Alright…in my large circle of friends and acquaintances, there is a majority of singles. Many of these people are single by choice, so they say. They’re looking for the perfect someone who will just come into their lives and change everything. The person who is “good enough” to be in a relationship with them will fit certain standards which are often arbitrarily adopted from movies and television series.
The problem with this whole scenario is so many people create these impossibly perfect molds in which a potential partner has to fit. It’s like everyone expects a perfect person. Even I was guilty of doing this for some time. We have these lofty, preconceived notions of a good and healthy relationship and those ideas serve as a poison of sorts that destroys any chance of a relationship working.
I’m here to tell you that if you want a healthy, happy, and thriving relationship, you have to let go of all your preconceived notions.
…Let go of all your preconceived notions.
It doesn’t exist.
And, frankly, you probably don’t need that type of relationship. There is no reason your relationship should adhere to any paradigm but your own. The world does not control you. Your relationship should fit the mold that best creates what you and your partner need.
That’s it. It’s as simple as that.
But let me give you a personal example.
Alfred and I have been together for nearly 6 years and we’re married now. At the beginning of our relationship, he tried to, in some ways, replicate the relationship dynamic from his past. He’d dated this guy for nearly 14 years so clearly something worked there. I, on the other hand, was more about finding our own rhythm and going with it. The two perspectives really clashed and eventually we almost broke up. One issue after another began to mount and it became too much for either of us to handle. He closed himself off emotionally and I turned to self-destructive behaviors.
At this point we took a step back and really began to look at our relationship for what it was. This was quite a difficult matter because we were forced to see the raw workings of “us” and had to be open to the idea that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Luckily, that was not the case. By really working through our issues, we eventually found ourselves on the same page. We realized much of the trouble had spurred from preconceived notions and a lack of communication. Fixing these things over time caused us to organically grow together. We began to have the same values for our relationship and we’ve created our own sense of normal as a result.
Soulmates are a myth.
What I’ve realized is the idea of a soulmate is sort of a myth, at least in the traditional sense. I mean, the reason people bounce from one relationship to the next is because of this idea that there is one person out there who will satisfy their every need. Sometimes they do this in order to avoid potential harm, because they are looking for Mr/Ms. Right, or any other number of reasons. Now, don’t misunderstand, I believe in the concept of soulmates. I believe Alfred is my soulmate and we are somehow meant to be together. But a soulmate isn’t going to meet your every need. In fact, it’s unfair to believe they would.
A soulmate is someone you feel a deep connection with that transcends traditional friendship and even romantic love. I feel that a soulmate is the appropriate way to describe someone with whom you accomplish the highest form of friendship. It’s someone you can’t imagine life without. I know I can’t picture my life without Alfred in it.
And that’s insane to me.
But those types of relationships are created….they’re developed. They are not innate. Sure, you might have a strong connection with someone. But if you are not willing to spend the time and effort to develop that connection then you can just forget about it.
Instead of looking for Mr/Ms. Right, look for qualities you admire in others. Look for traits you might lack but realize that no one will ever make up for your own shortcomings. Qualities such as warmth, trustworthiness, attractiveness, patience, vitality, security, intimacy, loyalty…and the list goes…are wonderful aspects of people. Those are the things which can make a relationship rich and vibrant.
But also approach potential partners with an open mind. Perhaps there are certain aspects of a person you can’t tolerate. On the flip side, there may be aspects of a person you’ve never considered which might add a little more spark to your life.
An open mind is such an important tool towards accomplishing your ideal relationship.
And that is the most important thing to keep in mind. You might have a picture in your head of what your relationship should look like. But if you let that go, you’re bound to find someone with whom you can build the ideal relationship you never imagined. In the end being together requires two (or more) people. Everyone involved should have an influence on the outcome. It takes looking past fears and not giving up (though sometimes you need to know when to give up).
But I promise it’s worth it.
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