Because intimate relationships most acutely accommodate our basic human need for love. We need a love that gives us profound feelings of connection, companionship and affection. Our need for such love must be satisfied-- and we will commit terrible acts of embarrassment to get that need met. So off we go, and dive into the deep end of the dating pool...
THE DATING DIVIDE
Why is finding a great mate so difficult? After all, the internet gives us a smorgasbord of attractive offerings complete with profile. A few clicks, a few bucks and BAM the right one pops up! Alas, no refund for defective products.
The media, advertisers and dating websites lead us to want to have a relationship all neatly wrapped up and ready for us to consume at will. They sell relationships like a used car dealer sells cars.
So, how do we find a fulfilling intimate relationship in the first place?
Trick question. We do not "find" a relationship. Rather, we create one through choosing someone who is not wrong for us and then going for it. I say that we choose someone "who is not wrong for us," because nobody is perfect, no matter what their bio says.
Where to begin? How about deciphering what we seek?
A relationship is a connection between two parties. But how does that connection materialize?
An intimate relationship is an evolution established by you and your intended. The daily decisions and actions you take, determine the course of the relationship. It grows by sharing your unique gifts during moments of authentic trust. You trust yourself to allow another into the deepest parts of your soul, and that ethereal experience narrates the relationship. You are both manifesting something brand new, and that's exciting.
A relationship either flourishes or withers according to the personal and spiritual growth of you and your beloved. It also depends upon the friendship you foster. As the relationship matures, you both mutually derive satisfaction and joy through giving all you can to your intimate, without keeping score. Just thinking of how you can make your beloved smile, turns you on and lifts your spirits.
Navigating a successful relationship, however, comes with unexpected storms. Since people do not grow and learn at the same rate, you may find yourself navigating alone in the dark--patiently waiting for your mate to catch up; perhaps guiding your mate back on course. Storms offer periods to review, rebuild and better the relationship.
TRACKING TRUE LOVE
How to find your true love, the raw material of relationship--some suggestions:
1) Clarify what you must have in a mate in great detail. Listen to Tony Robbins' coaching on the matter. He suggests making a list of what you must have in a mate. If this seems daunting, he says start by listing the things you hate and then choosing the opposite. This method can be fun and funny. For example, a short list of character traits I loathe: Slobs; Drunks; Sloths--watches T.V. incessantly, ignoring me and the world; manic depressives; constant complainers; revolting personal habits... (hopefully this does not describe your current mate.)
The point is that once you decide what you want, the universe opens up and drops the mate of your dreams in your lap. Well, not really, but it does get your subconscious mind on the job, and you start noticing people you may not have otherwise considered.
2) Put yourself out there, and not just on websites or in bars. If you commit to finding your mate, then go the distance. Spruce up and get off the sofa. Go follow your passions, get involved accordingly and let go of the goal.
3) Remember, a relationship is a place you go to give, not to get, as Tony Robbins likes to say. I think he means that you need to take yourself out of the equation and focus on the person in front of you who sparks your interest. Drop your "story" and live completely in the present moment--be curious. Learn to embrace silence in the presence of another human being and notice the magic that occurs.
Getting into an intimate relationship is major risk-taking, but its good for you, because you learn about yourself and what it means to be fully alive. Unfortunately things may go awry. Relationships die. You must objectively do whatever it takes to get from devastation back to your new, improved self, when it's clear the relationship is over.
I cried for 80 miles, just like Doris Day did in "Pillow Talk," over losing my love. I needed my Auntie's arms to comfort me. When I walked through the door, choking back sobs, my aunt said "What's wrong?"
"My boyfriend left me, and I...don't...want...to...live!"
"Oh, is that all;" and she turned and went to her room. I was so shocked by her prosaic reply, that I immediately stopped sobbing. Later that day she comforted me, but in the moment, she did me a favor. Once she interrupted my pattern of despair, I was able to see what I was doing to myself. I was able to move on! Once I gave myself some space, I realized that the guy I allowed to devastate me, I never truly trusted or loved! He was wrong for me on every level, but I was too needy and love-starved to see it. I looked to "him" to feed me, instead of feeding myself. And I'm an excellent chef.
When your beloved dumps you leaving you heartbroken, do not allow yourself to dip into a depression. Instead, if you must grieve, then schedule it: 5 minutes a day for a week; or 1 day and done. Wail, meditate, write in your journal, be grateful for everything in you life, and laugh! Step-up the self care: eat well, exercise, get out of your routine and change your environment. Do something fun! Realize that this too shall pass.
EVERYTHING dissolves. Once you recover from your emotional blows, realize that your heartbreak has expanded your capacity for love and connection, not diminished it. Consider the experience as a gift, a practice round, because you WILL "find someone better." Awareness of these facts will help get you through the pain of it all--guaranteed!
THE PERFECT RELATIONSHIP RECIPE?
It's worth a try, so let's get cooking my dears!
One self-actualized human being
Great sense of humor
Gently incorporate ingredients through all the seasons
Allow to heat and cool, rise and fall for years and years, until matured
Mix it up, as necessary
Share the love!