Whether you are in a relationship or are thinking about starting one there is a few things i think you need to know about them. Some guidelines or understanding that can help you to get the best from your time together. Be it short or long term. In this day and age of instant gratification we often expect our relationships to happen all at once.
The movie edition, where two people meet and its all fireworks and i love you’s til the end of time. Hot passionate sex and long lazy Sundays holding hands and walking on the beach to some innocuous love song such as Donna Summers ‘Always and Forever’.
However the stark reality is the ‘high’ of every relationship will eventually fade, flaws will start to show and the ‘Always and Forever’ can quickly turn to, ‘have i made the right choice’?
Our childhood fantasy of what a relationship, engagement or marriage should look like, is nothing more than a dream expectation build from a hundred romcom’s we watched and love songs we heard growing up. Fairy tales such as Cinderella are rarely real and the prince on a white horse doesn’t exist.
A relationship is like a house you have to build firm foundations for it. You have to build it brick by brick with intention, knowing which rooms you want and where u would like them to go. After that house is built you have to look after it, you may need to extend it, upgrade parts of it, add to it. And when it breaks down you will need to fix it. If you find the house no longer suits your needs then you have to sell it and move on to something else, something that fits you better, but before you do that you leave the house in the condition you would wish to find it.
Relationships are the same. You have to build firm foundations, become friends, find things you have in common and learn about the other person. You have to evolve with it, you have to grow with it, interests change and you have to support the other if this happens. When you have disagreements you have to figure out a respectful way to move forward with love and kindness. You have to work on it EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if there comes a time the relationship is no longer working for you, then you have to leave it. But you do so making sure the other person is not left hurting and whoever they enter a relationship with next is not left to mend the broken pieces of the person that you left behind. You leave the person in the way you would expect to find them. Whole.
So why is it so many people think its ok to leave a relationship having broken the other person into so many pieces the task of mending themselves takes years? The person has to dig so deep into their soul, they are not sure they will ever be the same again. Why does the person left in a million pieces feel like they somehow are responsible for the relationship breakdown. Despite the fact they are the most amazing person, why are they left feeling like they can never trust another person with their heart again. Why Why Why, would anyone think this is for one second ok?
I understand things happen, people change, paths that once were walked together can lead in opposite directions, but isn’t that time where you have to evolve? Have to grow and find a new common ground. Fight to keep the spark alive, talk, laugh and make sure that you are still fighting side by side? Isn’t that the point where you have to dig deep and find a way to navigate through the tougher times. After all life and relationships do not follow a flatline, they are a heart beat, they go up and down, up and down but they ultimately always meet in the middle.
When you enter into a relationship, enter with your eyes open. Not with an ideal of what you want. Be realistic, know that the honeymoon phase will end and you will both at times take the other for granted. Do not pressure the other to be a chocolate box version of themselves. Accept them for who they are. Do not expect them to bring you happiness. Do that for yourself, allow the other person to enhance that happiness. Be a team, be honest, try to communicate as authentically as you possibly can. Work on yourself first and if you haven’t allow the other person to be your teacher. Do they drive you crazy when they leave their underwear on the floor or that they never ask you how your day was? Use that as a guide to the areas in YOU that need healed.
Live for today. We only have this moment and its in those moments that you build a future plan. If you enjoy this moment and every moment, the future will take care of itself. If you are standing shoulder to shoulder today, you will always stand shoulder to shoulder.
If there comes a time that you can no longer do this, do not be lead by fear of being alone or some mind made catastrophe. Tell the other person. Then in this moment plan on how to separate amicably. So that they too can move on knowing that yes, it does hurt to lose someone you love, but you can move on trusting that love can and will happen again in time.
Relationships take work, teamwork, an understanding that you are two very different, separate people walking a life path side by side. Sharing in the ups and downs, sometimes you have to give 70% sometimes they do. At times you have to hold space for the other person, other times you have to navigate conflict. It through these diverse complexities that we find ourselves and just how capable we are of evolving our long held beliefs, so that they stay aligned with the responsibility to love someone unconditionally after you have made a joint commitment.
If you can’t do these things, then do not commit to someone. Allow them to find someone who is able to hold their heart gently and make them feel as loved as they deserve. Do not selfishly hold onto them for your own gain.
Relationships, whatever anyone says are never going to be easy. There is going to be tough times, there is going to be great times and there is going to be mundane times. You are going to be pushed out of your comfort zone at times and sometimes you are going to have to forgive the other person. The most important thing is, that whatever happens you remember that commitment you made to them and honour it respectfully.
Do you agree with these thoughts or have something to add? Let us know in the comments below.