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This Is Why a Relationship Has to Be a Fair Game (so We Don't F*ck It Up)

by Mathilde Clemence Personne about a year ago in dating · updated 2 months ago

Relationship and Game in the same sentence? You should see for yourself, it's a pretty good concept.

James Pond on Unsplash

Okay, so let's face it—we can no longer think everything has to be black or white nowadays, and we need to accept that anything in the world we live in has gray areas—and so do our relationships. Is it scary? Fear not! It is actually a pretty good balance, but for it to be so, we first need to agree on that reality.

And here's how it starts: it all begins with self-acceptance. We can read this statement a bit everywhere now–but still, it has demonstrated its truth over the years.

1. The worth of our own character

Self-acceptance displays the self-image we carry deep down inside of ourselves, and we better have a positive one that evaluates some love and compassion, because what we think about our own true selves (and yes, we somehow are all a bit narcissistic,) and the way we respect ourselves draws the lines and structure of our relationships. So, put another way, the right amount of self-love is the keystone to a respectable, valuable and don't-fool-me-like-an-idiot relationship.

Joshua Coleman on Unsplash

Okay, so, once we have settled our own values and standards, it comes the time to think about how we would like to handle our affection with a certain person we met at some point. And because we might follow some instructions—kind of like Monopoly's instructions—we'd be ready for it, so we can eventually be successful in creating strong bonds with that specific someone and make them last.

2. The real game within the real world

Yes, a relationship is somewhat that—a game. A game with instructions. Not the kind of game we want to win by being better than the other one though, but it's still a game that is supposed to have two winners. Instead of competing, we are supporting an exceptional game with a teammate—the best teammate we might ever have. That game has rules, boundaries, and strategies, yet we want to make sure that both, our teammate and us, agree to the instructions based on a win-win situation.

3. The validity of everybody's needs

It has to be a fair game that doesn’t lead us or our beloved to become a hermit, that doesn’t make us or them feel mistreated or less powerful, and that doesn’t allow a control freak to exist. With that being said, we should never ever expect that that person can make us feel complete. If we do so, we might not feel happy for many, many years throughout our lives. Why? Simply because some relationships don’t work any longer after a while–sad but true. And let’s be realistic here; if a breakup has to be official, if a divorce has to be signed—what do we have left if we put all our energy in this relationship? And what do we have left if we have always sacrificed our own needs in order to accommodate our partner’s desires first?

I'm not saying we shouldn't love our partners, and be purely selfish and egocentric, I'm just pointing out the importance of listening to our personal needs, too. Because, it is nobody’s role to make us feel happy or accomplished in our lives.

4. The exclusivity of everybody's role in there

It is our own duty before anything else. As a unique individual, we all have some issues to deal with. Yay us! But more seriously, we all have some concerns to think of, and we all have some difficulties to face… and that’s a lot for a human, isn’t it?

So, when it comes time to meeting that person, spending time with them, developing feelings for them, and finally sharing love with them, we obviously don’t expect this relationship to be an additional issue in our lives–as we genuinely don’t want to give them a hard time either. We are just willing to live that love story of ours in the best conditions, and it is actually understandable.

As a result, that person who sincerely loves us makes us feel good, comfortable, peaceful, and all the rest. Yet, let's mention that all those “good” feels are not about our personal well-being, but about the relationship per se.

5. Difference gets along with balance

Now, if we look at the world overall, we might have noticed that it is made of many different types of people. You need an example? There you have one –

We can tell Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Penny, Howard, Bernadette and Amy are quite different with their unique personalities in The Big Bang Theory show. And it might be a television fiction regarding them, yet, nobody is the same in the real world. You, her, him, Them, and I all think, talk, act, behave, , and feel differently. The world is full of people attempting to do different things, and we may be a part of that, too.

The universe is moving forward, and so are we and our lovers. And by admitting that, we realize it's no easy thing to find someone who can "give" us the good feels described above. That's when we really start exploring our relationship in a positive mindset–at least, that's what I hope.

6. The ability to get it right

We all have different interests—thank God. Sometimes we meet people who like the same things as we do. Some other times, we find people who don’t share the same passions. This fact may be real in our relationships as well, but it’s ok; we don’t need to fake it, we don’t need to pretend anything. Therefore, we don’t have to step back because we don’t like everything our partner likes or because they don’t have the same hobbies as ours. We don’t have to back off because they don’t binge on Netflix or don’t like the Marvels. We cannot criticize that someone for liking something that on our own we don’t feel any importance for. Actually, we shouldn't blame them for anything. Period.

Passions and hobbies are personal. We don't have to justify anything about that, but we can be proud of us and proud of them because everybody is aware of what both really like, and trust me, it is an important step... so, let's not put the blame on them, alright?

7. Be familiar with boundaries

Ok, well, it's pretty subtle not to put the blame on our partner, but let's be clear that not only should that rule be taken into consideration for pretty anything, um, responsibilities included, but also it works the other way around. This goes without saying that we shouldn’t take any responsibility for our partner's mistakes, and in certain situations, we do have the right to make a stand. We do have the right to say no, and use the four-letter word when it needs to be said, and so do they (just let's not forget to apologize afterward). Nevertheless, we can also take the freedom to support them if this is what we want. That decision belongs to us.

Speaking of decisions, let's recall that we are the one in charge of making any choice for ourselves, in the same way as we are the one and only one to know what our real feelings are toward that person. It is a detail—yet still essential—that comes to complete the instructions of the game: let's not lie to ourselves.

We are in charge of how we feel and the way we want to deal with our emotions. Thus, if something doesn't work the way we would like it to work, it is probably because we are mistaken in our beliefs.

8. Getting along with two VIV (aka Very Important Voice)

I realize that you, reader, are glued to this article, probably enthralled by the compelling material and brilliant Gifs, but just in case your attention is starting to wander, LET ME SHOUT AT YOU BECAUSE I'M ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT. There, I did it. And I have your attention.

To make sure our relationships are worthy, and valuable, and meaningful, and are a two-way street, listening to our mind without ignoring our gut is something we must take into consideration. While the latter communicates with us through emotions and feelings–and intuition–our mind, in the opposite, always tries to horse around when facing a situation it doesn't feel familiar and/or comfortable with. It tends to question us, as individuals who need to make a decision or do something or say something (and it makes sure we get confused at some point.) Yet, here’s what we need to do: dealing with both–our mind and our gut–so we don't have to fuck it up.

If we try picking either of those, the result might not end up being great. And I won't lie here, it is hard work. Finding a balance and paying attention to these two VIV is tough, rough and very time-consuming. The process is very long, if not endless, but it is worth it. It is definitely worth it. Applying such a rule might avoid some unnecessary mistakes (even though we usually end up learning from them.)

The thing is neither is love just a feeling that brings us some advantages or benefits in life nor is it just a feeling that makes us “love” ourselves. Love is easy, when we want to make it easy. Love is complex if we want it to be complex. Therefore, being able to listen to our mind and our gut might help take the right decisions... most of the time.

Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In the end, our partner undoubtedly has beautiful sides—otherwise, why would we like to be with them?

They may be gorgeous, sweet, gentle, kind, caring, lovely, and/or something else—yet, we have to learn to accept their flaws because if you and I are being honest here; nobody is perfect. Neither them nor you (and surely not me)—and it’s all fine, it means we are humans. And it means we can handle our relationships and make them last.

Until next time,

Mathilde –


Mathilde Clemence Personne

French Collector, Creator and Writer based in New York City —


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