For most relationships, love is at first a force of nature, a flood of heavenly emotions turning current life on its head and transforming it into heaven. You feel so good, your partner is perfect and perfect for you, and you've got the entire world in your heart. And then months pass, maybe a few years pass, and then you doubt whether or not you and your partner are actually meant to be. Are they the same person you fell in love with, was it all just a lie, does love not really exist, was is just stupid passion?
I have a very important message: love does not die unless you allow it to.
Why was the beginning so good? Why was there such an abundance of amazing feelings and captivation passion? Why was there so much excitement?
When you first "fall in love with someone", you prime yourself to really really emphasize their positive traits. You focus so lovingly and enthusiastically on their positive traits. You milk every single joy you experience together- you search and re-search those interactions and extract all the pleasure you can out of it because YOU DON'T KNOW. You WANT TO know that they love you too, so that is why you focus so much on the evidence that supports it. That is why a single look or smile from them can make your day feel like a walk through paradise- that smile was EVIDENCE that they wanted you too, that you were in the middle of experiencing something really, really great.
You first love every little thing about them, because you actively seek our evidence in them that supports your desire to have a really good relationship with them. You seek out evidence that tells you that you two are good for each other and that this person is beautiful and that you have really stumbled upon a blessing in your life.
And then what happens?
Then you establish the relationship. Then you KNOW. You stop looking for evidence to support your desire for a relationship because the relationship is there. But that focus has got to go somewhere, doesn't it? And unfortunately, the focus often goes to their negative traits or what isn't there. You focus on the way they leave their dirty socks on the floor or crack their knuckles when its super quiet. You focus on the way they focus on their friends instead of focusing on you 24/7, and then that focus builds up momentum and suddenly you're a teeming mess of possessiveness and jealousy. You focus on what your relationship doesn't have- and that lack only grows and grows and grows. And maybe this lack will cause you to break up, but if you go about life this way, you will only repeat the cycle with your next relationship.
So what do you do instead?
Well, what do you want?
Relationships are an everychanging dynamic, just like you, just like your partner. You are not the same person you were yesterday, you have new experiences, you have been moved with those new experiences, as was your partner. You and your partner are not stagnant, therefore your relationship is not stagnant. But we often treat our relationships like a stagnant object- its there, its been made, its a GIVEN. IT IS CERTAIN.
THE TRUTH IS THAT IT IS NOT CERTAIN.
Relationship problems are rife with expectations that just don't align. You expect your partner to act a certain way, so you OBJECTIFY your partner. You have reduced your partner to a therapist who SHOULD listen to you complain about your problems. You reduce your partner to a FINANCIAL SOURCE who SHOULD support you and your lifestyle. You reduce your partner to many things and in doing so, you are basically turning them into an object. Yet, you are bored or frustrated because you miss and want the excitement back, the passion? How are you going to be excited or impassioned by a set OBJECT?
To bring the spark back into your relationship, you need to retrain your focus and intent. Remember in the beginning when you were dating? That was you intending to find everything good about them and focusing on it to bring about your desire for a relationship. Why did you stop? Don't you still want a relationship? What kind of relationship do you want? You aren't the same person as when you started the relationship, what do you want now? Have you ever even sat down and thought about how you want to feel in your relationship or have you been operating from an unexamined default?
It is simple. The next time you are with your partner, intend to see the greatness in them and appreciate it. Appreciation is just positive focus. To love someone is to walk their field and enjoy all of their flowers instead of picking out their weeds. The more you love someone, the more flowers grow, the less space there are for weeds. The weeds will be there, okay, accept it, don't pay attention to them.
Approach your relationship from freshness. This is a new day, what do you want to explore in your relationship with your partner? What do you want to share and create with your partner in this space you've set aside? A relationship is a playground for you and your partner to explore and create- it is a beautiful space, let it be beautiful and see the beauty in it.
Maybe you love the way your partner used to stroke the bottom of your chin with their finger and look into your eyes. Ask them to do it again, feel it thoroughly, eat it all up and soak it all in and enjoy it. Go to the store and pause a little longer in front of something you and your partner could enjoy- if you brough this home, what experiences would you want to co-create with your partner? Be open, be playful, see their gold. Your job as a lover is to see their gold, to actively search for it, not focus on the dirt.
What do you want in life? How do you want to feel? How do you want to feel in a relationship? Allow yourself to focus on what you want and let it grow in your reality. Stop focusing on what isn't there. Why are you watering the weeds? Water the flowers.
This isn't an excuse to stay in an abusive relationship. This isn't an excuse to ignore true unhappiness and misalignment with your partner. You see, when you focus on how you want to feel, it shows up in your life and you are guided to take actions that help bring about that desire into fruition. Maybe this focus on what you want will guide you out of the current relationship, that is okay. You can have a happy breakup (post to come.) Don't lie to yourself, be totally honest. Don't take it so seriously- go about it with ease, play with life, be light-hearted.
Feel good first. Relax, smile, release the tension, then be with your partner. It is hard to enjoy being with your partner when you are wrestling yourself. Maybe you need some extra support and love from your partner as you release the tension, ask for a huge, a massage, a take out dinner and a few hours of funny movies while you cuddle. Allow the love to guide the focus.
Enjoy your life,