We all want the same thing.
It boils down to one fundamental need with two critical components—and I’m not talking about money, social status or good looks.
Those are all great, but won’t satiate the longing in our heart.
I’m not talking about the truth either, although that matters a lot.
What is the one thing you want and need in order to survive and thrive?
Watch this short video to find out and you’ll get another critical distinction about intimate relationships.
Didn’t watch the video?
Well then, I’ll give it to you here.
The most essential human need (outside of our basic survival needs) is to be loved.
Simple—love is food for humans.
I want to be loved. You want to be loved. Not by everyone, but by at least one other person.
But what does that actually mean?
Being “loved” by your partner means that person…
…helps you feel safe.
…is committed to understanding you.
…has your back, period. Even when they are triggered and upset by you. And when they go away or shut down, they come back. They respect you enough to come back and work though it.
…believes in you and is a champion for your greatness.
…supports you, but also challenges you.
…is willing to love you even when you’re mean, a mess, or just plain hurtful.
We want this, and we need it. Remember, love is food. Starve us of this type of “food” and we deteriorate mentally and physically over time.
But here’s the catch:
Your partner can’t love you completely. They can’t do it. Most people can’t.
But they can learn to love bigger than they thought they were capable of. And they can learn to love you in a way that feels good and growthful to you. In fact, any of us can learn how to love our partner, just as they are, at least for a little while, until they trigger us again. And then again.
But loving our mate requires more than meditation, yoga, or practicing compassion.
Sure those practices can help, but despite what a lot of new agers tell you, loving someone as they are is a very rigorous path. But that’s no excuse to not learn.
Here are two basic steps to learn how to love someone and be loved by someone:
Step 1: Get in a relationship that lasts longer than one year. This will allow the “attachment” brain to come online which will bring up every relationship pain from the past so you can learn how to deal with it.
Step 2: Practice accepting the parts of them that trigger you by learning to own the disowned part of yourself that you are projecting onto them.
Sounds easy, right?
No so much. But know that your ability to love is innate in you. Deep down, below your limitations and defenses is a warrior who can learn how to accept more of your partner.
And wouldn’t you agree that the world needs more capable lovers out there? People who are willing to stay in the fire when it gets challenging. Because I guarantee you, it will get challenging.
The world needs more people who don’t, and won’t, run from their relationship problems.
That person is you.
If you feel called, join me and a stellar group of relational warriors who are committed to learning how to love another person, which in term is the path to greater self-love in Boulder, Colorado for the inaugural weekend intensive “The Deep Psychology Of Intimate Relationships.” in September.
Because remember, your partner will bring out your worst, which is the good news. Because your worst is easily transformed into your best if you learn how to stay in the fire of a committed relationship.
I’ll also be giving a public talk on this subject at Shine Restaurant Sept 8th. Come check it out here.
Author: Jayson Gaddis
Editor: Katarina Tavčar