As the country gears up for the collegiate basketball tournaments, life actually shifts into another gear. With the advent of Spring, new life and new prospects are on the horizon. Some think of Spring cleaning, while others think of taking a vacation. With the dawning of Spring, the tenor of relationships often change too.
A few years ago our family had taken an apartment in Washington, D.C. The apartment provided easy access to Capitol Hill where my husband was working. I teased him all Winter about the couples “booed up” in the elevators each night. I reminded him that the commitment to live with fidelity and integrity was waning across the country. Come Spring, we would see how these relationships panned out.
Surprisingly we have many opportunities during that period to discuss our relationship status. Over a few days we often talked about the state of our union. We were determined to be sure our relationship did not take on a life of its own. Our commitment to each other had been to build strong to last long. Strong unique personalities always present unique differences to work through.
Here are the rules we try to use:
1. Integrity and fidelity is the sieve that sorts our differences.
2. Be objective. Listen to the head and heart of the speaker.
3. Be courteous. Take frequent breaks if needed to prevent free-for-all arguments and name calling.
4. Stay current. Unless a previous incident is a relevant example, let the past stay in the past.
5. Be willing to discuss personal goals in light of the corporate goals.
6. Closure on a subject does not mean agreement. Acknowledge the differences. Develop rules of engagement to keep the difference from becoming a hindrance.
7. Do not create deal-breakers. Ultimatums are divisive.
8. Handle personal peeves and preferences with Biblical finesse. (See Galatians 5:22-23;
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Proverbs 15:1; 26:20; Psalm 119:165.)
By the way, the building management issued new key fobs. Young love always springs eternal. We saw some of the same individuals in new couplings as we rode the elevator. Sometimes a side-eyed wink of acknowledgment was given as they clung to each other or a knowing smile. All the while thinking, the real March Madness had begun!