Relationships Are Hard Until You Learn This
Relationships are hard. That’s a story that many people not only tell themselves regularly, but wholeheartedly believe in the core of their being. With that being said, maybe you’ve heard this insight before, maybe not. The truth is that we experience what we believe. We manifest the stories we tell ourselves. So if you tell yourself relationships are hard, they’ll stay that way.
But they don’t have to.
Here’s the thing. Relationships are truly hard when we don’t know how to consciously choose partners, how to navigate the natural challenges that arise, and how to know when to say no, among many other missing, yet important, relationship lessons most never learn. Yet, we don’t even need to learn all these things. We need to learn the one personal skill that makes all these other lessons possible, even easy.
On the flipside, the “lesson” too many people unfortunately and incorrectly learn about romantic relationships is that closing, defending, and even hardening against the potential pain of love works. The propensity to close simply creates more pain and makes relationships seem even harder. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We can learn to have love be magical and breathtaking – and that’s not some fairytale pie-in-the-sky concept. It’s the reality of those who learn the #1 difference between believing relationships are hard, and having one that takes your breath away over and over again.
Reasons relationships are hard
Let’s get right to the point. Relationships are hard when we think they are the source of our happiness and love. They’re hard when we believe finding one will soothe our pains or fill our emptiness. Relationships are hard when we try to get something from the relationship – particularly something we think we need or lack.
When we believe the source of a particular experience can only come from a relationship, it puts immense pressure on the two people. Most people eventually collapse under the weight of that much pressure to perform and provide. Eventually they leave the relationship.
So what is it that we try to get from relationships that creates this immense pressure and, in turn, makes them so hard? Just to name a few…
But you might say, isn’t that what relationship is supposed to give me? Isn’t a committed relationship all about security and trust?
Aren’t I supposed to feel loved by another? Isn’t that the whole point of romantic relationships? Of course there is a depth of profound love shared in soulmate romantic connections. But the connection, the relationship, is not the source of the love. Your soulmate is also not the source of the love. Believing the other person or the relationship is the source, or shall we say fountain, of love is where all the biggest problems begin. The love must live in you first and be awakened through the connection, be amplified by unity. It is not created by the union.
Seeking security through relationship commitment, or in other words, seeking security outside of ourselves will always leave us feeling insecure. Wanting security from the relationship actually, inadvertently and unconsciously, demands that our partner give up themselves, their needs and desires, when those needs and desires conflict with our need for security. Authenticity and guaranteed security are mutually exclusive. Trust, true trust, not trust in the other changes relationships from hard to beautiful.
You may, at this moment, feel a little uncomfortable, even irritated. You would not be alone in that feeling. You may want to stop reading. Again, you would not be alone in that thought. You are encouraged to take a deep breath and keep going.
Our discomfort with, and our avoidance of, the truth of real love creates the feeling and story that relationships are hard. Most people run from this truth for years or even decades until their attempts at love have actually hurt so much that they’re finally willing to stop fighting the truth and listen. Avoiding the realities of love and continuing to approach relationships in the same way, with the same expectations – and resultant disappointments – doesn’t suddenly make love blissful. It’s why the wash, rinse, repeat metaphor fits so many people’s experience of romantic relationships these days.
The bottom line on why relationships are hard
It takes courage to find and accept the truth about love, intimacy and lasting relationships. Those who do, no longer think relationships are hard. They find them an awe filled joy they can’t describe. Some would call that ecstasy.
Here’s the bottom line. You can’t get anything from a relationship that you don’t already have.
If you don’t have inner security, you won’t find it in a relationship.
If you don’t have trust within you, you will never trust another, no matter how consciously they might show up.
If you don’t believe you’re beautiful or desirable, they will never convince you that you are, even when they truly see you that way.
If you aren’t happy before a relationship, you won’t ultimately be happy in one either, no matter how great the person is.
If you don’t rest in true self acceptance and self love, you will never trust it, let alone feel it, from another.
To top it off…
if you don’t have self-responsibility, the resultant blame will destroy love.
If you don’t have emotional depth, the true joys of love will elude you.
If you avoid conflict, your relationship will suffocate under the weight of the unspoken words.
If you don’t honor your needs, the love you once had will get buried in a sea of resentment.
These habits of seeking experiences outside yourself, particularly through a romantic partner will leave you lonely time and time again, even if you’re sleeping next to someone. The attempts to get something, find something, even grasp for something from a partner will begin to, even in the early days of a relationship, create separation. Eventually, our partner, in the presence of our subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, needing energy will back away, and away, and away, until they finally leave.
Often, you won’t really know why they left.
Hearing words of affection, being loved in a way that feels good, spending quality time together, being desired, feeling someone is trustworthy or dependable, laughing together, enjoying each other’s bodies are all valid when choosing a romantic partnership. It’s natural to desire these things, even require these things. It’s the sourcing of them from the relationship that is the problem. It’s the neediness or the dependency that makes it a repelling experience. It’s the expectation and demand that overrides the pricelessness of authenticity, that makes relationships hard. Having to choose between ourselves and our partners will always create pain.
When you have to get your inner experiences from your partners, for them it can feel like they can never do enough, never win, never get it right. They can experience what feels like a black hole or void that no matter how much love they pour in, their partner is never filled.
This leaves both partners powerless. The one seeking love, happiness, and security will feel powerless to get what they desire and seem to need from the relationship. The other partner will feel powerless to actually deliver what is sought.
This destroys relationships…
So what is the one thing that when embodied changes all this?
The ONE thing to learn that makes relationships easy
Underneath everything you might seek in a relationship lies a perception that you lack it in yourself, in your own life, in your wholeness. In your wholeness you lack nothing, you need nothing from another that you do not already have within yourself. When we aren’t in contact with our own wholeness relationships are hard. With the old adage “you complete me” we imagine that our partner will fill in the missing holes and that without those holes filled in we, and our life, are not ok. As you know by now, that’s a failing proposition.
Soulful and ecstatic relationships arise through the union of two whole, yet certainly imperfect, human beings who have the desire, capacity, and commitment to not ultimately depend on their partner for their happiness and fulfillment in life. This kind of divine union depends on authentic intimacy.
So how do we find our own wholeness? Well that’s the answer most people don’t like. Yet, those in our Soul Love community have realized that not only is this necessary for happiness, it sets the foundation for every successful relationship they’ll ever have.
Wholeness comes through a deep relationship with ourselves. When we find the courage to not just know ourselves, but to know ourselves intimately (and that doesn’t mean sexually here, although it could), we will discover every block we’ve ever had to wholeness, and therefore to relationships that are easy not hard.
Our blocks to wholeness show up predominantly in the form of self rejection coupled with habits related to a lack of self worth, self trust, and self acceptance. Lacking these, we tend to doubt our lovability. Then in our attempts to win love and garner attention that we’re not actually sure we deserve, we also tend to sell ourselves out in favor of our partner. This breeds the resentment we discussed earlier.
Alternatively, when you learn to relate to yourself with honor, when you stop rejecting parts of yourself, when you begin to embrace your beauty and your mess, your strengths and your weaknesses, your brilliance and your challenges, then there is no longer anything to be rejected by anyone else. When you stop rejecting you, no one will ever be able to reject you again.
You are the answer
When you have a relationship with yourself, dare we say when you love yourself, then your wholeness becomes a byproduct of the self love.
The self-confidence, self-trust, and self honor that result from a genuinely loving relationship with you, means you stop playing unconscious games trying to prove you’re worth loving. You stop trying to demand that your partner make you feel safe because you’ll feel safe within you. You’ll be safe with you because you trust you. In this love of self, you no longer need to ever again twist yourself into a pretzel trying to get or find love, because you’ll know that you can’t lose what’s already within you.
In this deep authenticity, when two people allow themselves and each other, to be fully real, to be unadorned in pure humanness, you will come to know a love beyond any other. And, relationships turn from hard to magical.
Since 2006, highly conscious men and women, with a commitment to extraordinary relationships, have chosen Ecstatic Intimacy to find and cultivate Soul Partnerships from their bedrooms to their boardrooms. Ecstatic Intimacy believes in coveted relationships, for all.
You too, are invited…
*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.