Thursday, February 4, 2010

Building an ideal relationship.

Post 422 - The main difference between a good and an ideal relationship is that the latter equips us for life, and allows us to be a better person in the world. Sometimes we choose partners who make us feel good only when we’re together. If this kind of wonderful intensity is the only thing present, it doesn’t continue to make us feel more and more alive in the longer term. Eventually, the relationship turns in on itself rather than developing into a partnership which illuminates the world anew.

Why do we fall in love with one person and not with another? I believe there are three basic ingredients for romantic attraction: intellectual, emotional and sexual, and all of these need to be strong enough if we’re to make a good connection and build a lasting relationship. However, what makes a relationship good isn’t necessarily what we feel towards each other, but what we create of each other.

An ideal relationship makes our life larger, not smaller. When both parties grow and experience things they wouldn't have known about or sought out without the other person's influence, then the relationship contributes positively to each individual’s journey through life.

An ideal relationship isn’t without arguments (arguments probably allow both parties to evolve faster than any other type of interaction).

We don't worry when we’re not together and we have the most enjoyment when we are together.

There’s no place in our relationship for questions about perfection, love and fear.

There’s no fear of acceptance of our flaws and drawbacks.

We feel like we were born to be with the other person, yet we wonder why it took so long to find them.

We don't have to ask for anything - it just comes.

We don't have to make an effort to give - it just goes.

We’re friends as well as lovers. As we get older, we find that friendship is more enduring than passion.

We can grow together because we feel free together. As Leo Buscaglia wrote, "A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself -- to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.”

If all the compromises we make in a relationship (such as giving pleasure to our partner as opposed to receiving pleasure) aren’t often reciprocated or we constantly feel we’re getting short-changed and resent our partner for that, then it’s a good time to change the relationship in some way (e.g. confront our partner with our discontent and seek something better) or to find another relationship.

The corollary is that if we ever feel we’ve given as much as we wish or can, and yet that’s insufficient to sustain the relationship, then it's probably time to move on.

The ideal relationship brings the best out of us, not as a requirement, but rather as an effect. We have this ultimate connection with another person, which is also a channel for the exchange of energy. In an ideal relationship, passion generates lots of positive energy. However, even when we’re challenged by the other party, this negative energy can be positively channeled too. Although it may cause discomfort initially, it helps us to overcome inertia so we can grow and change in a positive way.

There really isn't an ideal relationship that fits everyone; its how you deal with the imperfections of the relationship that makes it ideal.

1 comment:

Materese Roche said...

Thank you for simply the best description of an ideal relationship that I've ever read!