Peanut butter and jelly go together. Oh how yummy. They are the perfect combination but each one is perfect alone also. Peanut butter is not only good with jelly. It can be quite delicious in combination with other ingredients and the same is true for jelly. Each one is its’ own individual ingredient that when combined with other ingredients only enhances the flavor.
Relationships are a lot like peanut butter and jelly. We are each our own unique individual but when combined with the right person, our individual lives can be enhanced and fully supported. However, if we fail to realize our compatibility with other things and other people, we set ourselves up for dependency on our mate, frustration, resentment, and disappointment. We lose our faithfulness to ourselves.
Be faithful. It sounds old-fashioned I know. But fidelity is the foundation of so many valuable things, such as love, mate-ship, and family. Most importantly, be faithful to yourself and your core beliefs. Don’t get so meshed with the peanut butter or jelly that you forget who you are as an individual.
You were a unique individual before you met your mate and the same is true for them. So many times, when lives are merged, there is a tendency to lose that individualism. We forget about the things we love. We forget about our passions. We forget about our friends, and merge together like peanut butter and jelly with another. The merging together with another is special but we must not forget who we are in the process.
Maintaining your own individualism is essential for a healthy relationship.
What are you passionate about?
What is your purpose?
What do you enjoy?
It may all be completely different from your mate’s passion, purpose, and what they enjoy. That’s the beauty in a relationship. Each can learn and grow from the other through the sharing of individual experiences.
I have come to realize that there are many ingredients that I merge well with that enhance my life. I have also come to realize the importance spending time with those ingredients in an effort to maintain wholeness as well as spending time alone. I think two people are most suited for each other when they also both enjoy being alone. Peanut butter is tasty as a stand-alone ingredient and so is jelly.
The role of a mate is to love, respect, and support their significant other in their passions and the things they enjoy. When we are stuck to our mate like peanut butter and jelly, it is confining. There is freedom in allowing your mate to be who they are and you who you are with no expectations that you must always be together doing the exact same things.
Be who you are. Do what makes you happy. When you are happy, it makes for a happier relationship. Spend quality time stuck together like peanut butter and jelly but also make sure you spend time doing you. Otherwise that delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich will become stale and may not taste so well after a while.
Until next week,
Vince is a critical care nurse, thought contributor, and musician. He shares his knowledge and personal experience on issues impacting our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Join the conversation at vinceshifflett.com by entering your email address to follow his weekly blog.