People tend to undervalue how our upbringing and current place in the world greatly affects how we approach personal subjects like a relationship. Things like how a parent raised you, what you're school habits were like, or even your current job can all play a part in the dynamics of your relationship.
Is this a bad thing? Not at all! It just means that, together with your partner, you'll have to learn how to use the structures that work for you to your advantage. When one girl tried this out for herself, she caused quite a bit of uproar from people who didn't agree with her methods.
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Meeting In The Middle
Relationships involve a lot of compromises. You have to learn how to work with one another, especially once you move in together, as blending two lives into one comes with challenges and roadblocks.
However, maintaining open communication with your partner and tackling issues as they arise will ensure a smooth, healthy life together.
Or you can come up with more...unique problem-solving methods, like what one woman did to her boyfriend that has some people up in arms.
Her Own Approach
A woman named Nadeen posted a video to TikTok detailing how she 'PIP'ed her boyfriend in real life.
A PIP is a Performance Improvement Plan, a management technique she references as being common in the tech industry. "It's what you get put on when they're about to fire you," she explains.
She also described it via on-screen text as putting her boyfriend "on probation." Though it sounds hostile at first glance, she claims it worked and wound up saving their relationship.
End Of Their Ropes
Her story starts as such, "So my boyfriend and I were having a lot of issues in the beginning, like a lot. And ultimately, I felt like we weren't compatible even though we had a lot of love for each other. So as a last straw, we decided to do a performance improvement plan."
She's aware of how strange it must sound, so she goes on the defensive, "And before you come at me, I know it's kind of harsh to some of you, but he’s an engineer, and sometimes it’s really hard to communicate with him without using something that he can already relate to. Plus he kind of liked it."
All Laid Out
They ended up implementing a list of tasks and other things that needed to be worked on as part of this Boyfriend Performance Improvement Plan.
"So we had a shared note with daily and weekly tasks he needed to do and a set of things that he needed to work on, and it worked out really well. Like, even now, for our household chores, things that he's responsible for, we use a Kanban board." A Kanban board is a whiteboard that tracks task progress by having categories like 'to-do,' 'in progress,' and 'completed.' It usually consists of sticky notes being placed under one category, then moved down the line as it gets done.
Their Kanban board appears to work for them. "That has been the only thing that has stuck and works. Like anything I need done, I just add it onto the Kanban board and he'll get it done. But if I just tell him, he’ll forget about it."
However, they implemented more than just the board to help mend the relationship. As Nadeen added, "We also do weekly retrospectives where we check in with each other at the end of each week to see how we're doing and that’s my favorite."
Viewers of the now-viral video couldn't come to a consensus on how they felt about Nadeen's methods. One commenter called her tactic 'condescending', which prompted her to make a follow-up video responding to the accusation.
"Y'all need to chill the f*** out," she began, "Like, some of y'all in my comments, especially the men, think when I said I PIP'd my boyfriend that it's really toxic, and are wondering why I didn't get PIP'd too, but if you actually watch the video and read the caption, you'll see that I said I had things I needed to work on to make this relationship work out."
In The Long Run
She then explains that the decision to implement a PIP-style intervention wasn't because she was trying to extort her boyfriend into giving her what she wanted. In fact, it was their last resort.
"I didn't give him an ultimatum, it didn't come from a toxic argument, it's not some manipulation tactic," she explains. "I don't believe in changing people, and I don't believe that he was going to change for me. [...] I didn't want him to feel like he wasn't good enough."
She also shared that this PIP-style layout was implemented about three months into their relationship. They've now been together for 3 years! "There's no new PIPs, but we still check in with each other weekly."
Not A Fan
Still, people were torn.
"I don't like the workification of my non-work life," wrote one commenter, who then said that they do find this useful.
"I'd prefer not to be someone's manager or assign tasks though," said another who felt similarly.
A third user bluntly proclaimed, "Late stage capitalism is truly hell."
Overall, the detractors found this to be too much job-like work for their liking or thought it too sterile to be implemented in a relationship.
Or Big Fans, Actually
With that said, there were a lot of supporters too!
"These [people] are miserable and people are so quick to break up instead of finding tools to make a relationship work. I applaud you for this babe!" read one popular comment.
"I see nothing wrong [with] this. This is just a more technical and direct approach for more open communication, clear boundaries, and frequent check-ins," another wrote.
In fact, so many people were interested in Nadeen's Kanban board method that she made a video showing the process that keeps herself and her boyfriend on track.
What Works For You
Though Nadeen's approach is unconventional, there's no denying it worked and ultimately saved their relationship, allowing it to grow into something stable and long-term. It's not an approach she's recommending to all couples, but there are surely many people who would benefit from a structure like her's, and that's great!
What's important to remember here is that there's no one correct approach that can apply to every relationship, and sometimes, to get the result that works best for both parties, you'll have to think outside of the box.
A bit of effort can go a long way, and meeting your partner in the middle to incorporate their needs alongside your own is the best way to ensure everyone walks away happy, healthy, and wanting to try.
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