Motivations. How does this other person fit within our motivations. Yes, it’s a selfish, self-centered way of looking at it. That’s the way of the world.

Luckily, it’s not, oh you’re sexy, I’m motivated to sleep with you so I will. And sadly, it’s not, oh hey Stephan King, I’m a big fan and am motivated to be your mentee, so let’s begin the lessons. Rather it’s a mutual meshing of motivations.

In my current work, my character, Josh, just met the soon to be the love of his life, Em. On the first date, where did their motivations mesh? Travel. Em has wanted to travel outside the country for years, but has always been too scared to take the leap. Josh speaks five languages, yet hasn’t stepped foot out of Illinois. Em starts telling herself a story: just think of all the countries we could fluently travel through. Josh, too, imagines experiencing the world, driven by love. So they meet for a 2nd date. And a 3rd. 4th, 5th…soon little Joshs and Ems are born.

This often happens in unhealthy ways. For example, be it sexual or just a friend, let’s say one partner gives too much because fulfilling someone’s else’s desires fulfills their own. While the other leaches on givers and takes and takes and takes. Even though these two have motivations that mesh, it’s an unhealthy relationship.

With all this in mind, it’s an illuminating experiment to examine your relationships, examining the motivations on both sides. What ones are healthy? What ones are one-sided? Where can you give more? How can you cherish your shared motivation?

Personally, I need to give more to my father. He’s always there for me, anytime I need him. Can I say the same?