Written by Jen, posted by John, based on a hilarious conversation in the airport lounge en route to #AFPFC
Imagine if you had a conversation like this…
(John’s edit: Please point out that I’m NOT the “HIM” in this post…)
Me: Hey, how’s Jamie?
Him: (pause) Uh, Okay, kind of. Not great, really.
Me: What’s up?
Him: I don’t know. We’re not really connecting, you know? She’s a bit cold, distant.
Me: Really sorry to hear that. That must be tough.
Him: Yah. I think it’s “lover’s fatigue”.
Me: (pause) What?
Him: You know? “Lover’s fatigue?” It’s kind of a big deal for a lot of people I know. Pretty much everywhere. You guys aren’t having “lover’s fatigue”?
Me: Uh. No. Wait. What does that even mean?
Him: It’s just not like it used to be. At all. Even when we’re talking, I can tell Jamie just isn’t interested. Like today, I was saying how great my lawn looked, after all that work I put into it. And there wasn’t much of a response, you know? Like she didn’t even care.
Me: What about your other conversations?
Him: Honestly, kind of the same. Even when I’m really clear about what I need, like, pointing out the dishes aren’t done or the garbage hasn’t been taken out. We need that to happen for our household to function. I’m just trying to “educate” Jamie about it, you know, to make sure she has all the facts and statistics about how homes like ours won’t function if things like these aren’t take care of, but it’s not working at all.
Me: Have you tried something different? A change? Maybe surprising her? Forget the dishes and the garbage and just take her out for dinner, or grab a coffee and have a walk in the park. Jamie likes that, right?
Him: Uh. I don’t know anymore.
Me: Have you asked?
Him: Asked what?
Me: Asked what Jamie wants?
Me: In your conversations with Jamie, are you asking questions? Like, “How are you today?” and actually listened to a response? Have you asked, “What do you want?” “What do you think?”, “What do you feel about this?”
Him: That seems like a lot of time and work. I mean, Jamie and I have been together… actually, I can’t even remember how long now. It’s not like she doesn’t know what I’m all about. I’m constantly providing education about the house, and awareness of all the things I’m doing around here. I’m clear about what I need from her and when. I just don’t get it. But here’s what I do know. Other people have “lover’s fatigue”. So it’s not just me.
You see where this is going, right?
You’ve heard about “donor fatigue”. Imagine how ridiculous that conversation would be in any other part of your life.
At the Agents of Good, we don’t believe in donor fatigue. Talking about “donor fatigue” blames the donor for the fact they have lost interest in you. Umm, no. Actually, you’re boring and you’re not meeting their needs. #truthbomb
(John’s edit: Donors don’t stop giving. They just stop giving to you. Which takes on a whole new meaning when you apply it to the story above!)
So, I’ll leave you with 2 reflections.
First, building on the conversation above, if your partner is cold and distant, you take action. You’re present and attentive to them. You ask questions. You surprise them. You try something new. So, in much the same way, ask yourself if you’re doing the same with your donors. What can you do today to make your donor stand up and really see you? What can you do differently?
Second, have you seen this lovely quote from Thich Nhat Nanh?
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.