Jordan Gray says that over time people adopt their relationship partners beliefs. And there’s a way that you can use this to your advantage…
In most social situations, the belief that is believed the strongest wins out over the other one.
And it is the same in our intimate relationships.
On a small scale, we compromise our decisions in the direction of the person who cares the most. For example, if one partner kind of feels like going out for Mexican food, and the other partner has a deeply intense craving for sushi, then the couple will most likely go out for sushi.
And not just with preferences, but with more deeply held beliefs and values as well.
On a larger (and, in my opinion, more beneficial) scale, we also borrow from each other’s certainty on more deeply held issues.
We borrow from each other’s certainty on big things like money, sex, spirituality, or whether or not to have children.
Want some examples of how this can be beneficial in your love life?
The Therapeutic Benefit Of One Partner’s Beliefs Winning Over Their Partner’s
To be clear, belief systems are not battles to be won. Love relationships are not a competition. But I do consider one partner’s belief being accepted as a part of the relationships social contract over the other a “win” for the relationship because both partners can benefit so drastically. This is one of the key concepts for the dance of growth in intimate relationships.
Here are a few examples of how one partner’s beliefs can become the default belief system for both partners in healthy and uplifting ways.
Let’s say one partner grew up with unhealthy role models for nutrition, eating habits, and physical exercise. One or all three of those things could have been made to seem unimportant for your day to day energy levels, or simply not worth the effort. The other partner could have been raised with parents who frequently went jogging together and who banned processed sugar from the house. Taking on the latter partner’s beliefs of food and exercise would be beneficial to the couple.
You believe that money is an abundant resource that can be made quickly and easily. You have enough positive reference experience in your past that you believe this unwaveringly. Your partner grew up in a household where money was always tight and always seemed hard to come by. Because of this, they have a lot more anxiety around money than you do. While you may learn from your more frugal partner that that it is important to live within your means, it would also be beneficial if they could lean more towards your confidence in your ability to earn a living, and they could feel less stressed day to day.
Maybe you feel uncomfortable with nudity, or don’t feel like your body is attractive, or you were taught that sex was something dirty or shameful growing up. And let’s say your partner grew up with two open-minded, free-spirited parents who openly talked about sex, occasionally walked around the house naked, were physically affectionate with each other, and encouraged your partner to have a happy and fulfilling sex life. If your partner has comparatively fewer hangups around body image, sex, or physical affection then you may want to borrow some of their beliefs about sex being a healthy part of any relationship.
Maybe you believe that long-term relationships or marriages are next to impossible because you have no role models of this happening in your early life… whereas they personally know dozens of couples who have been happily married for decades, so you rely more heavily on their beliefs about long-term intimacy being something that does exist.
The belief that is held more strongly in comparison to the other is most often the one that wins out for both partners.
So if you get to choose how you are going to show up in your relationship, and how you are going to act as a couple, why wouldn’t you want your partner to rub off on you?
Here’s to a thriving love life!
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