He takes out the trash.
We both had tears in our eyes and hugged. Are we crazy? It was part of a conversation I had with a friend of mine, who I absolutely adore.
Taking out the trash was symbolic, not because she was so excited her boyfriend did it—because she never asked him to, it was that she had someone in her life who “desired” to help her—make her life easier. And not just taking the trash out.
It takes two for this to work.
The desire for drama, inconsistency, control or any sort of emotionally unavailable behavior should be nonexistent in having an adult relationship of ease, friendship and love.
Many of us adults have our share of past relationships woes. It means we must practice self awareness to get out of our own way, so we’re not blocking or operating from hidden insecurities.
To create ease we have to allow, not control. Showing up like my friend’s significant other does, means allowing someone to come close and yet, maintain a freedom from presumptions and pressure.
Our past relationships, may be checkered with simple issues or painful memories and that’s okay, as long as we know what still lingers. It can make us feel protective or gun shy when approaching new love.
We may think we’re ready and available, but are we? And once we start seeing someone, we say it’s going well, but in the back of our minds, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Or as my friend jokingly said, “When will he turn from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde?”
In her case, it hasn’t happened and it doesn’t look like it will.
For example, they took it at a speed, which respected both of them and their already established lives. Neither was trying to fix the other, they weren’t losing their identity in one another, or trying to stuff the other person into their empty holes—there’s a lot of wide open space, and togetherness at the same time. They are very similar in temperament, life style and their perspective on things.
He didn’t take out the trash on their first date nor did he propose to her in the first month.
They weren’t looking for crazy chemistry and frankly had no idea what to expect, they were just open to letting someone get close and confident enough to give each the freedom to come as they are. Neither had experienced this type of relationship in the past, so they had no map.
There’s a belief that it’s about finding the other person.
It’s not. It’s always about ourselves.
No matter what our external circumstances are, if we’re not happy, there’s nothing outside of us, which will change that, including another person who adores us.
My friend was in a good enough place, enjoying her life and not in a hurry to give it up, she didn’t want to place her happiness in another’s hands, because it would create expectations and make someone else seemingly responsible for her well-being.
Many of us struggle with trusting ourselves and not making someone else responsible—we want a guarantee.
If we believe there is an expiration date, we will create one.
If we believe that we deserve a good, healthy relationship, we will create one. It’s not magic.
Taking the trash out has it’s significance in a mutually loving relationship. It’s just a symbol for all the kindness we feel like bestowing on our partner when we’re given the freedom to do so. It’s not about anyone getting their way or controlling the other, it’s about the friendship, the intimacy and freedom being the right blend.
When we demand or feel the other person has to do something for our happiness, we lose that freedom and intimacy, which was based on our openness. Pressure only comes when we feel insecure, needing that guarantee and not trusting in ourselves that we’re enough.
Being honest with how available we really are to having a relationship based on spontaneous kindness, consistency of intimacy with freedom and the basis of friendship is important.
Sometimes we’re just not done with the old drama, craziness and inconsistencies that hold our focus, until well, we are ready to take the trash out, because it’s a symbol of expressing our love.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Tracy Crossley
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock