Musings: priorities in relationships and beyond

So I am watching “The Mentalist.” Two of the characters are dating in a department which doesn’t allow inter-department dating. So one of them has to transfer. One character is talking to another character about how complicated it is and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Should he transfer out from this job he loves? Should he stay in the job and stop dating the woman he cares about? It’s all just so hard!!! And the guy he’s talking to just keeps walking and says, “Which one do you want more? The job or [name of character]?” Then there was a bit more whining and complaining about how it really wasn’t that simple. But I tend to agree with the second character. It really is that simple.

What do you want more? It’s all about priorities. And we prioritize things all day every day. We do it. All of us. Even when you don’t think you’re doing it, you are. It’s that simple. What do you or I or Jane Doe over there want more? Do you want money more than you want to sleep in? Then you go to work. Do you want eggs for breakfast or pancakes? Do you want to read a book more than you want to go on that date? Do you want to fuck that hot guy more than you want to be faithful in a monogamous relationship? It’s all about priorities. It really is that easy.

In my relationships, I prioritize the other person very highly. I don’t usually bother with getting involved in relationships with people unless I want to spend time with them and get to know them pretty well. Sometimes and with some people, I want to go spelunking in their mind and explore every dark cave and cavern in there. The closer I am to someone, the higher I prioritize them and everything to do with them. I prioritize spending time with them. I prioritize thinking about them and how we can relate to each other. I spend a vast amount of my personal time and energy on them. I don’t necessarily expect them to spend the same amount of time that I do. I admit that this is a main focus of my life and it’s personal work that I choose to do. That is all me. But it does need to be pretty close. If it isn’t then I start to feel like we are not on the same page. Sometimes I feel like we’re not even in the same chapter. If I start feeling like we’re no longer in the same book, it’s just time to move on. If I prioritize you above basically everything but myself and my work and you prioritize me below re-reading a best seller for the 4th time… I need to move on. If you prioritize me above your sister’s wedding and I prioritize you below taking my dog for a walk… you need to move on. If you prioritize me below that book but really desire to keep me in your life, understand that you have prioritized improperly. I’ll still be gone. But you can learn to prioritize the next woman better.

I think the only difficult thing is learning the hard way that someone either prioritizes you differently than you do them, or learning that you prioritized something incorrectly for the desired results. I’ve experienced both. So I know what I’m talking about. But really. It is that simple.

What do you want more?

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