These are the three most important elements to pay attention to when creating a beautiful and healthy long-term relationship:
- Love alone is NOT enough.
- A shared vision is also NOT enough.
- You must have love for each other, be going in the same direction AND at the same speed
This pillar in essence means inclusiveness and responsibility.
You include the other as a part of yourself and you treat them as such.
Practically, this means that you keep your awareness sharp around how you can best serve them – and you serve abundantly.
Responsibility means that you respond to ALL of them.
You do not shout any part out. You do not ignore, numb to, reject or avoid any emotion they bring to the table.
(This does not mean staying through toxicity, it means that you look face to face at those areas within them and within yourself that are challenging to look at. Staying in toxicity can only happen in fact when we’re willfully blind and not wanting to see the truth of a situation.)
Practically, to love the other means to include them in your experience of life and to be with them and see them fully.
Rain or shine!
If two horses pull the car in a different direction, it’s a matter of time until the horses (or the car) break.
A layer deeper within this pillar is that of values and virtues:
What do you wish to embody and move towards in your experience of life?
If the creation of a family feels very sacred, and being grounded and building a kingdom with your partner feels like a strong motivator.
Dating someone for whom adventure, simplicity and going with the flow are their higher values – will only create chaos.
When looking at vision, most people go into morality, which is useless. Your vision is not better than his or hers.
One of you may travel the world, the other may want kids, one of you may want to accumulate large amounts of wealth, the other one values minimalistic living a lot more, one of you wants to save the animals and the other loves his steak medium rare.
No good or bad, right or wrong, just different!
Having a shared vision means you won’t bump heads against each other when it comes to important topics. Out of which, these tend to be the most relevant:
– Spiritual path.
– Family Preferences (Marriage/children).
– Health & Longevity
– Financial goals if you want to live in an ashram for a few months and your partner wants to party it up, you’ll have a hard time
– If you want kids and he doesn’t, you’ll resent each other whatever the compromise.
– If you care for your health and she doesn’t, good luck trying to agree on a restaurant or a grocery list. (and down the road, someone’s illness becomes their partner’s burden/responsability)
–If you’re committed to living a very simple life in nature and she wants designer shoes, purses, and a downtown condo things will not flow well
You can love each other, be going in the same direction and want the same things..
But if your pace is different, there will be chaos.
Imagine a dance where one dancer is dragging their feet… Or rushing through it… Ugly!
This happens in a relationship where despite the shared feelings and visions, one partner has either a substantially stronger thirst for life than the other, or a different relationship with risk taking.
If you are very passionate about your spiritual path, you will outgrow your partner and resent them when you see them “lagging behind“
If you are very fired up about your sexual exploration and they vibe more with simplicity on the vanilla side of things, it’s a matter of time until you end up feeling bored/restricted or the other person feeling rushed/forced into things.
If you want to have kids right now but he wants to wait another 10 years… you can imagine how that will go.
I used to try and make things work if there was love and a shared vision for the future.
Until one day I realized that the woman I was dating, had a far different pace from mine.
She liked to take her time to think things through, to slow down, to feel and ease into them very, very slowly.
Which is beautiful and from which I learned invaluable lessons.
However, I like to go ALL IN, to be single-focused on everything that I do, to commit myself fully from the get-go and see things until the end.
To jump into decisions as my way of deciding (versus analyzing back and forth).
And I realized that it was not harmonious.
I felt like I had my foot fully pressed on the accelerator and she had hers on the brakes.
She probably felt rushed and like much was being asked of her.
Long story short, we took our own paths (in which we both ended up meeting someone whose pace matched our own).
So, if you feel unsure about your relationship, explore what about these three pillars feels off:
- Do we genuinely love each other? (or is it just attraction without deep care)
- Do we share the same values and vision? (or are we playing the instant-gratification, short-term game)
- Do we move in the same pace? (or do I feel slowed down or dragged and rushed along)
Once you have identified these, the next step is the most difficult:
Understanding that it is NOT your role to change them (nor you could even if you tried.)
The moment you have to convince someone to love you, you’ve lost even your self-love.
The moment you try to force someone into adopting your values and vision of life, you are either controlling or parenting the other.
The moment you want them to hurry up or slow down, is the moment the journey stops being pleasant for both (just picture a hike where one wants to break their timing record and the other wants to look at nature).
We all want to walk at our own speed, in the same direction, while we hold the gentle hand of someone we love that loves us back.
If you have these three in place, everything else is manageable.
If you don’t, no matter what you do your relationship will feel like a constant battle.