Love you buckets…

bucket-of-love-vaseHave you ever wondered why a relationship went south or perhaps why someone isn’t really what you want even though, by all appearances they should be just right for you? I have a theory on what the problem is and the way to recognize if they really ARE the one and it seems to really make sense.

My friend, Zoe, was explaining to me how she was dating this guy who seemed to be a pretty decent match but she felt that they were missing something. She was fine with him not being “THE ONE” but she was not fine with how their friendship was even progressing. He put her second in line to almost any other activity yet when they got together they truly enjoyed each others company. This went on for quite some time until Zoe got fed up with playing second fiddle to almost everything else he did. She was just flabbergasted that he was so aloof. She gave him a strong friendship and someone he could count on. He gave her an honest connection when he was present but lacked commitment on even a basic level.

I have other friends who also talk about seemingly “good” relationships that feel “off.” When we get into the discussion further, I usually find out that they are lacking something in the relationship, be it trust, making time for the other, or just being able to share honestly.

As I see it, we have a bucket for each person in our life and depending on the relationship, we expect that bucket to be filled with certain things. In turn we fill theirs with the expected actions, or at least we hope to unless we truly don’t care. For example, I have a bucket for my best friend and she has one for me. I fill her bucket by listening to her, lifting her spirits and making time to see her. I fill her bucket with love, joy, laughter, secrets and time. In turn, she fills mine with much the same. It’s a beautiful relationship that works. It would not work however if our buckets were not even. If I kept listening and lifting her up, yet she never heard a word I said or didn’t support me in my endeavors, the friendship would stall, my bucket would start to empty out, while hers would still get filled.

The same happens in love. The problem is we weigh all these items differently. If I give my husband sex, his bucket is almost full immediately, whereas if that is all I received from him, especially now, I would be incredibly unfulfilled, which has been the case. It’s not about what kind of sex or even how good it is, it’s about the weight of it’s worth in your heart. What gets difficult for me is how sometimes he really fills my bucket with such love, devotion and time that sex really doesn’t matter. while at other times, there is little else but sex. That will never be enough for me.

Make sure you surround yourself with people who want to fill yours up on a regular basis. They are the ones that keep you going in the darker times. Make sure you give back what you can to them as well. Just listening is one of the best “bucket fillers” there is. You will find that this works extremely well and promotes the best and strongest relationships, so long as the bucket is filled with positive and neutral stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it can be filled with deep dark secrets, but it’s the honesty that fills the bucket, not the secret itself.

If they refuse to fill you up, then they should be relegated to a cup and should only receive that much from you. These are usually the people that weave in and out of our lives instead of being permanent structures. Relationships usually fall away because the buckets get emptier and emptier on both sides until no one looks to the other for anything anymore.

So the bottom line is, when you look at the people in your life and wonder how you can solidify your relationship, look into your bucket and into theirs. Are they equal? Do you give out more or less? If you are getting less than what you are getting, can you ask for more? Is it a relationship where you can be honest enough to ask for more? Is is worth your time to fill their bucket so full if you are not getting all that you need? It is not greedy to feed your body, why would it be considered greedy to feed your soul? Just remember, the stuff you fill their bucket with is coming from inside of you and it will need to be replenished. Choose your relationships by how they fill your bucket. Keep them, by filling theirs.


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Life, Noteworthy, Self Discovery

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