We enter romantic relationships for many different reasons – love, mutual attraction, fear of loneliness, peer pressure, social expectation, desire for sex, desire for money, we want a family, etc. And underneath all of these reasons, there’s also that deeper one, the more universal one – we want to be happy.
Fairy tales seduce us from early childhood with stories about finding that one and true love and of living happily ever after.
But as soon as we enter the world of romantic attraction and intimate connecting, we realize that romantic pursuits are not simple or easy. Each time a relationship starts, we’re full of hope for that forever after story. Every time a relationship ends, we wonder why we failed or we console ourselves in the knowing that we made a mistake and picked a wrong person. Not to worry, we’ll just continue looking for Mr or Mrs Right. Next time we’ll surely do better. But we never do and our relationships keep ending, one after another. And even if they manage to last, we struggle with issues and difficulties that we never saw coming.
So why exactly do we keep failing to find eternal happiness in a relationship? Because that’s not how romantic relationships work. We’ve been lied to. Relationships are not meant to make us happy. We can try all we want but the simple truth is that making us happy is not the role of the relationship or of whoever our current partner is. Relationships are about something else.
Relationships are meant to make us conscious, to make us grow.
And only when we truly embrace this idea, we’ll actually be able to find peace, understanding and happiness in our relationship.
When I first learned about this, it hit me like a tonne of bricks because I desperately wanted my partner to make me happy. I placed the responsibility for my satisfaction in his hands and kept waiting for the magic to happen… but it didn’t.
We obviously had good times – full of love, joy, compassion and trust. But eventually we would always somehow end up in an argument. There were misunderstandings, there were frustrations and there was anger. And I kept trying to fix things to make us happy again. It was a mad circle that I couldn’t get out of. Until I understood… that he was never there to make me happy. He was there to help me grow, to help me see what still needed healing, addressing or processing within me.
All relationships with other people serve us as mirrors of our own issues and shortcomings.
But a romantic relationship is one of the closest kinds of relationships that we can ever get into. And because of that it’s the most intense form of mirror that we’ll ever encounter. Our intimate partner is a perfect match to whatever needs addressing which is what makes that person so attractive to us. We fall in love because we subconsciously recognize that this person is able to show us our wounds, hurts and traumas. And if we choose to, we’ll grow, heal and expand together.
In this way, each relationship we enter, has the potential to make us more conscious, more aware and more healed. Most people resist this idea and refuse to grow and heal. These people usually end up feeling stuck, unable to overcome their issues. But the opportunities are always there and it’s up to us to accept them and welcome them with open hearts and minds.
It can be challenging to admit that we’re not as smart, mature or enlightened as we would like to think. But behind that step, there’s a world of new, deeper realms and possibilities. If we choose to accept them.
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