A few years ago, I developed a crush on one of my coworkers.
I didn’t want to date him, as I was living with someone at the time, but I enjoyed our flirtatious exchanges, that, while never going beyond coy looks or girlish giggles, did not serve my relationship.
I believed, as many do, that flirting was harmless, part of life. I told myself that the whole thing was innocent, and as long as it never became physical, I wasn’t disrespecting my partner in any way.
I was wrong.
I was unconscious, or unaware, of the deeper feelings that I didn’t want to look at in my relationship. I wasn’t spending quality time with my partner, and as a result, we grew distant. It was easier to feel validated by having another man give me attention than it was to engage in an uncomfortable conversation that called for honesty.
Eventually, the relationship ended, not because I developed a crush on someone else, but because the crush was a symptom of a much larger problem that I wasn’t willing to admit. I invested my emotions in someone else because I was unhappy with my relationship.
As I developed a mindfulness practice and became willing to look at negative emotions and unconscious behaviors, I learned that the energy we put out in relationships always comes back. It doesn’t matter whether our partner finds out that we exchanged phone numbers with a stranger or texted an ex, the real damage comes from our negative intentions.
Relationship karma means that everything we do, say, and even think comes back into our reality in some form. When we’re shady, we’re saying, “Hey shadiness, welcome into my life!” When we’re deceptive, we’re saying, “Deception, come grab a cup of coffee with me!”
So, how do we stop emotionally cheating and perpetuating negative relationship karma?
1. Adopt an attitude of integrity.
When we act out of our egos (the voice in our head that tells us we need validation, money, and more likes on social media in order to be happy), we justify flirtations and think of them in a casual manner, however, putting out that energy is not what our inner-being (the loving, divine part of ourselves) would have us do. When we become still and listen to our intuitive guidance, our still, small voice doesn’t tell us to put on a tight shirt and make eyes with our hot neighbor. Instead, it asks us to make choices from a place of integrity. It tells us to be honest and open with our partner.
2. We can look at what’s missing from our relationship.
Oftentimes, we seek outside of our relationship for what we feel our partner isn’t giving us. Rather than communicating with our partner, or being willing to ask if the relationship is still serving our highest good, we take the easy road, which is to seek the rush flirting provides. Essentially, we’re filling a hole that we’re unwilling to see.
3. Ask: What do I really want?
We seek different types of relationships at various times in our lives. Often, we are young, we’re not ready for an authentic, honest partnership, and instead, we crave quick, fun interactions that don’t require as much emotional investment. If that’s the case, we can be upfront and direct, letting the people with whom we are romantically involved know that we’re not ready for partnership.
As we become conscious of our intentions, choices, and actions, we can choose to cultivate more integrity and honesty when it comes to our relationship. Every choice we make is a chance to listen to our intuitive voice and take the high road.
As we choose the high road more often, the easier it becomes, and the greater our chances of having an authentic and loving partnership.
Author: Jessie Leon
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy editor: Nicole Cameron