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August 10, 2014

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

Relationship.www.hercampus.com

It’s actually not anyone’s fault.

It’s about the elusive connection.

Not the chemistry, or the attraction. I’m talking about the ability for “ease,” which happens when we get one another. There’s no threat, no weird jealousy, just a willingness and understanding that exists naturally.

It doesn’t mean the relationship is all gumdrops and lollipops; it means there is a common ground at the base of the relationship.

These relationships aren’t about forcing our agenda.

We have some control over how open or closed we are to others and their way; we also decide how open we are to love. We may meet someone and have that ease, but may not know what to do with it, so we keep looking for what we know, a partnership that is a battle for control.

The battles begin, with lines drawn in the sand, and the nitpicking becomes a standard fare, while each side hopes the other will finally get it. The relationship becomes, “It’s not me; it’s you!”

Why do people walk away from ease, and go with someone who is not quite a fit?

Usually, they have no experience with a relationship feeling good, so they look for what feels bad, and someone who is less emotionally available….so they don’t have to be vulnerable either.

And as emotional needs are not met, resentment grows.

I talk to people all the time, in relationships with people who are not on the same page. Lifestyle and life views are in opposition. And when one partner makes a choice for his or herself, we can be assured that guilt is felt with their actions, and their partner is upset.

In these relationships, where there’s a fight for control, we may look for permission to do what we want. We may get approval, but with conditions and the feeling that our partner believes we’re wasting time, and they don’t respect what we’re doing for our own happiness. As though, the things we want, the goals we have and the desires we’re trying to fulfill are just meaningless, or a test in their eyes.

These relationships, in which someone sees his or herself as the parent, and perhaps the partner does too, are challenging and produce a great deal of suffering. No one should be giving us permission, or in the position of power to guilt trip us into doing their bidding, or vice versa. The ease, in which acceptance and support are naturally there, is missing.

And to some degree, our own self-acceptance and support for our lives is missing too.

When we don’t want to be vulnerable,  we don’t choose ease and true partnership. Instead, we choose based on distraction, limitation and anything to keep us from the vulnerability that ease brings with it. Some of us also believe, based on our early childhood experiences, that relationships are just tough.

We may believe fighting and controlling behavior are the norm.

We also may believe we have to settle for less, that we’re not worthy of someone who we have ease with, or who gets us. We instead, turn from it and look for the challenge, which will rescue us from old wounds. It’s sort of an oxymoron. Find the person (subconsciously) who fits the role from our childhood that was challenging to us, so we can recreate it and win this time. Except we don’t, we lose again….and each time it gets harder.

It’s a losing battle, unless we’re practicing awareness and taking action at the same time. When we take a breath and look at what the other person is wanting from us, we may see what drives them to want control rather than give us understanding or support. And we can see how we mirror that ourselves.

Let’s say we’re positive, we feel excited by life, but we have this anchor wrapped around our leg—this mate who weighs down our can-do feeling with dismissing what we do as unnecessary or a challenge toward them.

Why do we choose it, instead of someone who gets us?

We purposely seek this dynamic, because it mimics an old dynamic. Look at who rained on our parade as a child, it’s a clue as to why we’re still doing it.

Not only do we purposely seek difficult, we may shy away or run from someone who is truly open, accepting and loving toward us. We may feel unsure, because the heaviness is missing, as is the judgment. We can’t trust ourselves to go in this direction, we are afraid we’ll be found out and abandoned by this supportive force in our lives.

Relationships provide the potential for growth.

Either we want to grow through hellfire, or we want to grow with someone who is simpatico to us and our needs.

When there is an ease, an acceptance and support, it can actually help us to be kinder with ourselves and accomplish the dreams we seek.

 

 

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: elephant archives

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