I’m not an expert on relationships, but I’ve had a bunch and learned from them.
At least enough to gain some intellectual insight that (hopefully) translates over time into a living breathing shift of being.
Turns out, it’s not about making each other happy, or any other kind of imagined perfection. It’s about helping the person in front of you be everything they truly are.
Here are some ways to do that.
1. Hold each other accountable.
Understand the gift she is here to give this world.
2. Call bullshit.
Reflect when she isn’t giving it.
3. Let go.
Trust in his separate journey, even when what he’s doing makes zero sense to you.
4. Remember that your job is not to make your partner happy.
It’s to allow her the space to find her own happiness—when you’re together, and when you’re apart.
5. Be honest.
One hundred percent. The permission you give yourself to be all of who you are is what creates that space.
6. Fight well.
You’re both on the same team. Your opposition is the misunderstanding—not each other.
7. Embrace attraction to others.
It’s there. Communicate, be clear (with everyone, including yourself), and enjoy your fabulous human existence.
8. Do your work.
It’s usually not about him, or her. Your partner is a flashlight illuminating where you’ve still got work to do. Those feelings of jealousy, resentment and hurt? They’re showing you all the places in you that need your own healing.
9. Remember that you’re a mirror, too.
Reflect back all the beauty that lives in him. Especially when he forgets.
10. Enjoy the ride, man!
Seriously. You’re never going to figure it all out, so you might as well just love everybody.
Bonus: These two are a perfect example of this kind of relationship:
Ed: Lynn Hasselberger