Romantic relationships can come under a lot of pressure to be perfect, intuitive and make us whole. Yet, like any other relationship we have with another person, effort is required as well as kindness, willingness and acceptance that we are all different and unique and, therefore, have different and unique ways of loving and wanting to be loved. There are, however, fundamental choices and actions that we can make and take in our romantic relationships that help us honour and respect both parties whilst building and maintaining a strong and healthy connection.
Listening does not mean parroting back a sentence to the person who spoke whilst making no true connection to what was said. It means being present with the person who is speaking, allowing ourselves to be silent within and without whilst we hold space for the other person to share and be heard. Listening is an act of love, of respect and of healing, whether a reaction is expected or not and being present and conscious and aware in the moments our loved ones require our attention, with our ears and our eyes, creates connection on a deep level.
Whilst we may have been conditioned to believe that the one who loves us should know us enough to be able to read our minds, this is untrue, unfair and unhelpful. Clearly communicating our needs, our desires and our feedback to our loved ones will help us get what we need from our relationships whilst avoiding any conflict that occurs from us feeling like the other person should just know in every moment who we are and what we want and any hurt that occurs from us selling ourselves a story that if they don’t we are alone, neglected and unloved.
Do we want to be right or do we want to be happy? So many of the little battles we engage in are unnecessary, completely egotistical and relatively ridiculous and luckily we get a choice about whether we engage or not. When we argue, we feel less connected with our loved ones and that feeling usually rallies the ego to defend itself to its greatest ability and attack to do so. When we step back from anything that feels heated and objectively look at the conversation taking place, we can see where we might get caught up in trying to be right where instead we could choose to be happy and every time we do feels like a bigger victory for love and wellbeing.
We are interesting creatures for so many reasons, one being that whilst we crave forgiveness from others and the chance to move on, we tend to hold others accountable for far longer than we need to. Both people in a relationship are humans with desires and needs and thoughts and feelings and free will and conditioning and layers of ego who at times feel sad or lost or angry or afraid and both will lash out or insult or shut down at times and moving past these moments requires understanding and forgiveness which facilitates supportive reflection and discussion that lets both parties be heard and connection to be reestablished in the spirit of evolution, respect and growth.
We each inhabit separate realities and whilst we crave and work to get our needs met and develop ourselves into healthier and more successful people, our loved ones are doing the same. They have their own journey and their own path and the best romantic relationships are those where both people give and consider and relate and try to understand. Sometimes we need more support and sometimes our loved ones do. Remembering that they have their own experiences, make their own choices and live their own lives can help us be considerate of their needs and decisions and work to support them as necessary.
We know the danger in expectation pinned to another’s actions and expecting our loved ones to be a certain way in any situation not only neglects to take into account the fact that they are individuals, it puts pressure on them that is unfair and unhelpful for both parties. There is no better way to ensure feeling let down than by expecting someone else to make us feel a certain way and the sooner we realise that we are in charge of our experience, the lighter and more peaceful our relationships become and the easier we find it to express ourselves without expectation but with hope and faith and respect for our loved ones rights to self expression, self growth and self realisation.
It is not true that perfect couples are mirror images of each other or absolute opposites. People come together for many different reasons and they stay together happily when both are allowed to be themselves. We do not have to control, limit, oppress or restrict our loved ones when we are in health and wholeness and any desire to do so can be examined in the light of curiosity that is helpful for self growth. We do not need to have someone who thinks like us and lives like us and loves like us to experience a healthy and thriving relationship and not just because we will grow and change ourselves over the course of our time together. Likewise we do not have to be with someone who contradicts and challenges our every move just to feel like we are expanding as we are designed to evolve naturally. Love is not about conditions outside of those that respect our mental, physical and psychological health and we can happily allow our loved ones to be who they are whilst celebrating our similarities and our uniqueness whilst honouring each person inside of a romantic union that brings both together in a space of togetherness and love.