Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Settler and the Reacher

Clint and I aren’t big TV watchers (other than Lost and The Walking Dead, because we’re major nerds), but we do enjoy occasional reruns of How I Met Your Mother.

And while I certainly wouldn’t say that television is where we get our relationship tips, it does provide us with some interesting discussion topics. On one episode of HIMYM, it was said that in every relationship there is a “settler” and a “reacher” – one who “settles” for a lesser partner and one who “reaches” for someone smarter, better looking, funnier, or whatnot. So then of course we discussed our relationship roles, and Clint – sweet boy that he is – insisted that he was the reacher.
I guess the fact that he feels this way is a good thing for me, but it’s just not the case. The truth is we are quite evenly matched. That’s why we’ve been married for eight years today, and that’s why we are completely committed to putting up with each other for eighty more years. However long it takes.

He is a green, and I am a blue. He is logical. Analytical. I am poetic and sensitive. 
He has the patience that I don’t have and most likely never will.

He may never have the tact that I would prefer, but I’ve taught him how to be softer with his words. He has taught me how to be more assertive and confident with mine.
I have accepted that he will always leave trails of dirty clothes in the bedroom and beard shavings around the sink. He has accepted that I will never properly organize the linen closet or manage to keep the countertops free of clutter.

He loves my cooking, my pale skin, and my propensity to laugh at everything. I love his singing, his dark hair, and his goofy sense of humor.
He’s my strength when I’m weak, and I’m his support when he’s discouraged.

He drives me crazy one day and surprises me the next. And I probably do the same for him.
We’re definitely both reachers. We’ve always known that we never wanted to settle for a marriage that wasn’t great. We’re reaching for a life together that’s full of love and meaning .

Maybe relationships work best when both partners believe they are the reachers. Or at least if both behave as though they are the reachers, by always believing the other is a treasure whose value cannot be measured.    
As long as we can still love each other even when we don’t deserve it, as long as we’re always trying to out-give each other, as long as we’re together while we’re weathering the storms and embracing the joys… we’ll never have to settle.