“Play on , My Beloved…
Let me not miss one note of your melody
nor one beat of your Heart.” -Rumi
There are three ways to kill your relationship.
Every blog or website these days seems to be competing for your attention by flashing clickbait headlines like “5 Reasons Your Lover Hates You!” or “Sex Tips You Can Use At The Workplace!” So much of it is devoid of any substance whatsoever and created with the specific intent to lure you to a site in order to get your eyes on their ads. Just like any other site, self-help and spirituality sites use titillation, romance, and sexy pics to get you hooked. Not only that, these days every article seems to be in the form of a list, like “10 Ways to Improve Your Sex Appeal Using Flannel” and “7 Pics of Dead Celebrities In Their Underwear ” These list posts are created for two reasons. One: they are easy to pump out day after day, and two: they grab your attention and keep you clicking away on the site.
I could jump right in the cesspool with all of those types of sites and write something like “3 Ways to Keep Your Love life Hot!” but that is not what I’m going to do.
If I got your attention that was my intention. But instead of selling you something I just want to share three ideas I have about how to make love last.
We’ve all been in those relationship (some of us are in those relationships right now), where nothing we do or say is ever good enough. Nothing we can do or say seems to make anything in the relationship grow deeper or stronger, but we stick it out anyways for days, months, and even years because we are stubborn. We want to make it work. Maybe we’re worried we won’t find love again because we are too old, too ugly, or too crazy. For a while we believe that this kind of relationship is worthy of our endless attempts to keep it patched, until finally we can’t keep up with the patch jobs and the failing vessel sinks.
I don’t believe that we should hang on to those relationships and try to make them work. We need to let them go. When we find someone we truly love, who we truly mesh with, it becomes pretty clear that those other type of relationships are doomed from the start. When we find someone who we truly love, all the petty fights and bickering we experienced before falls away. When we truly love someone we want to cherish and protect that person. There doesn’t seem to be any room in a good relationship for grasping neediness or sharp anger. When we find our partner we understand that fighting with them (or at them) makes as much sense as fighting with ourselves. But the reality is that we do fight with ourselves.
When we don’t love ourselves as much as we should, we settle for less. Less experiences, less expectations, less sex, less fun, less laughing, less of everything that makes life full and good. We don’t think we deserve those things. Instead we create a codependent relationship, in which we attempt to experience some form of partnership. In this type of relationship we try to create a simulacrum of happiness, but in our hearts we know we aren’t happy . Everything becomes bitter and ugly and we struggle with sleeplessness and depression.
I truly believe we are all trying to do the best we can. But there are many many people locked into a relationship with the wrong person for the wrong reasons.
It’s not constructive to play the blame game. We’ve all been adrift in bad relationships without any idea of how to get to shore. We all make mistakes. But the difference between a wise and a foolish person is that the wise person learns from those mistakes and makes changes. The foolish person stays in the same patterns and cycles over and over again, wondering why all the same shit seems to happen to them.
I chose the phrase Cultivating Consciousness to describe my blog for a reason. For over two decades I have cultivated my awareness and mindfulness on a day to day basis. Some people fix bikes or make tile mosaics as a hobby, but mine has always been to cultivate consciousness and explore what makes things tick. Like any other exploration, heading off into the wilderness of the mind can produce insight and can cause fear.
I can safely say that I have not been the best partner in the past. I have been selfish, rude, short-tempered; an idiot in many ways. I have lived unconsciously, and suffered and caused suffering because of my ignorance. I share this common trait with the rest of humanity. But as I developed a concept of what it truly meant to enter into a romantic partnership I’ve consciously worked on eliminating the negative reactions I have unconsciously cultivated since I started “falling in love”. The only way I can benchmark improvement in my relationship is to rely on feedback from my partner. Our partner’s feedback is one of the primary ways we learn who we are as humans. That is the most beautiful aspect of any relationship. When we look into each other’s eyes we reflect each other’s souls. We are opening our hearts, trusting each other, and sharing life.
- The first way to kill your relationship is to do nothing
Movies don’t often portray that love takes work, and this work takes time. This work is for the self, for the relationship, and for the other person. There is no “set and forget” thermostat in regards to keeping relationships hot. One of my biggest misconceptions as a young man was that romantic love simply sprung into being out of nowhere and lived forever, conquering all of life’s difficulties. That is simply not even close to reality. Love is like planting a tree, it needs tenderness and care, fertilizer, and plenty of rain and sunshine before it will become strong and beautiful.
It’s not sexy to think that love needs work, but it is the truth. As wonderful as romantic love is, there will always be dishes to do and the dog poop to pick up. Here is a little tip: If boring, normal stuff like going to the grocery store or to the bank is fun with your partner by your side, then perhaps you have found “the one”.
There is no real reason to stay with someone who doesn’t do this for you.
- The second way to kill your relationship is by taking your partner for granted
Your partner was not born for your pleasure or to take care of you. Taking them for granted is another way of saying “Refraining from doing the necessary work to keep your relationship happy and healthy”. It also indicates that you don’t appreciate how amazing they are. If you don’t appreciate all that they are, that is not love. If you don’t want to pick a flower or fix a bike for them, then you don’t care. Move on.
When you go to the beach and step into the water, you smile. When you go to the woods you take a breath of fresh air and feel peace. This is love. When our bodies relax and our spirits are light, this is love. When we hear that piece of music or see our dog’s wagging tail, that is love. When a friend calls us late at night and talks about their fears that is love. There are many faces of love.
- The third way to kill your relationship is to make your partner be everything
Your partner can’t fulfill all the roles of family and friends. We all need a plethora of relationships in our life, and to expect one person to fulfill all of those roles puts undo responsibility on them and they will start to resent the situation. You will end up resenting each other, and that will be the beginning of the end.
All you really need to do to kill your relationship is to shy away from the real work of maintaining it. Always expect that your partner will be there for you and be everything for you. With that insidious sense of entitlement comes the doom of any relationship.
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