Our cultural childhood mythology has been built on fairytales, sitcoms and Disney movies. We are spoon-fed the romanticized ideal of “true love”.
That some enchanted evening, we will stumble across “the one” that sweeps us off our feet, with one tense moment of conflict, only to realize that it was an innocent miscommunication all along, their heart never wavered… and we live happily ever after….
Really, no details in between that… no mundane, no crappy jobs or insensitive bosses, no sleepless nights or sick kids, dentist appointments or dog puke on the carpet, no messy stuff, no disgusting habits, no conflicts, no icy stand offs.
It’s no wonder we don’t deal well with this sort of thing.
While the whole thing seems kind of ridiculous to believe, this cultural narrative is so prevalent and invasive that it imprints into our primal brain at a very young age (and guess which brain chooses our partner).
Somewhere out there is your “perfect” soul mate, “the one” – you just have to find them.
There is no single “perfect” person. We are ALL imperfect; our partners come to us with a backpack loaded with old conditioning, wounds, traumas, beliefs, and baggage. The most harmful thing we can do is entertain the fantasy that there might be someone “out there” that will not trigger, annoy or upset us. Some other person that would never say or do the stupid, disgusting or thoughtless things that our partner sometimes does.
If you are even reasonably compatible, and both willing to work on your relationship, then there is a pretty good shot that you can have not only an amazingly fulfilling relationship, but also, the best opportunity for growth, learning and evolution that you could find.
If it’s the “right” relationship, it will be easy.
Part of the stages of relationship includes an idyllic “falling-in-love” time…. Like a honeymoon period, where all other life seems to fade into the background and meeting each other’s needs seems exhilaratingly delightful. This phase will pass as life intrudes on the blissful exchange and we find that they too, are flawed human beings, much like us.
Relationships are work. That might seem abrasive to people that only see work as required, difficult demeaning exchange of hours for money. Rather it is meant more as vocation… it is a commitment, it takes an investment of your heart and soul, there will be times of difficulty and challenge, it will test you, it will grow you, it will ask you to show up fully, to change, to evolve, to become more of yourself.
To think that “if it isn’t easy, it isn’t right”, is avoiding the challenge that has been put in front of you. Whether you stay in the relationship or not… what you learn in meeting the difficulty will carry forward with you regardless.
Happily Ever After
Life is not about arriving at passive complacency, we are always evolving. The quality of your relationship will always reflect what you are willing to put in, what you are willing to invest.
If you avoid intimacy, avoid the challenging conversations, repress the difficult emotions, don’t share all of yourself, then you can exist in a partnership, but it will never be a deeply fulfilling relationship.
Which brings in another myth. The measure for relationship success is based on quantity instead of quality. You can have a marriage that lasts 40 years that is riddled with dysfunction and disconnection, or a relationship of two years that is rich in passion, connection, love and evolution.
Great relationships take investment and consistent practice.
That the passion and sex dwindle and fade over time
Long-term relationship balances a paradox of love and desire. Love is all about security, stability, predictability and safety, while desire is about mystery, the unknown, thrill, adventure and excitement. We can find ourselves in the comfort of love; and lose connection with desire. But this is in NOT a foregone conclusion.
When we are in new relationship, the desire is fueled by insecurity, fear of impermanence, unpredictability, and “does this person really like me?”. What becomes available to us in long-term relationship is the safety and security necessary to explore new heights of sexual expression and sensation. Unhindered by a need to perform, or fear and insecurity, we can experience a state of total surrender necessary to get to realms of the sacred.
The best sex of your life could be in front of you.
That you should be having sex __X__ times per week, month in order to have a healthy relationship.
There is no gold standard for the amount of times you have sex with your partner. This is a completely personal choice that can only be determined between you and your partner. There are no “shoulds” and there is no “normal”. We are all unique.
Finding the balance between you and your partner is tender and vulnerable territory. Give yourselves permission to talk openly about it, and excavate the beliefs you are carrying with you. There is nothing that kills sex more than one partner feeling obligated. Be open to each other’s fears and desires. Just talking about it in an honest and vulnerable way can build trust, compassion and understanding.