I just learned to really cook pancakes — good, fluffy, I-want-to eat-them pancakes. My husband taught me that it’s all about watching the bubbles and controlling the heat. Once the batter is in the pan, I must carefully watch the bubbles as they appear on the top of the pancake. After I have mostly bubbles, my husband will say, “Quick! Turn it over!”
I flip the pancake and then – wait. My natural non-cooking self wants very badly to pat-pat-pat the pancake. But as my husband reminds me, “Cooking doesn’t always mean doing something. Sometimes cooking is waiting.” Right, I gotcha
Next, the heat has to be just right: too hot and the pancakes burn before it’s time to flip, too low and the pancakes are soggy.
Our relationship is very similar to cooking pancakes. Now that I think about it, all relationships can be like cooking pancakes. You have to watch for the bubbles and then, Quick! Turn it over!
Bubbles are those small disagreements, arguments, bones of contention, heavy sighs, glares, stares, stonewalling, non-communication and downright refusals to cooperate that take all the “fluff” out of a healthy relationship. We have gone through all of this in our struggle to have a successful relationship.
Now we watch the bubbles.
When things are too bubbly we are quick to turn our relationship over. When we turn our relationship over, we sit down together. We talk about the bubbles – you know, how do the bubbles make you feel, do you like these bubbles, are you blowing bubbles or popping bubbles? Then we make a decision to start over. We turn our relationship over to the next side until one day – more bubbles!
Next, the heat. We are careful of how much heat is in our relationship. The heat is: how spiteful are your words, what tone of voice do you use, are you deliberately pushing buttons, are you not talking at all? Of course, we all have bad days (or weeks). Someone, however, has to make sure the relationship doesn’t burn.
Burnt relationships are like burnt pancakes – – nasty!
Don’t forget to hurry up and wait. The time that it takes for your relationship to have enough bubbles to be ready to get flipped can be years or just a few really rough months. The higher the heat, the quicker the bubbles and the sooner you have to turn things over. But, if the heat is too low (no intimacy or passion) the relationship gets soggy.
I have lots of pancakes – spouse, kids, sisters, parents, friends, church members and co-workers. I control the heat – my mouth, my tone, and my actions. However, once things get bubbly I get quick! I turn it over!