Personally, I used to have a high ideal as to what it took for me to be happy on my own, let alone wanting to meet someone who was supposed to make me feel good.
Bit by bit, as I moseyed on the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, I found the perfect idea of myself and a partner-to-be based on a some sort of Greek myth.
It was disconcerting to turn the attention inward, rather than continue focusing outward in the hope of someone filling up emptiness that clearly wasn't meant for him.
I decided to appreciate things as they were and find my own happiness in that moment. I developed a connection with how short life is and for me to not spend my time, feeling sorry for the relationships I endured and the ones I couldn't achieve.
As I started this new love affair with myself, dating me... digging me in fits and starts, it became more consistent over time. Things finally were groovy when it came to my expectations, my desires and what I believed a real (not the fiction that once took space in my head) relationship could offer me.
I learned the how to in love, as I also knew love was at the basis for well-being.
Here's a brief glimpse of what I've found makes for a genuinely good relationship.
1. Jump back and kiss ourselves
Besides finding someone else we want to kiss, being good with ourselves and finding a partner who is fairly good with themselves leads to lots of kissing!
Ditching all of our items on the negative self-checklist isn't necessary, but acknowledge that they exist. Accept, don't judge and when we want to judge, allow the urge to pass. It helps nothing and no one to criticize or make our partner feel bad for who they are... remember the goal is love, not assassination.
Focusing on the whole allows for each individual to grow within themselves and within the relationship.
2. Comfort in the skin
Two people who are comfy, cozy in their skin together can play on the same team.
Confidence and being true to who we are can keep the little demons in their place. When insecurities arise, having the confidence to admit it and not fear rejection is huge. Also, having the confidence to not expect our partner to fix it and practicing mindfulness score a major bonus!
Sounds boring to some, but really... wouldn't we want to have our best friend by our side as we go through this life?
The one we can play and laugh with, explore, be silly, love, share, support and optimally, treat each other with that deep regard, the respect and kindness we each deserve?
It's what gets us through those times of walking on a tight wire.
4. Pull the weeds (aka expectations)
True happiness means we're not relying on someone else to make our day.
It doesn't mean they can't or won't do something to make us feel a sense of appreciation, excitement or passion.... it means, that we're okay whether they're lighting our fire or something else has their focus. Each of our worlds doesn't revolve around what each does or doesn't do for the other. It's realistic; it's not based on a fantasy of how one's partner is supposed to act and be. It gives freedom so both of us can give and receive fully without expectations.
There's no pushing or forcing one's agenda on the other, because we don't need them to be our bandaid.
5. Zesty passion
Oooo Laa Laa! Yummy stuff!
Not only do two people who aren't beating their partner up with their baggage have more passion for each other, but they also share a zesty passion for life!
Life becomes a sexy, sensual exploration whether it's in the bedroom, or trying new things, which can lead us to our dreams. This type of zest is what keeps us young, looking to learn, finding the dark hidden spaces to not be so scary and we get to share it with our best friend!
How much fun can we have in this lifetime?
This list is handy, whether we're single or in a relationship; we can begin today to create those things in our life.
Awareness can shift our perception to open us to creating more possibilities within our relationships!
(First published on elephant journal)
Photo credit: MikeBaird
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