Stark and I bought a box of conversation cards years ago simply because I never know what to say in social conversations and we had a lot of dinner parties. I mean… a LOT. Most of them were unplanned. It wasn’t as though I could prepare for who would arrive and make mental note to remember a recent trip someone took or to ask about their kids. Talking? I can do. Try and stop me! But conversations? I am terrible at starting them or keep them going. Just the same, I’m terrible at keep the necessary conversations on track but unfortunately very good at keep necessary conversations from ever occurring at all.
With that comes an app idea I’ve had for a while now. I can’t give all the details away but out of all the random ideas that enter my long list of Personal Project Plans, this is actually one that I see myself working on sooner than later. It just so happens to go very well with another app. But that’s another story. I can’t help coupling one thing with another that way. That’s my marketing brain speaking.
The features of the app won’t be any different from the advice people write in your wedding book or the piece of paper your couples therapist hands you explaining how to keep a conversation “safe” and within the boundaries of what constitutes a true, healthy communication pattern.
In the end it is a whole lot less “you” statements and a lot more recognition of each individual’s personal statements.
“I don’t like when _____, it makes me feel like _____. And when I feel like _____ I react poorly.”
Ya know, stuff like that.
But the app is aimed to make things a lot more interesting, less dry, and more equal. The app is made to be a mediator for tough conversations that so many relationships avoid having. We either pretend it is a non-issue and we get busy living our lives around each other instead of with each other, or we try to force communication on our own terms and break things apart insisting that someone isn’t one way or the other.
Thankfully Stark and I, I think, are almost so good at communicating what many couples commonly find offense over, that we almost don’t have to say anything at all. We operate very autonomously. If you don’t like it, you change it is the foundation of several parts of our lives. It’s another way of saying it’s your problem, don’t project that on me. So if you’re mad about the dishes, do them. If you’re out of money, well, that’s because you spent it all so how are you going to earn more? Simply by removing chores and money from the equation, we’ve already exhausted most of what I see people constantly bicker over. But like anyone, there are things we never say and there are those days where you grit your teeth and insist you’ll sleep on it. Sleeping on it works. You always feel better the next day. But there are those things that come up weeks or months later that are the exact same. Sleeping on it will work once more, but you can’t just put it to rest forever.
Through years of working with therapist, and my own undergrad in behavioral communication, I find this whole process to be fascinating. To get started and make sure I do this app right, we are going to make it a game. I am going to physically put it together in a box as if the box were a phone. I’m going to work it out so that I know what does and doesn’t need to happen and how it should look. Thankfully, I have a very strong partner and someone that’s willing to make a game out of almost any aspect of life with me. So get ready, get set, here we go…