Mine the gap between your perception.
Why do we sometimes seem to live in different worlds and why do we seem to live different experiences while going through the same situation?
The answer is perception. What is it exactly? Perception is the process of recognizing and interpreting sensory stimuli from what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch.
As diverse are expectations, feelings, values or beliefs from one person to another so are our perceptions. Because all of them influence our perception. All the data that we collect every day is going through different filters. Those filters have been shaped over years throughout our experiences. As a result, the world we see is a reflection of what we believe and everything that we have accumulated during our life
The same is true for relationships. We create our own reality through our perception.
I will not perceive our relationship the same way that F does, because we have different values, expectations and beliefs. We will also perceive our behaviours differently.
But this is sad and not fair. This way I would miss on the efforts he does. Something that is normal to me, but that takes a lot of energy for him. I would miss on it and not be able to recognise and appreciate it.
I would not see that the cute card with a few nice words that he gives me is the one page romantic love letter that I expect. And he would not see that all my failed attempts to cook or bake something delicious for him is the biggest culinary proof of love I have ever done.
While looking at our relationship or our behaviour through our lens, we only see one dimension. But we want to understand the reality of our partner and share our experience. To reduce this gap and get closer to our partner, we can break this discrepancy by sharing our perception with each other.
We can take a step back and explain to each other how we perceive our relationship or our respective behaviours. We can try to understand it and practice empathy. It also gives us a chance to examine our own thoughts and feelings and better understand our behaviour. But most importantly it helps us to open our mind.
Abraham Maslow defines self-actualising people in the last stage of the pyramid of needs with the characteristic of having the ability to perceive a more accurate reality. This can be achieved by looking at things or someone for itself or independent from us. Learn more about perception here.
This is very much related to my previous article about expectations, as instead of projecting our expectations and needs onto someone, we look at them for who they really are. This is an egoless form of perception. And it is another key for loving without attachment. As we can recognise and love our partner for who they are and not for what they bring us.
I will not look at F through my lens of my definition of “the perfect boyfriend” but I will discover him for who is his and realise how he is amazing in his own version.