Relationships are tough work, no matter what your age, no matter how many you have been in, no matter how long you have been together. We all have these expectations, these wants, these needs, these wounds from our past, all of which we bring into each relationship. Yet, many times our expectations are far different than reality and many times we have this unrealistic fantasized idea of how our relationship will be, that when it doesn’t match up to it; we run for the hills, get angry, get disappointed, we harbor resentment, we feel so many tumultuous emotions. But what many of us fail to do, is discuss our concerns, discuss our wants, our needs, our feelings. Rather than being open and honest with our partners, we get upset, we get angry, we bottle it all up, until either we eventually blow or we just check out. Neither option is healthy or fair to anyone involved.
Relationships, real relationships not the fantasy ones you may or may not have created, are going to test you, they will be filled with compromise, filled with moments of frustration, they will push you out of your comfort zone, they will challenge you, they will force to reevaluate your expectations, but they will also be beautiful, amazing, you will grow, you will find your another piece of your heart, you will build something spectacular together. When both partners are willing to compromise, to put in the same time, effort, and work, to be completely open and honest no matter how scary it may be, to push each other to do better, to be better, to achieve more, to help each other break free of their limits they can foster a unshakeable, a truly unbreakable lifelong bond. Really, isn’t that what we all want when we enter a relationship? To find our one, our soul mate, the one who we can grow old with, who we can build a life with… I for one, know that is how I am.
I do not enter a relationship in which I see no future, I don’t really do casual as it is not for me. I go into each relationship ready for it to last, once I am in I am all in. For me, there is no such thing as being half in or half out.
Despite all the times I have been hurt, especially recently with my marriage, and the extents to which it broke me, despite all who came before, who tried to break me, who hurt me in such unimaginable ways, who tried darken my light, who made me feel so lost, so worthless, so dejected I have never lost my belief in love, in the fact that someday I will find my one, I will find the one who will see the parts that so many saw as flaws, as broken, as something to be ashamed of and love them. For me, it was my unwavering faith that someday, I would find the love I seek, the love I deserve, I would find my happily ever after, that got me through those dark times.
This is not to say however, that I do not still bear the scars of those relationships, that I do not still to some extent carry the wounds from them, that they do not have their moments in which they effect me. Because truly they do, the key however is to understand while those wounds will always be with you, eventually they will heal to a point where you won’t even notice them anymore. The key, in my opinion which I know many will disagree with me here, is to be honest with your new partner about the hurt, the partners of your past, the feelings you felt, about all of it. Even when you think you are over it, you may not be as over it as you thought. Now I know, many advise against talking about previous partners and many new partners do not wish to hear about them either, but if you truly want to be in a relationship with someone, you must first understand where they came from, what brought them to this point, the things that have shaped them, that have fostered their beliefs, that have given them the perceptions in which they see the world, the reasons why they may react a certain way to situations.
To me, to be in a relationship is to understand we all have a past, we all have partners who have screwed us over and screwed us up, we all have scars, and that is okay. We cannot expect our partners to have come out of previous relationships unscathed and rather than getting upset with them or refusing to hear of it, we should rather, give them the space, the understanding, and the empathy to be open with us, to discuss their fears, their wants, their needs, their desires. We need to let them know, that we are there for them. It will not be easy, as it is never easy to listen to your partner talk about another person, but I am telling you, it will create a much deeper bond.
For me, when I am in a relationship I make sure my partner knows I will never judge them for being affected by a previous relationship, for still dealing with that fallout, not matter how long ago it may have ended. We all heal at our own pace, we all deal with it in different ways. Who am I to tell someone they are wrong for how they feel? My only hope is that my partners show me the same levels of empathy, of support, of understanding as I do for them.
Other than understanding their past, I think the other thing that most struggle with when it comes to relationships is many are not willing to compromise, they want it their way or no way. Yet, that is not how life works, that is not how you make a relationship work. We have all walked different paths, we are all on different journeys, we are all fighting different wars and we need to learn that what works best for us may not always work for our partners.
For example, with me I am very in tuned and in touch with my own feelings as I have been in and out of therapy for many years due to my battles with my mental health. Yet, there are times when my deep understanding of my own feelings can cause me to become a bit overzealous in expressing them. There are many times when I tend to overwhelm my partners. I can be quite a bit to handle at times, especially with feeling everything so intensely do to my mental health diseases. For years, I kept myself quiet, I kept my feelings to myself, I didn’t speak my truth, but now I speak it a bit too much. Once again, like other aspects of my life I am learning to find the balance between speaking my truth, while also respecting others. Far too often we get so caught up in our own feelings, in what we want, that we fail to take into account what our partners want, in their feelings. This is not to say that we are not allowed to speak our truth, that we must silence ourselves for others, but rather that we must understand that while we may be comfortable with expressing ourselves not everyone else is. This is also not a bad thing, nor does it reflect in any sort of negative way for those who are not comfortable being so vocal with how they feel. It is more about finding a spot in the middle between expressing what you feel, while also not over doing it. It is about giving each other the space to express themselves while also understanding where each is coming from.
The most important thing here is to treat each other with respect, to be willing to tone yourself down, while also creating a meeting point between your two ideals and views. It is not enough to simply change yourself, you must both be willing to meet somewhere in the middle, to listen to each other, to push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone while also respecting each others boundaries. This doesn’t just pertain to feelings either, as relationships are riddled with compromise. If you expect your partner to do something you love, but perhaps they don’t enjoy so much, you must also be willing to do something they love that you aren’t so thrilled about. Now I am not saying you must completely change yourself for your partner, you must do things you don’t like just to make them happy, but rather have a balance between doing what you love and they love. Who knows you may find you enjoy something you never thought possible.
Real relationships are about doing the dishes after your partner has cooked, about cleaning the house when your partner has had a long day at work, it is watching their favorite rom-com or action movie, it is being there to give 87 percent on the days when they only have 13 percent to give, it is picking up their favorite foods from the grocery store, it is sharing the last of your ice cream, it is telling them you love and appreciate them just because. It is breaking out nerf guns and building forts together, it is nights cuddled by the fire or whatever, it is arguing over stupid and even big things but at the end of the day knowing you have each others backs. Real relationships are messy, they are complicated, they are full of compromise, and yes even some pain, but they are also filled with respect, with moments of pure bliss, with knowing you will always have someone in your corner.
My Beautiful Baddass Unicorn Phoenix Goddess’s I hope you have a magical day!