You have probably encountered this phrase online "people make time for what they want." The statement mostly shows relationship priorities. Does your loved one love you if they do not make time for you? If they cared, they would show up because actions speak louder than words.
Understanding the Concept of Time
Time is a precious and limited resource. There is no recovering time once it is spent. Even with 24 hours, you only have 8 to 12 hours for human interaction. The rest we spend sleeping. For someone with an 8-hour work schedule, those special relationship hours slowly dwindle to 4 hours of meaningful bonding.
Aside from the 24-hour system, humans are also limited by today. You can only do something in the present moment. It is impossible to undo the past or make certainties about the future. All you have is today and now.
Demystifying the Value of Time
People misinterpret the value of time by demanding quantity over quality. Thus, we measure value for something or someone when they take precedence over our time. It is probably significant to you if it consumes much of your time.
Society judges harshly the hardworking parent looking to increase their earnings for their family than the stay-at-home spouse spending all their time with loved ones. Similarly, a 25-year-old chasing their dream may be deemed shallow for not prioritizing marriage or children.
Perhaps, it is the permanence of time spent or time's flitting nature that people attach so much value to quantity, not quality time. While the interpretation is valid, its implications get overstretched most times. A parent prioritizing provision should not be deemed unloving over one that stays at home. They are both showing care and sacrifice. Unfortunately, judgment gets placed on the nature of their action and not the time invested.
Go for What You Want
People making time for what they want is not a bad thing. Time is ticking. It is on no one's side. Instead of gilt-tripping loved ones chasing their passions and hobbies, go after yours too.
Relationships are essential, but they need substance. You may become stifling if you are always present in another person's business. Sometimes it is wise to have a life beyond your relationship. Besides, it is unhealthy to have your entire life revolve around someone. When you become a person's satellite, you empower them while disempowering yourself simultaneously.
You are a rare species and have a purpose larger than playing other people's tunes every waking moment. Perhaps it is time to make time for yourself too.
- Live your own life - just because you are married does not mean you should not hang out with your friends. You can build your marriage and still have a social life. Your friends do not have to be your spouse and kids alone
- Pursue that career - part of the sacrifice will be less time with loved ones. However, you can still have moments of quality time with friends and relatives. It may be a blessing in disguise because the rarity of time spent together increases the preciousness of the event.
- Learn a hobby or two - life is about making the most of what you have. Therefore, live a little. Enjoy your gifts. Pursue that talent. Sing, dance, become a poet, skate, ski, or write. You never know where life will lead you with your newfound passion.
- Open that business - do not be afraid of life getting busy. You may miss out on living. Dare to dream and explore your potential in things. You never know how good you are unless you try.
Know Where to Invest Your Time
When the tables get turned, and you find yourself in a relationship that is not suitable, you would want out too. If you and a significant other are a mismatch, they may not be as invested as much as you in the relationship. It is okay to leave an undeserving partner. You will only bear the burden of commitment if you stay.
Take the cues and prioritize yourself. Building a castle on the sand is worse than having a shack on a rock. When the storms of life come rolling, only the house fortified on a firm foundation will stand. Know where your time gets value and invest wisely.
Be Realistic with Your Expectations
Are you complicating things in your relationship by expecting too much? For instance, if your partner is working an 8 to 5, do you still expect him to drop everything - their work responsibilities - and tend to your needs? Placing unrealistic expectations of people leads to disappointment.
Your partner may not take you out on a date every other day, but they give you quality time on the weekends when they are free. They may not surprise you with random gifts ever so often, but they show up for the needful. Your loved one may have been caught up and failed to show up, not because they do not love you.
You cannot assume that love equates to people being ever-present. If you want a significant other at your beck and call, hire someone. Remember, your partner is also human. They get tired, emotionally exhausted, indifferent, jittery, and misinterpret things just like you. Do not be quick to dismiss their time allocation in your relationship without understanding their side.
Uphold The Golden Rule
The golden rule states, do unto others what you want them to do to you. Before analyzing your partner's degree of commitment, find out if yours matches or exceeds theirs. Humans tend to prioritize themselves first. It is the reason we applaud selfless people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The bottom line is that you will demand more for yourselves and justify dispending less to others. Selfishness breeds competition. In nature, it is known as survival for the fittest. Your interests will always come first. Instead of judging your friends and loved ones for making time for their priorities, realize you are doing the same too.
Furthermore, do not regard your loved ones as inferior based solely on your marred competitive perception. For instance, when they do not show up as frequently as you like, do not interpret that as deliberate non-commitment. They may not have come to your poet recital, but they stayed with you when you had a crisis.
Seek to understand where your partner is coming from before deciding they never make time for you. Some people like having quality weekend getaways than sub-standard rushed coffee dates every other day. Others prefer late-night phone calls to all-day text messaging. They are making time for you. However, it is not according to your preference.
Your friend or loved one is different. Understand them first before vilifying what they did or did not do. Perhaps their background limits their expression. A person from a home where providence equated to love may seem cold to someone who grew up in a house overflowing with affection.
Know Your Worth
You do not always have to take scraps. It is okay to leave when someone has shown you beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are not interested. When you throw pearls at pigs, they will trample on them because they do not know the value of the precious commodity.
- Know when to walk away from friends and loved ones who do not see your value
- Learn to give the same energy back. You do not have to over-invest your time in people who will not do the same for you
- Be content with knowing their opinion of you
- Refuse to let relationships define your value
- It is better to be alone than with a crowd that does not esteem your worth
Let Disappointment Guide You to Where You Belong
The story of the ugly duckling shows the toxicity of staying around people who place no value on your commitment. The duckling did everything to fit in with the group of ducks, but it was always out of place. However, one day it dawned on the ugly duckling to leave the toxic environment. Eventually, the young duck met a group of swans and flourished because they were of a similar kind.
Similarly, take the rejection as a redirection. You may stay alone for a while, but eventually, you will find authentic people who accept you for who you are. In the story of the ugly duckling, the swan becomes the best among the swans. The swan had lived most of its life, not knowing it could fly. When it left the demoralizing ducks, it thrived on all fronts.
When someone devalues you by abusing your time, that is nature's way of saying you are incompatible. Eventually, you will find your niche and sour like the ugly duckling. Learn to let bygones be bygones once you find yourself. It is not worth losing sleep over people who do not value you. Love yourself and find yourself. You are the price. Rise to the occasion by living your life.