baseball hitters, comedians, great business deals, and healthy relationships

You might be wondering what in the world the people and things in the title of this blog have in common. Well, every great batter, comedian, business broker, and healthy relationship partner has mastered something important…

Timing. You can’t hit a baseball, make people laugh, close a profitable deal, or enjoy a safe and healthy relationship without it. While there are certainly other factors involved, no matter how skilled or fortunate you may be in any area, if you lack the proper timing, you’ll fall short of what you hope for.

Here are three critical timing tips to help you improve and enjoy your marriage or relationship.

1. Learn from the best!

It’s been said that real wisdom isn’t just learning from your mistakes, but learning from the mistakes of others as well. It’s equally true that, if we can only benefit from what we learn from personal experience, we don’t have nearly enough time.
Success leaves clues, so study those you admire. Read their blogs, books, watch their YouTube videos, offer to buy lunch for a couple who have demonstrated over the years that they have the kind of relationship or marriage you want for your own. There are a wealth of helpful resources that you can implement to enjoy the same kind of relational enjoyment. Sometimes, someone will ask me if I would be a good fit for them as a Pastoral Counselor because they do not practice Christianity. I always say that I meet my clients where they are and, I think you’ll agree, that healthy relationships require the same ingredients no matter your faith, culture, or location. Our hearts are more similar than they are different, and that’s a good thought to keep in mind when we’re working hard to connect with our partner.
By the way, being open to learn is actually the definition of the widely misunderstood Biblical term submit. To submit means to be open to growth or change; it means that you aren’t closed minded to your partner’s way of thinking.

2. Don’t rush it!

In baseball, swinging early is often the difference between a home run and a foul ball. If you swing really early, you’ll miss altogether. There are negative consequences in “relational rushing,” too. In relationships, speed is never your friend.
Too often, the opportunity and potential for goodness is squandered by rushing. This might look like trying to speed up the “getting to know each other” phase, or the sexual intimacy phase, or even the commitment phase. It might be as mundane as trying to have that important conversation sooner rather than waiting for a more relaxed time. I love this saying…
“If the fruit is ripe, you don’t have to yank it.”
Another relational consequence of rushing may be attempting to speed up the decision-making process if you feel you need to end the relationship. If you rush, you won’t have time to think clearly and evaluate the relationship. Even if ending the relationship is right, you’ll still need to take things slow if you want to learn from it.

3. Practice, practice, practice.

The people you admire didn’t earn your admiration by being lucky and stumbling onto something wonderful. While you weren’t looking, they were busy watching and learning, waiting and executing, and learning from their mistakes and successes. They were duplicating and refining the recipe, then rinsing and repeating.
The more you do it, whatever it is, the better your sense of proper timing will become.
You can do the same as those you admire. And, as you practice honing the wisdom of proper timing for your life and your relationship, you will find the blessings and benefits in the relationship that you hope for.


Greg Griffin is a Pastoral Counselor in private practice in Marietta. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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