Before I began doing my own personal development work, my relationships all felt like carbon copies of one another. I would start dating someone, get caught up in the hormonal and chemical reaction that happens in our brain, and mistake it for "being in love".
Meanwhile, my intuition would notice certain "red flags" about the other person and the relationship , but I was so overwhelmed and enamored with the euphoria and connection that I chose to ignore it, keeping my focus on making the other person happy.
And that is not love. That is codependency.
There is the Shakespearean quote, "Love is Blind." However, when you are in a toxic relationship, love can seem deaf, dumb, mute, and otherwise oblivious. This was my story for many years until I realized an important concept.
There is a spiritual lesson we must learn in every relationship.
Here's the cliffs notes version.
1) We all have childhood wounds
2) We are drawn to people who are the opposite of us
For instance, in my relationship, I'm the sensitive one and like to talk about feelings. My girlfriend is more logic driven and likes to talk about facts. This is a dynamic that could easily create conflict.
But the concept can present itself in other ways. If you are a "Type A" personality who likes to be in control, you will be drawn to the person who is laid back and takes life as it comes. If you are an extrovert, you will be drawn in by the mystery of the introvert.
This is not an accident. This is the Universe presenting us with a chance to heal. Marianne Williamson uses the analogy of a gemologist who smooths out diamonds by rubbing the stones up against each other. And such is our romantic relationships. We are drawn to the people who can help us "even out".
Of course, it can't be that simple. Once the ego-mind gets in the way, the thing that initially drew us to our partner happens to be the exact same thing that will frustrate the s**t out of us.
The "Type A" planner will chastise their more laid back partner when the "to-do list" doesn't get done quickly and call them "lazy". Meanwhile, the laid back partner will respond with "Stop telling me what to do! You aren't my mother!"
So instead of blaming, name-calling, and trying to change the other person, which only leads to resentment, ask yourself if there is a bigger lesson that you are being asked to learn?
If you an emotionally closed off person who dismisses their partner's sensitivity by telling them to "get over it", could you learn to open up and be vulnerable? If you are a control freak, could the Universe be calling you to relax and be in the moment? If you are a person who feels like they have to do everything for their partner, perhaps you are being deliberately guided to set better boundaries and not be taken advantage of?
Whatever the lesson is, you are going to master it eventually. Because if you leave a relationship without learning the bigger lesson, you will just play the same dynamic out next time. It will be a new person, but the same situation.
This concept applies to both singles and couples. If you are a single person in the struggle, take inventory of your last 3 relationships. Was there a common theme? What can you learn from it? For couples, can you stop saying why you are "right" and start asking what can you learn?
It might relieve some of the tension and help you see love where all you previously saw was conflict. And at the very least, it will keep you from reliving the same drama in the future.
Sending you love this Valentine's Day,