Cooking beautiful relationships
While doing personal development work I’ve come up with a wonderful analogy.
A cook turns ingredients into delicious dishes. The taste of the dishes depends on the skill of the cook, but also on the ingredients.
This metaphor can be applied to relationships as well:
You offer up ingredients to a relationship – for example being a funny, witty person. Being generous. Being supportive.
The key here is that the other person whom you’re in a relationship with still has to cook those ingredients to create the relationship. They have to have a certain skill in cooking – otherwise the dishes (the relationship) will not be very good.
On the other hand, if your partner is an excellent cook, and you don’t bring fresh, wonderful ingredients to the table (your character, working on yourself, etc.) the dish will be sub-par – worse quality than if the cook had been using better ingredients.
This of course can be turned around to your relationship with your partner, too: the partner provides the ingredients (e.g. being supportive, being friendly, being a loyal human being). And you cook them.
In essence this shows that the relationship really depends on both parties – their skills and what they bring to the table. If you want to have a great relationship you need to chose a partner who can cook your particular ingredients into a delicious relationship-dish, and you yourself should be able to cook their ingredients into a delicious dish, too.
And if your partner is an unskilled cook (and not willing to work at it) you should accept a simple truth: further ramping up the quality of the ingredients is not going to improve the dish. Because the relationship quality is not entirely in just your own hand, it depends on the partner.
And here’s another secret: that’s where, again, you have a choice – by choosing the right cook, you can ensure that your ingredients get cooked into a delicious relationship, leaving both parties happy and wanting more in the future.
Finally, you can improve your own cooking skills – to turn your relationship into something more beautiful. For example by becoming more aware of the beautiful, generous things your partner is already doing for you and appreciating them more.