When we develop an intimate crush on a person, we see only fragments of who they are. The gaps are filled in by our imagination. Two people seeking an ideal partner, meet on a crossroads of desire and expectation. Any small sign that indicates the person fulfils one or more aspects of our mental criteria is enough for us to label them as the ‘one’. The rest of our wish list we project onto them. When we see someone as an ideal candidate for a relationship, we create little fantasies in our head about the future. We expect the desired person to slot into this role.
Investing in a fabricated story of a relationship ties you to the outcome, so that when a split happens, it feels like tearing strips of fiction from your skin. The pages of the relationship come undone when you realise that your partner is not the person scripted into the story. One or both of you awaken as complete strangers, and in some cases enemies, from the love story.
If you pay attention to people and really listen to them, rather than using interpretation, it allows their true essence to shine. After all, it is the initial feeling that attracts you to a person. Rushing in with needs and desires places a big expectation on a partner. Expecting someone to fulfil a role you place on them is a form of emotional blackmail. If they have low self-esteem or other emotional issues, they can feel love is only shown to them when they meet the conditions placed upon them. Many of us are conditioned from an early age to believe in romance and fairytales. Yet the experience for many is of hurt, betrayal and disappointment. When we are unfulfilled in love, we are constantly waiting for the fairytale to work out, choosing illusion over reality. Taking responsibility for your emotions frees you from blind romance and chasing after impossible ideals. When you see a person for who they truly are, accepting their light and shade, they start to blossom, just as you begin to blossom when you are accepted exactly as you are. People grow in the light of acceptance as the natural characteristics of a person begin to shine through.
Someone who you find attractive usually has qualities you wish to emulate. They serve as catalysts for undeveloped emotions to expand and grow. An emotionally inexpressive person may find they are attracted to a nurturing, caring person who encourages free expression of feeling. Someone suppressing shame and guilt about their physical body may find they are attracted to a sensual person who encourages them to embrace their sexuality. The quality you admire in others indicates the part of you that requires expansion and growth.
As you mature emotionally, any suppressed emotion within you tugs at your feeling body and impresses pain upon the mind. This energy is reflected in the dynamics of a relationship. Therefore, a loved one can simultaneously exhilarate and frustrate you. They push your buttons to release knots of energy that may have remained dormant for many years. This is the purpose of an authentic relationship, to help you grow and mature in love. We enter relationships to share information and experiences that enhance our journey, and the feeling of extending and receiving love. Not all relationships last forever, but the experience we gain from them does.
Extract from my book ‘In Quest of Love’ – A guide to inner harmony.