When we are children, the relationships we have with others may define us. But, when we are adults, we define our relationships. We choose who our friends are and how we relate to our colleagues, partners and family. It is our choice to have sustainable, balanced and successful relationships. Now, the question is how do we do that?
Cultivating a relationship is important, but it can get complicated if we think that the other person receives and understands love the same way we do. We could even get exhausted and say, “I have done everything in my power to have this relationship work, but nothing does” or, “She/he says that I am not paying attention to her/him, but I am!”
If you have been in at least two relationships in your life, you know that we are each different; we expect different things from our partner, we relate in different ways and we show our love differently. On top of the gender difference, there are multiple factors that define the way we relate to others. I want to simplify it for you. I will talk about two of the reasons relationships either fall apart or become stronger. In improving just these two for now, your relationship dynamic will shift.
The factors are: (a) Honesty with ourselves, and (b) Communication with non-judgement. They go hand in hand. It is important to know ourselves, to know what makes us feel loved, so we know exactly what kind of partner we want, and then bring it to our lives. We are not looking for the “perfect” person, we are looking to become one.
Being honest with our feelings is the most important quality we can have. When something does not feel right, most likely it is not right. Go with your feelings – don’t ignore them. Sometimes we don’t say what bothers us or what we want because we are afraid to be judged or we don’t want to bother our partner. Guess what? We just cheated ourselves. If we do this often, there will become a point in our relationships that we get tired and explode or break up. We could avoid both by simply being honest. The internal work must take place; we may not have been raised in a home where our feelings were taken into consideration or we were not heard, so we lose touch with the option of understanding ourselves or expressing our feelings.
If you are not in a relationship right now, start being honest with others and practice it as much as you can. Practice make perfect!
If you are in a relationship, but did not have the opportunity before you entered it to know what you wanted, or work on yourself to be the best you can for the other person, now what? One way could be to work on yourself enough so you are willing to see the beauty of your partner and communicate with love your needs or accepting the way your partner shows love to you.
Communicating with our partner is crucial to the way our relationship develops. I have found that if we talk about feelings, we are not judging, because we can’t really judge feelings. You can’t say to the other person: “No, you don’t feel that way”, right? If your partner tells you that they FEEL sad, your first reaction will be to comfort, asking about their sadness. If that person says that she/he feels sad because they did not feel heard, then the conversation develops from there, where both are carefully listening to the other. If your partner says, “I don’t like it when you don’t listen to me.” or ,“You did not listen to me.” the conversation will take a different turn right there.
If we talk about our feelings (heart/open mind) and not our thoughts (judging/ego-mind) we are going to avoid many conflicts and hopefully build stronger, balanced and sustainable relationships.
Image Credit: Gaia Photography