Disney did a great job of advertising the romantic story of love at first sight. People have trouble with relationships because they still maintain this false expectation that someone out there will be so perfect they will satisfy all their desires. That they will be the perfect nurturer, husband, parent, provider, worker and sex god.
With this image in mind most relationships don’t work because people are not willing to change for the good of the whole. One person wants something and the other refuses to even try. This leads to giving up on the relationships only to cary the same unresolved problems into the next one.
They continue to think that they will find the perfect person that will happen to fill in the checklist.
At first, a new relationship is exciting and our bodies produce oxytocin – glueing you together like magnets but 8 months, 2 years, 7 years down the road that oxytocin slows and you reach a moment of truth.
Is this someone I want to couple with?
I just celebrated 10 years being married to my wife. We met when I was 21 years old and we’ve been together for almost 14 years now. I think we have one of the greatest relationships I’ve ever seen and I love her like crazy. I’m not a relationship expert but I can tell you by personal experience that a good relationship is built on open communication – on intimacy and vulnerability.
Many relationships are like a poker game where both partners are bluffing about what they really want. A good relationship lays all the cards on the table for each to see. Out of that truth and acceptance comes the greatest of transformations to both of you. A transformation you could only experience with the help of another person pushing your boundaries. Now that’s romantic.
Along the way you can see the rock in your path as an obstacle or you can see it as a stepping stone but that is the critical decision.
Love is appreciation for your partner. Appreciation for the qualities as well as their shadows. Together partners should compromise for each other. Finding the middle ground and deciding to grow together. To commit to each other and endure the inevitable obstacles throughout the journey. That whatever door you come too, you choose to open it together. This is how you manage the paradox of commitment and autonomy.
A good partner wants what is best for the other person. Not loving someone out of filling a personal void in yourself but by loving selflessly so your partner will live a life filled with adventure and no regrets. When both of you have reached that level of intent – you have true love.
Also published on Medium.