Intimate relationships are one of the most enjoyable areas of life. They provide physical, emotional and sometimes even spiritual fulfillment. They can also be a source of tremendous pain when things don’t work out. When that person we fell in love with turns out not to be our soulmate, the one, our forever person.
Personally , I blame movies and love songs for giving many people a distorted view of what a romantic relationship looks like , especially long term. The guy chases the girl relentlessly, essentially stalks her, and eventually she falls in love with him. Just about every action movie ends with the lead actor/actress falling in love with the antagonist and they live happily ever after. Even the fairy tales we heard as kids tell the same story. Remember Cinderella and Snow White? I know when I was a young man I carried unrealistic expectations of how romantic relationships should be, how they should start, and how it would change my life. I can tell you it left me with a lot of pain and disillusionment.
Sometimes the problem can be our expectations of what a relationship is and what it can do for us. I remember years ago being at a wedding and the pastor saying, “marriage won’t change them, but it will reveal who they are”. That resonated with me, at least at an intellectual level. Emotions, however when it comes to romance can be so strong the brain doesn’t get a say 😊
I think that old hackneyed saying, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else is a least partially true. Maybe love is too strong a word but you must at least like yourself and feel reasonably comfortable in your own skin. If you come from a place of needing another person to change the way you feel about yourself, you may be in for a rough ride. Besides if you come from a place of need rather than want, how do you know you are with that person because you want to be, rather than because it is better than being alone?
Another question I will pose is, what if there is no soulmate, the one? What if everything you thought about long term relationships was wrong? What if that was good news? What if you are then free to live your life no longer searching for that perfect person but instead opening your eyes to all the potential romantic options out there. I think that is empowering. Just an imperfect human being looking for another imperfect human being and seeing where the journey leads.
The following video by Dan Savage gives a good insight into relationship expectations:
I might add in closing this I is not meant as relationship advice (do as I say not as I do 😊) but as a different way of looking at love and romance. As the late Wayne Dyer often said” If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
Wishing you all the best in your journey