What if your romantic life could become a journey that is forever unfolding in all the best intimate, fun and emotionally connected ways?
I ask you this because society does not set us up to win when it comes to love. In fact, it does a good job of keeping partners separate. We only have to look at the high divorce rates to see that the messages we receive are not helping. They generally serve to create more struggle when it comes to love.
As a result of our conditioning, many people unintentionally push their partner away even though they are craving to feel a deep love and connection. This behaviour usually shows up in one of two ways:
1. Thinking that your partner is not good enough. Here you focus on the qualities you think they are missing and comparing them to perfect ideals. This can play out quietly in someone’s mind or outwardly through criticism and blame.
2. Thinking that you are not good enough. You may have a pattern of thinking that tells you that your partner would be better off with someone else and end up comparing yourself to another person who you think your partner would be better suited to.
I certainly fell into both the above categories with my husband. The trouble with this line of thinking is that it feeds our emotions and we start to believe that these ‘stories’ are true.
What’s the real truth?
There is truth in the fact that there may be someone else you and your partner would get on well with and who might be a good match on many levels. However, this is not the whole truth. It is highly likely that your partner wants to be with you for the unique qualities you possess. Also, if you know you love your partner and they are a decent person, they too have the capacity to meet you on a new level, even if you cannot see how that is even possible right now.
Why do we push our partner away?
Essentially, most people are petrified of being rejected in the same way as they experienced when they were younger. This has happened to us all on some level. It therefore ends up feeling safer to protect ourselves and put barriers up between ourselves and our partner. These barriers give us the illusion of safety but in fact end up keeping a great love from ever materialising in our lives.
Receiving such a love can feel scary because we are opening ourselves up to that risk of rejection once again.
My question for you, is:
How do you want to live your life?
Do you want to come to the end of your life and know that you did everything you could to experience something beautiful and extraordinary in your love life?
Or do you want to buy into the stories we are sold in the media and from the words of others, that subconsciously tell us that our partner is responsible for how loved we feel?
I don’t know about you, but I subscribe to the first answer. Life is too short not to experience a wonderful relationship.
To create this, however, we have to look at ourselves. It is not going to be handed to us on a plate.
This is why I am on a mission to change people’s way of thinking when it comes to romantic relationships, and this is why I do not hand out lots of specific tips.
There are thousands of websites that you could Google right now to find out tips on how to communicate better with your partner or how to keep the romance alive.
Whilst some of these tips can certainly help, they tend to give you short term incremental change. For example, you might find that you and your partner start to get on better when you schedule a date night on a regular basis, or you use a new communication tool.
These changes, however, often tend to be short lived and many couples end up going back to their default patterns. All this means is that the hurt, pain and conflict they experience from time to time never really goes away. As a result, what happens over the long term is that many couples become like roommates, avoiding talking about what is really going on and how they really feel or becoming driven apart by affairs, conflict or addictions.
To create long lasting change in your romantic life there has to be a willingness to look a bit deeper at yourself. This can feel uncomfortable because the parts of you that are trying to ‘protect’ you and which are doing so in a dysfunctional way, will not like the fact that you are making changes. However, as I say to my clients, ‘remember you are already feeling discomfort because you are unhappy in your love life and you know it could be better’.
It really comes down to which type of discomfort would you prefer?
The pain of staying stuck and feeling unloved or lonely OR the pain of giving up your old ways?
What I would like you to know is that when you decide to back yourself and step out of your old patterns, you will be rewarded in many, many ways. The only thing required is a leap of faith into the unknown because that is where your next level in love lies.
If you would like to ask me a question about relationships, please email me at email@example.com. I will choose one question to answer in my next post. If you are interested in doing some deeper work to help you create a love that you can be proud of, my online course ‘Deeply Loved’ is now available at an introductory price. You can find out more here.