Chemistry is nice, feeling excited, in love and enamoured with another person is one of the most exhilarating things we can experience in a relationship. The lusting, chemicals running wild, the feeling of being wanted by someone can feel incredible and even addictive…
Though as much as this can feel good at the onset of a new connection, these are just some of the sparks that ignite the flame of love. They’re typically not the ones that keep the flame ablaze.
When I ask a couple or a single person what they think love is, and what makes for a lasting loving connection, very few people say that learning and growing (as an individual and a couple) is what makes a relationship “work” or “go the distance”…
Many attribute a lasting connection to physical chemistry, being loved, feeling good, wanting to share your life with someone, being looked after, snuggling, sharing life’s adventures, etc. These kinds of experiences are not something to dismiss, they make for a good relationship, yet they are NOT what I call the KEY factor for relationship success.
When you get caught up on the superficial of what many be deemed as love, you tend to overlook the character traits or the key foundations that makes for real, deep, intimate and connected love. Being open to learning allows for lasting intimacy, because without this, physical intimacy and emotional intimacy will suffer.
The problem is: So many people become fearful of learning and growing because one has to stop and look at themselves and work with their partner. And when you’re trying to objectively see how you communicate and relate with your partner, there may be some embarrassment or even shame, which can feel like a real blow to the ego. In looking back, you might see that you’re indulging in some things that not only lessen intimacy, but also damage your relationship as a whole.
Behaviours that can cause damage include:
- Power playing
- Letting your ego rule you
- Blaming your partner for things that both of you contributed to
- Lies that hide what you’re feeling
- Being dismissive of what your partner is feeling
Even though there are more of these unhealthy habits, you probably get the idea. These kinds of unhealthy behaviours just don’t work! They won’t allow for real intimacy as these things creates barriers and emotional distance.
For deep, connected, emotional and physical intimacy to take place both people need to feel emotionally and physically safe. While you or your partner are playing mind games, not being authentic, lying, blaming, clamming up, not listening and understanding each other, not open to learning and growing, one or both partners will feel paranoid and/or fearful of each other. They stop you from being completely open with one another. And worst of all, they prevent you from growing in love since there always seems to be an ulterior motive involved.
Now, don’t be disheartened because you’ve indulged in any of these behaviours. There’s still hope! In fact, once you’ve realized that you’re doing things that don’t positively contribute to your relationship, that’s when the learning can start. You can then do things differently.
The next time you try to take an objective look at your relationship, try to pinpoint the reasons you or they do these unhealthy habits…
- Is it because you’re not ready to completely give your love to your partner?
- Is it because you’re not entirely sure of how you feel about your partner?
- Is it because you’re scared that if you’re honest and open your partner may not like what you have to say?
- Is it because you really don’t know why you do what do?
- Is it because you don’t know how to change?
Once you know the reasons behind these behaviours, try to find different ways of approaching the problems. For instance, if you’re experiencing problems in your relationship, wouldn’t it be a good idea to communicate these problems to your partner? Instead of just sitting on it and waiting for the problem to solve itself, letting your partner in on how you feel can drastically improve your chances of coming up with a viable solution. All you need to do at the start is to give it a try.
The key in this case is learning to open up about how you’re feeling. And this is just one of the many things you can learn in a relationship, though communication can feel like the toughest one.
The more emotionally intimate you are with yourself and the person you care about and love the more you will gain from a relationship. You give the relationship the wings to fly and this comes from humility and vulnerability. These traits are designed to make you stronger (not weaker).
With each lesson you learn, you become a step closer to achieving intimate and lasting love. Though the road there may not seem easy or clear-cut, it’s definitely worth the effort in knowing that your investment in learning with your partner pays off. In the long-term it makes for a more flowing, far easier and rewarding connection.
Start learning, growing and loving from the most authentic and deepest place.
To our readers out there, what was the hardest thing you ever had to learn while you were in a relationship? Did you learn your lesson the easy way or the hard way? Please share your stories with us!
~ Nadine Piat