Unpacking the Ideal Relationship
If you lay next to your partner and feel something lacking in connection, give to yourself first. Ask yourself: how am I not connected with myself?
“You complete me” was such a prominent line in the film Jerry Maguire. Various versions of the same message can be found in so many other examples, just listen to most any music, scroll through social media, or read a romance novel. These lines are echoed in so many ways, and in the digital age, it’s easier than ever for people to create a false version of themselves via selectively chosen happy images. However, most of us don’t have the fairy tale love experience. And the notion that someone else is supposed to “complete us” can often bring with it a barrage of “failed” relationship experiences.
The partner who we put on a pedestal to be our savior is a flawed human being just like all of us. They will make mistakes, they will let you down, they will experience periods of difficult emotion and they will have to face the immense challenges that life inevitably presents all of us with. They can not save you from anything in the same way that you can not save them from experiencing any of these normal life things. If you hold them to a ridiculous standard you will inevitably be disappointed. People deserve leniency and the permission to be human.
How many little girls, like myself grew up watching Disney movies in which the princess is saved by a knight in shining armor? The standards we have for relationships are mostly set in childhood. When you grow up watching those things, they often become a part of the definition for relationship for you. Examining and questions our thoughts and beliefs is essential for re-defining what a healthy relationship looks like and the purpose of partnership.
Consider this: Your partner is, just like all of us, here to discover their own complete selves through the process of self-actualization, or whatever their particular path is.
Then the question becomes, what is the purpose of partnership?
I think the answer is complicated and each relationship is unique in terms of what it brings to light and how it supports us. From experience, I believe that one of partnership’s greatest purposes is to show us deeper layers of ourselves. We can choose to work through those layers, which are often quite difficult to face, or we can choose not to. If we choose the latter, things usually becomes unsustainable.
For certain, while difficult, the inner work we are faced with in partnership can facilitate deep inner understanding, so in that sense, a partnership can help complete you by way of forcing you to look inward and expanding your own consciousness. Thus being more present with yourself aka more complete. But again, that is a choice for YOU to make and your partner can not do that for you. This also often means that partnerships don’t unfold in the way we think they should. Each partnership is it’s own unique experience and thus, it will unfold in its unique way, which is a mystery (JUST AS EVERYTHING IS). Bringing an open heart and mind to partnership allows the space for things to unfold organically. If we try to fit things into boxes, at some point that box is going to break.
How much more beautiful can partnership be if we allow it develop from a space of expansiveness? If we drop the performativeness of what we think a good boyfriend or girlfriend is supposed to be like, and just show up as ourselves, how much deeper and more fulfilling will our connections be?
In closing, let the experience of partnership be fun! It’s important to practice releasing the pressure valve and let the relationship breathe. Learn to let your partner be themselves and allow them to explore a deeply intimate relationship with their own soul. Through this mutual freedom, practice meeting in that space and see how much love you can experience together.
If this is the path for you, I support this work in my coaching, and would be honored to be your guide.