More or less all the sources of information that talk about how to have a successful romantic relationship say that the secret to having a happy relationship is to be focused on giving rather than receiving. We all, more or less, understand that.
A couple of years ago, while reading a book about relationships, I stumbled upon an important criterion for determining where we are putting our focus in the relationship.
A really important gauge to measure where our focus goes is the personal pronouns we consistently use.
All those who are in a relationship (including myself and I think today I have done it at least ten times) have uttered the famous phrases: “I love you”, “I want you”, “I need you”, ” I can’t live without you”, or, in Tagalog, mahal kita, gusto kita and so on (https://wp.me/paeiS4-zH).
Thrivial though this concept may sound, any sentence that starts with “I” inevitably shifts the focus to what it is I love, I want, I need, that without which I cannot live.
These are phrases that we all repeat more or less mechanically believing that we are giving importance to our spouse but, in reality, they give a lot more importance to ourselves.
So, as the famous psychologist Wayne Dyer said, among others, it is better to start any sentence addressed to our spouse with “YOU” and say things like: “it seems to me that you are unwell, what can I do to make you feel better?”
It seems an unimportant aspect but, in reality, starting any sentence with “YOU” when we address our partner, makes a huge difference because “there is more happiness in giving than in receiving” and only by practicing giving (and being focused on the needs of the other) one can expect the other to reciprocate and be moved to love us in return.
It seems like Filipinos are making progress under this aspect because, although many Tagalog songs contain the expression mahal kita, there is a popular song by Yeng Constantino entitled Ikaw (“You”) and that’s a good sign….