Relationships are tough.
We know this because, by now, we’ve been in enough relationships to have the experience—and maybe some scars—to prove it.
But what if the difficulty of relationships only exists because we have a major misunderstanding about the role we are meant to play in a partnership?
These misunderstandings happen because we get hurt—really hurt. And that hurt causes us to form stories and ideas about love and partnership that actually work against the very thing we desire.
In my life, I was so love-malnourished from having two absent parents that I launched into looking to get all that lost love from a partner.
This is impossible, but I didn’t know that yet, so I went for it—seeking out the lost love I didn’t get from my family of origin.
This desire to “get” love took me on a long and winding journey, caused me to over-give at a ridiculously high level—all in the hopes of receiving love. This inevitably led to burnout and resentment.
This burnout and resentment caused me to create stories about masculinity and partnership: I can’t get what I need, men will only hurt me, love is painful.
I’m sure you can only imagine what a sh*t show my love life was with those programs running.
But here’s the crazy, amazing thing about life—it will keep giving us the same experiences over and over again until we get so sick of how we’re relating to it that we’ll do anything to chart a new course.
I had to turn the tide. I had to find another way—because the way I was “doing” love with the mentality of “getting” love was breaking my heart.
I threw plenty of tantrums during this time. I wanted it to be up to the other person, but life repeatedly showed me that I was the common denominator. If I kept going the way I was, I would never be able to experience the true love and partnership I desired.
And so, I began to read books about love, receive energy medicine healing sessions on my childhood traumas, and attend workshops on love and partnership. I began to feel all of my emotions, and no longer judged them for existing. I went deep into my spiritual practice and connection with the divine as I understood it.
I decided to make up my own PhD program and learn every single thing I could about love, healthy partnership, and healthy relating.
This novel-to-me idea sent me on whole new life journey. I took my power back, after thinking for so long that I had to get love from someone outside of myself.
All of the study and research I did in getting my self-made PhD in healthy relating and love led me to the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. And the reason it’s so healthy is because I understand that it’s not my job to get love from this man or from this relationship.
So here’s what I discovered is my real job, and all of our jobs, when it comes to romantic relationships (or any relationship, for that matter):
- Our job is love ourselves—fully and completely.
- Our job is to love our partner for exactly who they are and how they are in this moment. Just love them. In this big ol’, crazy world, we have decided to walk the path together. That’s impressive—and beautiful. And it needs to be honored. We need to simply love this person for existing and for being beside us now.
- Our job is to support our beloved in having all of their dreams come true. We need to cheer them on, believe in them, encourage them, and be there for them in whatever grounded and loving ways we can.
That’s it. That’s our job.
We are not here to control them or get them to love us. We are not here to make them do what we want, like go to dinner with our family, buy us that gorgeous pair of rose gold earrings, marry us, buy a house with us—or whatever it is that we think we need from our partner.
And here’s the best news on top of all of this goodness—that’s their job too! Their job is to love themselves and love us fully. Their job is to support us in having all of our dreams come true, too.
It feels good in our bodies to simply love someone for existing, for being on the path with us. It feels over-the-moon fantastic to cheer our partner on in having the life of their dreams, as they also cheer us on. It feels good to let go of getting and trying and forcing. It feels much better to surrender into loving this one, loving ourselves, and taking excellent care of ourselves in the process.
This is the most delicious way to love and live.