Have you met people with plenty of friends and they all have the best relationships?
The person who smiles all the time and offers unconditional love to those dear to them?
Experts will tell you the reason their relationships thrive is because of the relationship they have with themselves. They have learned to love their innermost being and found their true identity. On the opposite spectrum, do you know those with little friends that go from one relationship to the other without making it last? They argue, fight, are jealous, and proclaim their love for each other, but do not show it.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
The people we are in relationships with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs.— Shakti Gawain
Those with poor relationships have an unhealthy relationship with themselves. They have not found their true identity but look towards others to define them. They are looking for love in all the wrong places. Relationships perplex even the best experts. They start-out wonderful and both partners are floating on a cloud of love for months. No one notices annoying traits or character defects, or if they do, they minimise it because they are in love.
As time goes by, things begin to change. The love hormones wane, character defects become clear, and arguing occurs more often. Before you know it, the two are carrying resentment, yell at each other, and contemplate the possibility of the relationship being over. There are many factors that come into play in a relationship. The dynamics are different for every person, so it is difficult to say the reason for breakups is clear. It is a combination of factors.
One thing that experts will tell you is that a person’s relationship with others, and especially a partner, mirrors their relationship with self. If a person’s relationship with self is unhealthy, it is likely their relationship with others will be unhealthy. A relationship will make you see things in yourself that you might not see if you stay single. You find out quickly if you are a selfish person once you are in a relationship because when there is someone to “share” with, you face a decision to “share” or not. Communication, compromise, and conflict resolution come up, and you face having to lay your pride down and work together on issues.
Don’t Focus on the Externals
A relationship is a mirror. Every moment the other reveals you, exposes you. The closer the relationship, the clearer the mirror.— Rajneesh
A contributing factor whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy depends on where each partner finds happiness and fulfillment. Many people seek this in external objects or people. I’m sure you’ve heard people proclaim: “I’ll be happy if he did this or she said that” or “If I only got that job, new house, baby.” If a person seeks a partner to complete them, conflicts arise. It is not your partner’s job to make you happy. It is your job to make you happy. It is your partner’s job to make themselves happy.
When you seek happiness externally, as in a person, you will expect things, and resentment will arise. Resentment brings anger and anger brings arguments. This is one reason people go from one relationship to another. They think a person will “complete” them, but once the honeymoon phase is over, the needy partner sucks energy from the other trying to find fulfillment. They may be needy, jealous, controlling, and manipulative because they seek happiness through their partner. It does not work.
In order for a partnership to be healthy, each person should be at a place where they have dealt with issues such as low self-esteem, jealousy, resentment, and inner pain.
Each partner must know self-love that radiates outward and adds value to a relationship instead of seeking love and affirmation from a partner. Many people gravitate toward partners who are opposites, which leads to conflict. Conflict can help each partner to begin a journey within themselves to find unconditional love and wholeness. From there, unconditional love is given to the partner. If you are in a relationship that is troubling you, stop pointing fingers and get quiet with yourself. Take time to contemplate, meditate, and take a season in which you find out who you are.
Deal with your issues related to low self-worth, anger, bitterness, laziness, fear, etc. Own up to your “junk” in the relationship and commit to looking inward to find your identity, unconditional love, and wholeness. From there, you will maintain healthy relationships and add value to those around you. If you cannot do this alone, consider seeing a relationship counselor. Counselors are trained to help people move past their issues and offer insights on changing attitudes and behaviour.
Many people use this time and go on to develop healthy relationships.
You can too.