This article is more just a collection of thoughts I’ve had on the subject of love. I’m hoping it will open up some avenues of thought, rather than give you a definite direction, or definite set of tools to try out. So here goes!
Love is in the air. For some.
For others, it simply isn’t.
Love is that illusive feeling that we all want, that we all seek (whether we admit to it or not)
Some of us are weary from loving. Some of us have been hurt, and have retracted into ourselves, trying to pretend we don’t want it or need it. Some of us are so happy in love, it makes others weep for love lost, or never felt.
Love is all around us. In words, in songs, in novels, in films, in TV ads.
There are self-help books to help us find love, keep love, even end love. You can’t escape it, it is everywhere. Love makes the world go round. Or sends our world crashing to a standstill, with us in a heap on the floor, crying, angry and in pain.
Whether you are in a relationship, not in one, or just out of one, I want you to examine your past loves, your past losses. What were the similarities, what were the differences between these relationships? More importantly, and as I’ll explain further on, who were YOU in each relationship?
I have worked with clients to help them get over past relationships and the negative effects of them. I have also helped clients resolve difficulties in existing relationships.
I ask clients to examine what qualities they would like their ideal partner to have, and what qualities they themselves bring to a relationship.
I do this because if you don’t know what you are looking for, how can you find it?
It is important to realise what qualities you want a partner to have.
Caring? etc etc etc.
And it is good to realise what you bring to a relationship, what you have to offer.
And then one day it struck me, and maybe I was just being slow on the uptake. But I got to thinking, not about the qualities a person should look for in another. But a person seeking love (or a person nurturing an existing relationship) would be more empowered if they thought about how exactly they want to feel when with their partner.
Now as I said, maybe I’m slow on the uptake and everyone thinks like this. But I don’t think so. I think we concern ourselves with qualities, maybe even check-lists of qualities, that we neglect to examine how exactly we want to feel.
Your partner provides you with financial security, but makes comments in front of your friends that leaves you feeling embarrassed. Your partner is kind and caring, but you feel empty in their company, feeling like there should be more to love. You want to try new things, go different places, but your partner does the same things over and over, never leaving their comfort zone. You experience feelings of suffocation and boredom.
These are just examples of difficulties and challenges in any relationship. And every relationship has difficulties, and the need for compromise. The problems arise when all you have and all you experience is compromise, putting your needs aside, not living the life you want. Not feeling how you want to feel.
When I say how to feel, I also mean, what is your true expression of self, and feeling comfortable to express that.
So if you are single, or in a relationship, take some time to think about how exactly you want to feel in the presence of a lover. This is important, because I believe that with a partner, it is important for you to feel comfortable in expressing all aspects of yourself, even the contradictory aspects – strong and weak, sexy and slovenly, energetic and lazy, clever and silly, humorous and cross.
What are your different sides? Who are you? What makes you happy, what makes you sad? What makes you feel alive? What gets you jumping out of bed in the morning?
What gets you jumping into bed? What needs, desires, and wishes do you want a / your relationship to fulfill?
Think back to your different past relationships. Were you the same person in each relationship? Was your character the same with each partner? Were you more outgoing with Joe than with Jack? Did you feel sexier with Dave than with Ben? Were you in awe of Claire, and more bossy with Sue?
Did you (without realising) adjust, change, modify, hide or exaggerate different aspects of your personality to suit your current partner?
When I think back over my own relationships I can see how I was different with each partner. It’s only natural. Think of your friendships. I bet you have different friendships with different people. I bet you are slightly different with each one?
The question is to discover for yourself what aspect, what side of yourself you are most comfortable/ strong / happy with.
We all have many sides to us, for we all have different moods and emotions. When you want to attract the partner into your life that you want, or want to nurture your current relationship, think about what emotions you want to feel, and what aspects of yourself you want to share.
If you are currently in a relationship, what aspects of yourself do you want to share more of? How can you do this? What activities, what conversations, what declarations do you need to make to feel true to yourself and find happiness?
Apart from a breakdown in communication, some relationships experience difficulty because people allow themselves to feel stifled, and not show all aspects of their personality, for fear their lover will reject them.
People change over time due to different circumstances and experiences. Our personalities can change too. What happens when you are in a relationship and this happens? If you already don’t feel comfortable in expressing all aspects of your personality to your partner, you’ll find it hard to show these new aspects. So many people put up with situations and relationships that are not healthy or happy.
What emotions do you want to feel on a regular basis? What characters do you have inside that you want to give expression to? When you know that, then you can think about the qualities of a partner who would match those personalities, or be a compliment to them.
So whether you are single or attached, take some time to just examine who you are in a relationship. Who do you want to be in a relationship?
Then you are more likely to either find what you are looking for, or be more happy, or more decided about a current relationship.
If you are in a relationship and you feel you are not sharing all aspects of yourself that you want to share, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed, or wrong. You certainly don’t have to end it. Your relationship will already be fulfilling certain needs. If you want to make changes, and start experimenting, a word of caution, please start small! You don’t want to scare or overwhelm yourself or your partner!