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The Path All Relationships Follow

 When I first met my wife, Joi, I knew we would be married and live happily ever after. But there was a problem. Joi didn’t see it that way – at least not right away.

If life has taught me anything, it’s that almost nobody is on the same page when they first meet. We might be in the same book but not on the same page. 

In the early weeks of our relationship, I was in full-on action mode, and I was on a mission to achieve my goal as quickly as possible. I was also getting frustrated since Joi didn’t seem to share my urgency. She was enjoying our relationship and in no hurry. One day, I decided to take action –

I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 AM, drove 30 minutes, and waited for Joi to arrive at the gym. I met her when she stepped out of her car, nearly scaring her to death, and said,

“I love you. What do I have to do to catch you? We should…” 

Stopped by a kiss, she said, “We’ll know in about 6-months. Let’s enjoy the ride.”

It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but Joi had given me something even more powerful. She gave me an expectation, I knew her rules, how to play the game, and that she was right. 

All relationships, romantic, friendship, or professional, follow the same path. There is an initial spark, a period of trust-building, and finally, commitment. In time, the relationship grows stronger or will fade. Time will tell.

That’s how it works and how it went for us. Exactly 6-Months later, to the day, I asked Joi to marry me, and she said yes. That was 15 years ago.