Relationships can be interesting because out of all of the experts out there, you would think there would be one consensus as to how to do “it” right. Yet, there are just as many opinions about relationships as there are people giving them. In fact, some of the experts and matchmakers are going through divorces, breakups, and problems themselves; while simultaneously giving advice to you. Honestly, relationships can be chalked up as one of THE things that make you want to go “hmm” as the old adage says. But, before you throw away all of your books, and the experts with them, try to understand that we are all in this together. The first rule in understanding “relationships” is that first and foremost “it” by itself is just a big fluff word.
Now, follow me for a moment; don’t allow yourself to think about relationships in terms of some magical “thing” that works for some people and doesn’t work for others. For the sake of this article, I am going to provide a simple definition of “relationships” in connection with the notion of friendships, and more intimate contracts between couples. A relationship can be easily understood as an agreement between persons that share a common interest. From that understanding, you allow yourself AND the other party enough space to create your combined definition(s) of what YOUR relationship will be. But, you may want to leave some room for flexibility on your definitions because too many rules can stifle the potential of what you can build together.
A basic understanding of what a relationship is, without all of the magical, “Mr./Mrs. Right” or “Mr./Mrs. Right Now” thinking, will save you from headaches down the road. When we focus on bringing our entire being into the relationship in front of us, then we open ourselves up to the possibility of having the relationship we want. Another important point to consider about relationships is that everywhere you go, there you are. In other words, everywhere you go, you bring your “self” with you. Your “self” is made up of the totality of who you think you are (your ego), who you want people to see you as (your persona), and your pure & free essence (your soul).
So, if you are encountering friendships or intimate relationships that seemingly involve that same personality you were “friends” with before, you need to recognize that part of you that keeps perceiving and projecting that personality onto the person you are relating to. There are times in dealing with others that we find ourselves bringing the same old patterns & behaviors into brand new relationships. So, when that person acts like the person you lovingly call your “ex” then maybe that is a sign that there are changes you need to make first. Before you project a label onto another person in your relationship, ask yourself whether or not you have done anything to solicit that behavior; that is, if you really want a healthy relationship.
In many cases, we are quick to project our opinion about a behavior without first owning what we have done to solicit the behavior. And, in the case of a healthy relationship, if you really care for them, find a way to bring more love to the situation. Perhaps that nagging spouse is really blowing off steam because you’ve been absent intimately for too long. Intimacy, erotica, passion, and romance do not have to always include sex. In fact, you may not even have to get undressed for it if it’s done right. Love is always the key, and if we respond with love before we respond with yelling, screaming, or coldness, maybe our Friday nights won’t be so lonely.
Try this out in your own life, and see if your relationships won’t be a little bit better.
JESSE HERRIOTT, M.A. is a Doctoral Candidate in Gender Psychology at North Central University. His areas of research are in Human Sexuality & “Spiritual Psychology.” He serves as an adjunct professor, counselor, spirituality teacher and hosts a weekly radio program on Tuesday’s at 10amET on Unity.FM Radio (www.unity.fm). He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by web at: www.jesseherriott.com