I shot an absolutely adorable couple, Megan and Ricky, last week. We met up at Circle C Ranch, one of my favorite little shooting spots, and did a nice little sunset couples shoot.
While we were shooting, Ricky said something interesting that really stuck with me. We didn’t talk about it at the time, but I thought I would make it the subject of this blog post.
So we’re taking pictures, and I sometimes ask people to do things that seem a little cheesy but end up looking really good in photos. I tell Ricky thank you for being such a trooper, since I know this isn’t usually at the top of any guy’s list of things they want to do. I am very very much paraphrasing here, but he said something along the lines of “well it’s important to her, and I want her to be happy.” Again, very much paraphrased, but that was the sentiment behind the statement.
I keep thinking back on that tiny piece of the evening and realizing that I think this is a very fundamental thought in a good relationship. This idea of net gain. Doing cutesy poses is minimal effort for Ricky but produces a picture that will make Megan very happy. And he knew that. If something is important to your partner and you’re mildly in the other direction, then it’s best to give a little for a lot of gain. If Zak really really wanted to grill cheeseburgers and I’m kind of sort of in the mood for pasta, Iet’s grill some burgers. We’ll have pasta when I have a serious craving. If I really really want to go to Ikea on a Saturday and Zak is cringing at the thought, he grins and gets through it. He can drag me to Sam’s Club next week.
When you’re in a relationship, there’s gives and there’s takes. What makes a relationship work (among a bajillion other things) is if the gives and takes end up with both parties living a better life. You’re not always going to get what you want and you’re not always going to get to do what you want to do. Sometimes you’re the one lifting your partner up and sometimes they’re lifting you. What really matters is that you’re both growing and becoming happier overall. From that very off the cuff comment Ricky made, I get the feeling he and Megan understand this sentiment.