By Dr. Paula Bloom
Have you ever had a relationship where you felt like saying (or even did say) any of these statements?
“You are just not being supportive.”
“You are so inflexible.”
“You don’t give me any room to breathe.”
“You are cramping my style.”
“We just don’t fit together.”
“You are too rigid.”
“There’s no room for growth.”
“I can’t seem to find balance.”
“I just don’t know if you can go the distance with me.”
“This worked for a while but now it is just too painful.”
Our relationships with people and our relationships with shoes are not so different. Sometimes we make decisions based on the way something looks and we put up with the associated pain or discomfort. Other times we choose partners, or shoes, that are a good fit from the get go. Sometimes, relationships take time to mold to our particular needs but once the relationship does it is a comfortable fit for life. (This was the case with my college Birkenstocks, though not with my college boyfriend!)
Shoes can be comfortable when you first put them on but after a lot of walking you realize that you can’t do the long haul in them. Then there are the shoes that feel like a perfect fit from the get go and no matter how long you walk in them the fit doesn’t change. For me that pair of shoes is Arcopedico’s L19 Pant boot. When I slipped these on for the first time it literally felt like I was putting a glove on my feet. I expected them to be leather (I hadn’t read the description carefully) but they were made out of a stretchy fabric I have never seen or felt before.
My husband and I have been married for over 10 years. On most days, our relationship fits like my Arcopedico boots: flexible, supportive (though not smothering) with plenty of breathing room. On other days it feels a bit more like a shoe that doesn’t necessarily hurt but may rub me the wrong way. Thankfully, most of the time, the emotional blisters last way less time than the ones I’ve gotten from wearing uncomfortable shoes!
Do you see relationships being like shoes? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!