Authentic Relationships: 5 Reasons They are the Safest Relationships
Authentic relationships and genuine love go hand in hand. Once we know how good an authentic relationship feels we can never go back to our unconscious and ego-oriented way of relating. It simply becomes too painful. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, all humans seek genuine relationships. They seek them because they are safe. Yes, safe.
In authentic relationships, we realize that all the ways we previously approached love, all the things we did in an attempt to keep our hearts safe, failed us miserably. Our walls of protection, our strategies to make sure “that” never happens again, our anxious and avoidant tendencies, our people-pleasing and conflict avoidance never made the love stronger. As a matter of fact, every attempt at love that wasn’t rooted in authenticity left us sad and lonely.
That’s the basic truth of authentic relationships. Authentic relationships make us happy. Inauthentic relationships make us miserable.
“Authentic relationships make us happy. Inauthentic relationships make us miserable.”
Authentic relationships by definition mean that we bring our real genuine self to the connection. We stop pretending to be anything we are not. We stop hiding our needs, desires, and preferences even when we fear they won’t be loved or appreciated. In genuine relating we are willing to be seen in our strength and weakness, in our beauty and our mess, in our power and our vulnerability. We let the best and the worst of us be seen.
This willingness to reveal our authentic self is the most courageous thing we’ll ever do and the most rewarding experience we’ll ever have in any relationship. If a life well-lived starts with love, then authentic relationships lead to a life much more than well-lived. They lead us to an ecstatic life – a life that makes our heart skip beats, a life that frequently brings tears of joy to our eyes, a life that knows, in its very cells, the profoundness of love.
Living an authentic relationship will never leave us with regrets. We’ll never wonder what could have been. We won’t be left with heartache because genuine relationships allow anything that might have hurt at a point in time to heal and release much more quickly. We can forgive because we know the truth. We can heal more quickly because we know we gave it our all and nothing more could have been done. This brings us peace, even if, in the end, a relationship doesn’t work out the way we desired.
In contrast, when we haven’t revealed our true self, when we haven’t spoken what’s on our mind, when we haven’t shared what was in our heart’s, when we played it safe – we suffer greatly. When we ran because we were afraid, when we started a fight because it felt more comfortable than revealing our tender underbelly, when we pretended we were fine when we weren’t – we deepened our inner wounds. Not offering our true self in a relationship always leave us in pain, sometimes tormented with imaginations of what could have been. Sometimes those thoughts and memories last for days, sometimes months, sometimes decades. Our mind taunts us with thoughts of what might have been, if only we’d been real.
Building authentic relationship
In order to build an authentic relationship we must first choose to commit to authentic self love. This particular reason for self love gives the old adage, “you have to love yourself before you can love another” a whole new dimension. In this case, it’s not about the love you “give” to another. It’s the love you give to yourself that bolsters and solidifies the courage to be real. On the path of Soul Love we often say that “the strength of your relationship with another depends on the strength of the relationship with you.”
You’ll hear this over and over in our programs and events because the only way we will ever trust the love of another is to be authentically ourselves.
If we’re not showing up authentically, when someone says I love you, you’ll find yourself filled with doubt. You’ll have the unconscious thoughts, “if you really knew me you might not like me so much,” “if you knew the thoughts I had,” “if I told you what I really desired,” you might leave.
Without the bravery to build an authentic relationship, you’ll feel so afraid that the other person won’t like you, so scared that they’ll reject or abandon you, that you’ll twist yourself into a pretzel for the love for which you so long. Unfortunately, in pretending, you’ll perpetuate and amplify the doubt, rendering yourself incapable of trusting that they actually love you. Over time, that lack of trust in relating becomes more and more painful, effortful, and stressful. Over time, your inauthenticity will ensure your fears of losing love will come true.
With authentic self love, we don’t lose ourselves, we don’t cause the insidious harm of self abandonment in relationships. We know the difference between healthy and unhealthy boundaries. We stay true to ourselves, each other, and the relationship.
A commitment to authentic relating makes a relationship unquestionably strong. It means that two people continuously and consciously choose over and over again to be together. Or they choose not to. Therein, the conscious choices make it safe to trust. When both partners continue to choose the relationship and togetherness, then in the face of difficulties, in the face of the unconscious and even unloving things we all do at times, we can continue to trust the love. That level of trust is beyond priceless.
One of the easiest ways to begin building an authentic relationship starts with something we call a Conscious Beginnings ritual. In this multipart experience shared by two people in a relationship, you set intentions and even make commitments about how you will show up with each other. In order to have this kind of conscious ritual you must discuss things like honesty and authenticity. You also discuss what you’ll do when either one of you hasn’t kept your agreements. We all have times when our human egos get the best of us, and as much as we want to be, we aren’t totally real. So together you agree on what to do when that happens. Often this looks like an agreement to get real, to tell the authentic truth, at the earliest possible moment. In this way a couple can truly sustain both trust and love.
The most solid lasting relationship rest on a foundation of authenticity.
The 7 reasons these are the safest relationships
We all want to feel safe in our relationships. No one wants to worry about whether or not their relationship is strong or whether their partner feels happy or satisfied. If something is off in either partner or if either isn’t feeling great about something that has happened, then each person, and the relationship, are both better with realness – admitting what’s happening, talking about it, and sorting it through from a place of authenticity.
Wondering if, not trusting that, your partner is being real, about even the smallest things like what to have for dinner or what movie to see, slowly erodes trust in a relationship. The inability to be authentic makes a relationship less and less safe over time. Yes, the little things matter.
Here are the seven key reasons that authentic relationships are the safest relationships for everyone.
- They’re Easier. If we’re not worrying about our partner’s well being (because they tell us if they’re not well in any way) we can relax. When we don’t have to effort and strategize about who to be in a relationship, we can relax. We can feel at ease. Feeling relaxed and at ease supports our health and expands our capacity to love more.
- They’re more fun. There’s a saying, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” Authenticity allows for humor, laughter, lightness, playfulness and fun. We don’t have to take each other’s egos and imperfections so seriously in authentic relationships. Laughter heals and makes a relationship much stronger and safer over the long run.
- There’s more joy. Authenticity allows for the highest embodiment of ourselves. In it we feel liberated and fulfilled. Authentic relationships allow for genuine self expression and that kind of soulful presence and soul connection could not make us more ecstatic, individually and together.
- There’s trust. We’ve been exploring this all along here. The deepest, most intimate, and most sustainable relationships depend wholly on trust of self and trust of other. Trust allows us to say what might not be easy to say. That ability to say and hear the hard stuff makes us much safer because we actually know what is happening and don’t have to wonder, guess and make up stories.
- There’s freedom. Because, in authentic relationships, you share the deepest trust, this allows for the fullest freedom for both partners. In the presence and safety of trust, we no longer need to control or limit another’s expression for our own security. Freedom allows both intimacy and love, as well as personal fulfillment, to flourish. We can’t lose for having loved.
- You have security. When two people commit to authenticity, they have a built in sense of security. Both people know that the other will share whatever needs to be shared. Hence, in the absence of worry, both people can surrender fully into the experiences they create together, allowing their hearts the most complete and exquisite opening into the possibilities of true love.
- True love. If, and only if, authenticity rests at the heart of a relationship can there be true love. Knowing that you rest in true love means there can be no regrets. You won’t leave this earth wondering what could have been when you commit to a genuine relationship.
If you want to live your greatest life, if you want to know true fulfillment, if you want to know what true love in a relationship is, then choose authenticity.
We all want our partners to be real with us. Are you willing to give the gift of your authenticity to your partner? What if there was no greater gift than the authentic you in relationship?
Remember, without authenticity we cannot know true love.
What do you choose?
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.