The Whole Point of Every Relationship (is probably not what you think it is).

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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 bullsh*t.

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.

This list is totally incomplete. Have some of your own lessons from the road to share? Post in the comments below. We all thank you.


Bonus: These two are a perfect example of this kind of relationship:


Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

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About Natasha Blank

Natasha Blank is a dancer, dj, integrative healer, and the founder of Get Your Dance On. She creates collective experiences that feed our hunger for life through radical self expression, and plays in the spaces where creativity and healing meet. She is also in the midst of dancing every single day for a year, and invites you to join her. You can find out more about her journey at Get Your Dance On


94 Responses to “The Whole Point of Every Relationship (is probably not what you think it is).”

  1. Diane Austin says:

    I’m finding that my life is about learning to live in a state of simultaneous embrace and surrender of all things percieved and all relationships. Otherwise it’s living in an ego state which depends on separation, judgment, control and fear. All of which block love. I Loved this article! “If you love someone, set them free!” (I finally get that)

  2. kat johnson says:

    #7… How about no.

    By all means, acknowledge and work to understand the attraction others stir in you , but don't embrace it. If you and your partner have agreed to a monogamous relationship, then you both need to be comfortable maintaining that status.

    I am married, and all I can think is that #7 is the kind of talk that makes people think going outside of a committed relationship is not only okay, it should be encouraged because it's all about being present and living life to the fullest.

    You can look, you're human. Talk about it with your partner, reflect on it privately, but keep it within your relationship.

    *unless of course you have another sort of relationship with your partner.

    I suppose my point is that the agreement between partners is sacred. It's a promise you made to one another and should be talked about often. if you want to change that agreement, talk about it.

    Don't "embrace" your attractions when doing so will involve breaking a promise to someone you care about.

    Rule #1 of life: Don't be a dick. (Yrs, women can be ducks too)

    • Joyce says:

      I agree completely. Well said kat.

    • Leilla says:

      I don’t claim to know the intention of the author for #7, but it doesn’t seem to mean indulge in an affair. We can embrace our human emotions and urges, celebrate the beauty of an attraction and the aliveness it gives us without acting on it. As an alive and sensual woman in a monogamous relationship with one man for 26 years, I can tell you that to turn off my human nature to experience attraction, would equate to being turned off. There is no reason to fear or hide from or lie to yourself about being attracted to other people. There is a beauty in having those attractions and choosing your spouse again and again. I’m not with my husband by default because I’m incapable of feeling for others. I can feel for others and still choose him everytime… ❤️

    • Cheri says:

      I don’t feel that #7 is encouraging relations outside of a committed relationship by any means. She seems to simply be suggesting to let go of personal insecurity about your partner finding others attractive. Opening ourselves up to the reality that we all find others attractive is extremely liberating to a relationship- we stop trying to control the other person’s thoughts and perceptions for fear of hurting our egos. When we truly love ourselves and realize everything we have to offer to our partner, the simple fact of your partner finding someone else attractive becomes a silly thing about being human. A truly secure relationship, rich in selfless love, will not fret over the frivolousness of other sexy humans.

  3. Bill Berndt says:

    Beautiful. Thanks!

    My liberation is her liberation is ours.

  4. Bill says:

    I can see why #7 scares people.

    Let’s make an agreement that encourages dishonesty. Then pretend it is ok.

  5. @gjwriter says:

    Great article. I had a mirror held up to me not long ago and I didn't like what I saw. I thought I was pretty clear about love and relationships. Turns out – I don't have a clue.

  6. @SMNash says:

    Powerful, and to the point. I particularly agree with 8. and 9., which is not unsuprising when you realise what I consider to be the MAIN point of *any* relationship with another: to help you see/feel yourself!

  7. D.K.SCHMIDT says:

    I only have a little problem with
    "6. Fight well.You’re both on the same team. Your opposition is the misunderstanding—not each other."
    Why fight at all. My partner and I live under one premise. If someone is hurt it was not intentional. We trust each other that we would never do anything on purpose to hurt the other. So if we are hurt let it be known and lets talk. We have never had a fight. and by the way we are both over 50 and have been in relationships were arguing and fighting were the norm.

  8. Beatts says:

    Number 7 isn’t about encouraging the breaking of promises. It’s simply about acknowledging the fact that attraction to other people happens. And ignoring it, or denying yourself that truth isn’t going to do anyone any good. That attraction doesn’t have to be of a sexual nature, and it doesn’t mean in any way that it would be acted upon, even if it was. It can just be that you are attracted to someone for their vibrant spirit., for example. Acknowledge that and alow yourselves to enjoy other human beings. That doesn’t mean cheat on or lie to you partner. It just means that you can appreciate the beauty and wonder of knowing other humans and creating friendships. Relationships have to revolve around trust. And if you don’t trust your partner to know the differences and make good decisions, then maybe there are deeper problems at play.

  9. Amy E says:

    Interesting list. I agree that what is most important is that each partner should focus on what they are bringing to the relationship; not what they hope to receive. Arguing should have rules. I personally object to name calling. Words can be as hurtful as sticks and stones. Realize that relationships are fluid and partners evolve. Hold fast to your loyalty. Be honest.

  10. Disobedient Child says:

    Yes, couldn't agree more. Possibly not in quite the same way as you suggest here, but if anyone is interested, here's another take on setting each other free:

  11. A says:

    Number 7… of course everyone is talking about it. It’s whatever you and your partner decide is healthy for you. Embrace it and go for it, if you’re both ok with that. In my marriage, my husband and I aren’t ok with physically embracing attraction to others, but we are not so naive to think that the attraction never happens. Being realistic will save many a broken heart.

  12. mary says:

    #4 in a committed relationship it is your job to make each other happy! When you do that it brings happiness to both and shows that your not a selfish person.

    #7 accepting not embracing it but don’t flaunt it.

    34yrs married and proud to say these two comments work!

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