We find role models in many places. They can be in our family, our community or even celebrities we admire. In relationships, who we choose as our role models depends on what we value and aspire to. For me, it’s my parents and grandparents. Our parents are usually our first role models in life and play a big part in shaping our view of relationships. In a group of young men surveyed by Status, 75% said they admired their parents’ relationship, and 81% their grandparent’s relationship. But what do we admire? Whether your parents and grandparents have been good role models or not, you get to choose who influences you. Here’s why I chose mine.
I believe we all want long-lasting, holding-hands-at-eighty kind of commitment – and therefore my grandparents inspire me. We have a long history in the book trade, and this is where I work with my girlfriend. Most of the time, we do really well. But working together adds a different dynamic to our relationship and can be stressful. When it gets hard, I look at my grandparents, and I realise what’s possible. They have worked together for forty years and while I’m sure it hasn’t always been easy; I see their strength, willingness to persevere through tough times and stick together as a unit through thick and thin. They’re still doing what they love. Together. And because of this, I know my girlfriend and I can make the same choice.
What about my parents? They have their fair share of arguments (someone left the milk out, someone didn’t take out the bins – haven’t we all!) But I’ve watched them see the funny side and not let the little things turn into big things. My girlfriend’s background is very similar which has given us common relationship goals, and we are grateful for the role models we have.
Do you have relationship role models? Maybe it wasn’t your parents or grandparents that modelled this for you. That’s ok. The world is full of people doing relationships well. Discover what matters to you by watching and talking to them, and let them inspire you to your own goals.