“Love at first sight is easy to understand, its when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle…” Amy Bloom
Let’s take a thoughtful look at relationships. Love relationships, in particular.
We are all in relationships of many kinds and most of us strive for a special “someone” to share our life with. Thing is, the dream of it is far different than the reality.
Most women grow up dreaming of their wedding day. Maybe not as much now as was common a decade or two ago, but judging from the wedding industry explosion (it’s a $50 billion industry!!!), there is something about getting into a committed relationship that’s compelling.
But then I wonder why. The divorce rate in America for the first marriage is 41%, for the second marriage is’s 60% and the third marriage it’s a whopping 73%!!!
Why spend a ton of energy, time and money on a wedding if you aren’t going to honor the meaning of the ceremony?!
The other morning, my daughter was talking about how when she wakes up in the morning, she looks in the mirror and gets upset because she hasn’t lost any weight. Then one morning not so long ago, she looked in the mirror and said… “Still fat”.
She felt it was as though she’d suddenly become coherent… where before that, she’d kept doing the same thing expecting a different result. (Going to bed at night with the hope that her physical challenges [which produce excess weight] magically disappear).
I believe it’s a motto from Alcoholics Anonymous and has always struck me as a valuable perspective when facing any decision. Applied to the notion of long-term relationships, it’s fantastic.
If you believe that getting married or living with someone will give you a solid, secure and long lasting relationship… you’re believing something entirely untrue.
First of all, most people who decide they want to be with their lover “FOREVER” must be aware of what that actually requires. “FOREVER” is a freaking long time. People change, their desires change, their interests change… change is a constant in all of our lives. Staying with one person for a lifetime, or even for a number of years requires more than an “ooey-gooey” fantasy about how easy it will be.
Secondly, it’s extremely difficult for married or committed couples to honor their vows to each other if their community does not consider their union sacred. Respecting people’s relationships doesn’t appear to be a cultural priority. Although there’s significant press about the sanctity of marriage, it seems more like lip service than anything else.”Taken” people are often the most desirable to those who are single and you don’t have to look very far to see the many exceptions people will make for living outside of their vows or commitments… (i.e. – text, email, inter-office relationships and the like).
Lastly, people think that love will keep them together. That it’s the glue that binds them to their lover, no matter what. This is so not true, it hurts to even write.
Being committed to anything isn’t easy and not just relationship suffers from this difficulty. ANYTHING you put your intention to can fall prey to your lazy methods of conducting your life.
Given that there is no “one thing” that helps everyone, all the time… Here are a few possibilities you can toss around to see if it fits your nature regarding relationship.
- Make a sincere commitment to yourself that you will follow your truth, love yourself first and treat yourself & your lover with sincere respect… no matter what
- Define the meaning of “honesty” with each other – “you don’t have to tell me everything you think about or do, other than the things that impact me personally, or my feelings”.
- Do not depend on anyone, other than your relationship to Source (God, the Goddess, All that is… your name for spirit) to guide you and love you completely. Humans have bad days, Source doesn’t. Your good always comes from that relationship… ALWAYS.
- Remember that your partner will always hold up a mirror to you. They will be the one person who can reflect back to you those things that you may have repressed inside, that require healing.
- Create a place in your home that you agree to both go to when you need to work out problems with each other (i.e. an altar representing the relationship, a special table or plant that you sit in front of to talk things through.)
- Ask your family and friends to be honest with you, remind you of your commitments, encourage you to get back on track if you fall off, love you enough to be “in your face” if you’re messing up.
- Extend the utmost respect to your beloved through your consistent willingness to be self-sufficient as well as extremely inclusive with them. There isn’t room for holding yourself apart from your partner or allowing them to do that either.
- Enjoy each other. Do things that keep your relationship meaningful and exciting. Dream together and share yourself truthfully… even if your frightened or feel angry. It’s in your willingness to allow them to see you completely, that you will see yourself.
In my relatively long life (now), I’ve learned all this the “hard” way, but I truly haven’t seen that much written or communicated about relationship that suggested that being focused on self first and then the relationship was a success strategy. Trust me, it is.
Having experienced a tremendous amount of ass-kicking in both my significant relationships, being true to my knowing would have served me very well. This phenomenon is the clearest to me.
Finally, risk everything to experience truth with your partner. You may lose that one, but it wasn’t for you if you were settling. In other words, don’t mince your words. Be bold, expressive and call it like you see it. Then be really quiet and listen. Let him or her face you completely…
The quote at the beginning of this post is apropo. It’s so easy to have “love at first sight” but, it could be more like “neurosis, real high”. The excitement wears off pretty quickly when the object of your affection doesn’t continue to make you feel like you are totally loved.
On the other hand, when you find after 5,7,10… 30 years of being with the same person and your heart is still singing a joyful song when you see them walk into the room… well, that’s is quite a wonderful miracle. It’s also an indication of two very courageous people.