I hope you are doing well.
I have not written about relationships since Red Flags vs Insecurities.
When I wrote that post I knew I was falling for someone. I was trying to tell you guys and myself that loving or liking someone comes with a risk but the reward when it is right is beautiful. I still stand by what I say, however, over the last couple of months I have realised that the beauty that comes with love comes with a lot of other things; vulnerability, honesty, openness, responsibility, reflection and so much more.
Truth is relationships are work! Hard work! Not just on the union, but a lot of work as individuals. Getting into a relationship has made me realise a lot of things that had changed me as a person from previous relationships that I did not even realise. It has made me more self-aware than I have ever been; in my body, my thoughts, my interactions; my friendships, my family dynamics, my faith, my career, my finances, my social life…EVERYTHING. I have honestly felt like there has been a magnifying glass on my life. And for me, that has been terrifying.
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Baldwin
When you become very close to someone and are committed to loving them openly and even consider spending your future with them it becomes very difficult to hide parts of yourself you even hide from yourself. Like I said that can be terrifying… but is it worth it? Surely!
You don’t need to be perfect
I think the message that you need to be “whole” before entering a relationship is one that we should all adhere to, however, a lot of the time we misinterpret that to mean we should be perfect before getting into a relationship. Truth is we can always be more confident, we can always be better Christians, we can always be better partners, we can always be richer… my point is as humans reaching “perfection” is a facade. When you are in the right relationship(s) (Not just romantic), they do not hinder you from becoming the best version of you, they help you!
“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” – Swedish Proverb
Like you have that friend or parent who will love you no matter what you go through, there are partners who are able to do the same. Not to encourage people to be toxic in relationships in the name of “love”… I am talking about genuine life problems that we will all face at one time or another. In fact, if you are looking at your boyfriend or girlfriend like your future husband or wife it is crucial that you are confident this person can be with you and help you in whatever way they can. “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…” remember?
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Your partner is not your therapist”
With all that being said, it is important to know whatever issues that do arise when the magnifying glass is on you, it’s not your partner’s job to provide you with all the answers. They “should” be there to love you while YOU do the work to find them. Whatever insecurities arise from a relationship is not necessarily your partner’s fault either, so do not blame them. It is important to look inwardly and possibly seek help outwardly from people who are qualified to help you.
Your growing as in individual or reaching your potential or fulfilling your purpose certainly does not stop because you are in a relationship, love your partner enough to be able to spend time alone and working on you and what makes YOU happy. Your relationship is only one element of your life and while it is a huge one it’s better one when you are a better person.
“Don’t lose yourself whilst caring for others, the most important relationship you will have is the one with yourself” – Anonymous
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” – Anthony Robbins