Friday, November 10, 2006

Be the one you want

Excerpts from an article on relationships:

What do individuals think that being in a relationship is going to provide for them? From the work that I have done with groups and in one-to-one sessions, men and women think that to be in relationship will complete the jigsaw puzzle, the missing part of their life, it will make them happy and complete somehow. Yet the ever increasing divorce rate is testament to the unmet expectations and inability to work things out.

Some expect a relationship to cure their deep feeling of loneliness

Some feel that it is their partners’ responsibility to make them happy

Some expect their needs to be met in a relationship (as they understand them)

Others think it’ll make them feel loved and acceptable. The thinking usually goes something like ‘if s/he wants to be with me, then I must be alright’

Others think ‘once I’m in a relationship everything else in my life will be sorted’. As if being in a relationship is like a magic wand that has a magical effect on all areas of their life. All my problems will be solved.

Some go into a relationship in order to make it a very different experience from the one that they grew up in. A new, improved, better functioning model.

Many have a picture in their head of how their partner should love them, behave, cook, keep house, raise the children, entertain and provide for them.

Others expect the relationship to keep them financially. To have a nice, big house with all mod cons, the latest car, exotic holidays and an exciting social life.

Becoming the sort of person you want to be with. Like attracts like. If you are very emotionally demanding, chances are you will attract a partner who has the same needs as you. So you end up with a situation in which you want your needs met and your partner can’t meet them because they have exactly the same need and they’re expecting you to meet theirs. It can become a no win situation unless there is very good communication. When you think about the sort of person you would like to spend the rest of your life with, are you like that person? If your answer is no, then you have the odds stacked against you.

I'm like everyone else in that I show up on the doorstoop of my relationships with my set of oversized baggage. However, once there, before I cross the threshold, I let myself be curious and a bit awestruck, to be wonder-ful, as in "full of wonder."

I try to approach my relationships as a grand adventure--as my own novella, play or (probably independent, foreign) film whose ending I can't--and probably shouldn't--know in advance. One that involves a cast of zany and lovable characters (and, yes, the occasional antagonist). This constant curiousity and wonder--about my reactions, about my partner's understanding of the situation, about what we can do to grow closer rather than apart--makes all the difference.

Relationships can be a great vehicle for healing, and for change, and for expanding into love. I also know that I'm not perfect, and any partner I might have? Not perfect. That would make for a mind-numbing film, and me, I'm counting on some great subtitles and a mushy ending.


Blogger Diana said...

Wise words, these. If it weren't 7AM, I'd have some profound comment, I'm sure ; ).

I cannot believe that I haven't seen this blog until now? Where have I been?? I was deleting old email, found the link that Tara sent months ago, and am having such fun following the process of your wedding plans...thanks for sharing this! I was so *not* involved in the creation of my own wedding (I can't believe that it was 17 years ago!!), so it's great to be able to do it vicariously.

You guys make me feel all mushy.

Di, with no Blogger account.

7:36 AM  
Blogger keri said...

I think you can go into a relationship expecting a few of those "issues."

*Financial security is one of the top reasons that people around the world get married.

*Although I don't expect my partner to make me happy, I do expect her to care if I am unhappy and try to help me feel better. I also believe that finding a partner does cure loneliness.

*When my sexual and intimacy needs are not met by my partner I start to wonder what else is out there. For me it is hard to stay committed to someone who doesn't meet those needs and I do believe she has a responsibility to meet those needs, but it goes both ways.

These are crucial elements that differentiate a romantic relationship from a friendship. I can be a lot more unconditional with my friends than I can with my lover/mate. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing. They are common goals. The problems arise when you have hidden expectations and/or don't agree on those goals. We are in it to live, love and grow together.

My 2 cents.


7:04 AM  

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