons are defined by the weather, your relationships can also be defined by the seasons.  Not only do your relationships fit into one or more of the four seasons, there is also a fifth season.

Seasons come and go. And in some of your lives, relationships seem to come and go also. Here is where you must begin to clearly define if you are in a relationship or a situation. Remember, a relationship is for the long haul and a situation is one of convenience…for the time being A true relationship exists because of an intentional choice; whereas, a situation usually exists because it is an option.

Hopefully, after reading this blog, you will take an intentional look at your relationship and make an intentional decision as to whether it exists as a season of convenience for the time being; or does it exist because of a lifetime of choice. You can’t choose which season you are in or desire to be in; but you can choose the relationship you are in, as well as how it plays out season after season.

When it comes to your relationships, you are the creator of the role you will lay in them, how you play them, and whether they are assets or liabilities. As a matter of fact, you can determine your role in the relationship, but you cannot determine the role of your partner within the relationship. And if your roles don’t match, trouble will dictate the relationship, rendering it a situation.

Because you did not create, nor can you control the seasons when they arrive, you learn to live with each of the four seasons…winter, spring, summer, and fall. However, you do have a choice as to the season of your relationships. You must decide if your relationship is in one of the four seasons--winter, spring, summer or fall. And as I previously mentioned, just like the seasons are dictated by the weather, there is also a fifth season in which your relationship can be defined. It is the season of ‘unpredictability.’

You are probably asking, ‘how do I decide which season my relationship is in?’ In order to help you to make this important determination, here are the characteristics of each of the seasons. Although these characteristics are indicative of the weather presented during the seasons, they are also indicative of your relationship during the seasons.

Cold, distant, dead, no romance, no response, sex without love-making, lacking in romance, dormant, bare, without substance, depressing, need a fire burning at all times, helpless, sometimes hopeless, messy, no relationship at all, convenience

As indicated above, the season of winter for your relationship does not seem as promising. All relationships require hard and continuous work. However, when your relationship is in the winter season, you will have to work four to five times as hard to gain the relationship, maintain the relationship, or retain the relationship. You will need to continuously place logs on your relationship fire or it will fizzle out…if there is any fire at all. The cost of keeping your relationship heated during the winter season can be astronomical!

Winter relationships are many times seen as ‘warming’ situations of convenience. They provide a place from the cold and a warm body to provide heat for the persons engaged in the situation. They are usually based on convenience.

Blossoming, breathing new life, energized, a budding romance, awakening, light, bright, moving forward, colorful, cool at times, hopeful, attaching, fire on the inside; none needed on the outside, predictable, planned, hopeful, aliveness, promising, love making

When your relationship is in the spring season, you have energy and hope.  There is a burning on the inside, which permeates to the outside. There is no dormancy; there is life! You want the world to see what you have in your relationship. You uncover your relationship for others to behold and you and your partner are the envy every man and every woman. There is hope and plans for the future. Your relationship is in full blossom and there is a desire to allow your relationship to show its full beauty.

Hot, steamy, free, sunny, brighter, laid back, lazy at times, active, open, fun, exciting, attached, bouncing, planned, family, targeted, liveliness, vivacious

Your summer season relationship can be hot and steamy. You shed the covers of winter and come out in full force. There is an explicit connectivity with your partner. You relationship is fast and furious. You and your partner are not only connected to each other, you are connected to family and friends; they help fuel the fire between the two of you.

However, too often, the summer season relationship is temporary and one of convenience for the time being. Once the season ends, the relationship or situation ends; there is often distance between you and your partner. However, there are times when the summer season is over and the geographical distance between you and your family resumes, there is the start of a long-distance relationship. This can either be a strain or a gain for the two of you.
Changing, at a lull, earthy, peaceful, slow, full of earth tones, colorful, chilly at times, holidays, calmness, questioning

The relationship indicated by the fall season is generally indicative of constant change. There is pressure to take the relationship to the next level by you or your partner. There are major holiday celebrations, as well as preparation for the winter, in order to be with someone, without being sure that this someone is the right one. With the Christmas season there are often expectations for commitments. During the fall season, many relationships end in order to avoid commitment, gift-giving, and family sharing.

However, if you and your partner have survived winter, spring, and summer seasons, the fall season can be the time when you begin to make preparations to continue to move forward commitments. The family gatherings and holidays open windows for you to begin to see and feel what it is like to share your life with someone else.  This is a time when many engagements take place and family ties are sealed.

You don’t know which season you are in; your relationship changes like the weather; you are in two or more seasons on any given day; rarely are you and your partner in the same season at the same time; you vacillate between seasons for convenience or due to lack of control; you don’t even know if you are in a relationship or a situation; non-intentional; no plans, no direction; there is no present, nor is there a future; you stay in the situation out of desperation of fear of being alone

The season of unpredictability for your relationship can be a very tumultuous and turbulent time. As a matter of fact, the season of unpredictability is often a situation and not a relationship. There is usually abuse, pretentiousness, and clearly a lack of commitment. Also, there is probably fear of commitment and attempts to bring about isolation from family and friends. This season is fraught with lies, deception, fears, infidelities, desperation, insecurities, lack of direction, abuse, and control. 

The season of unpredictability is also a season of fraudulent behaviors, pretense, and low self-esteem. Out of all of the seasons, this is the season to enter with extreme caution. As a matter of fact, it is a season of relationships you probably would do best not entering at all!

Now that you have been provided characteristics of the seasons of relationships, you can now decide which of the four (and sometimes five) seasons your relationship fits. As a result, you will be able to decide if your relationship is stuck in one or more seasons of dormancy, fear, control, or anger, faced with liabilities, which do not allow you to move forward. On the other hand, you will be able to decide if your relationship is in a season or seasons of growth, promise, hope, connectedness, allowing your relationship to be filled with assets, instead of liabilities.
It’s okay to experience characteristics of two seasons at the same time during your relationship, but the characteristics and/or seasons should not bear liabilities. They should be characteristics that provide assets and growth. Assets bread more assets; liabilities drain you of assets!!!

Here is your opportunity to be honest with yourself about your relationship (or situation).  It is time for you to expect nothing less than honesty, respect, and commitment from your partner.  Decide if you are in the same relationship season(s) with your partner, as well as whether the seasons of your relationship are assets or liabilities.  Act accordingly!! Assets grow, but liabilities limit and drain!  Which do you want?