Characteristic #8 of a Healthy Relationship

8. There is proactive maintenance.

Let’s start by breaking down the two key words in this characteristic. Proactive maintenance. What do each of these words define?

Proactive as an adjective, by definition, says, “tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events.”¹ I like this definition because it gives the alternative. Instead of saying what it is, it also states what it isn’t. Being proactive is NOT reacting to a situation, it’s doing something to prevent a bad situation from happening.

Maintenance as a noun is defined as, “means of upkeep, support, or subsistence; livelihood.”² This is the one definition that does not use the word “maintain” to define it. (Using the word to define the word is useless and tells me nothing)

If the definitions of “proactive” and “maintenance” are combined, then we can conclude that within a relationship, we need to initiate change by means of upkeep and support instead of waiting for the bad things to happen to initiate where we need to change. All for the livelihood of the relationship. (I feel like I’m writing an algebra equation lecture)

This is difficult because when things are good in any relationship, it’s easy to cruise through life with no “maintenance.” And most people like “easy” in relationships. (In fact, don’t we all?) But what’s “hard,” and what could cause a few ripples, is being proactive about maintaining the dynamics of the relationship.

Examples of proactive maintenance? Communication.

* If you’re a member of 20-something bloggers, feel free to vote for me in the annual Bootleg Awards. I’ve been nominated for “best student life blogger” (or, should be want-to-be-student-life). Voting is here.

 

¹ PROACTIVE. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/PROACTIVE(accessed: January 20, 2011).

² maintenance. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/maintenance (accessed: January 20, 2011).

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