A loving relationship is what most of us want. Thousands of books have been written exploring and listing different ways of creating it. And yet, there is only one main factor that decides whether our relationship is loving or not: our state of mind.
The Confusing Relationship Expectation
When we first meet someone we are attracted to, we often experience feelings of lust, longing and passion. We become attached to them and foresee a happy future with them. Only that very often it doesn’t quite turn out that way. Instead, we experience frustration, disappointment and conflict.
So what’s going wrong?
Do we choose badly? Are they flawed? Are we flawed? Do we have unrealistic expectations? Are all relationships just doomed? Do we have to accept boredom and chronic disconnection as part of the experience we call relationship?
What Healthy Relationships Consist Of
Some of us have been lucky in having had great role models growing up. If our parents created a healthy relationship with each other, we would have witnessed respect, honesty, openness, authenticity, interdependence, vulnerability, kindness, reciprocity, generosity … and so on. We would have witnessed love expressed in many different ways.
Most of us focus on these results. We want respect. We want reciprocity. We want kindness. We want it all. We want this wonderful relationship experience everyone seems to be wishing for but only very few appear to get.
What not many mention is that all these attributes have to be cultivated. We are not passive recipients in healthy relationships. We must be active agents of love.
And what this means is to act with love and contribute all those loving attributes we wish to receive.
Loving Behaviours Come From A Loving State Of Mind
Once we understand this we may be tempted to give in order to receive. We may be tempted to try and fake it. It will be hard, effortful and it won’t work.
We all have great instincts and know whether someone is genuine or not. Acting in loving ways comes naturally and effortlessly when we are in a loving state of mind. There is no pressure, no expectation, no effort.
It just happens.
When we are in a loving state of mind, we are fully connected to our innate wellbeing. We know that we are safe. We know that we are loved.
From this state of mind, we are fully present, open for connection and emotionally available to our partner.
Our relationship works. It thrives. As do we. Together and individually.
Loving Attributes Naturally Arise From A Loving State of Mind
We are often led to believe that we must get our partner to interact, communicate or change in one way or another. This leads us to believe that our experience is dependent on our partner.
Usually this results in anxiety that expresses itself in manipulative and controlling behaviours. We act out of a fear-based state of mind. The results are never pretty.
The more we push, the more they pull back. The more we pull back, the harder they push. It’s a battle, not a relationship.
The main realisation we need to have so we can experience a loving relationship is that our experience solely depends on our own state of mind.
I will have a wonderful experience of a loving relationship if I am in a loving state of mind.
“The love we seek, we have within.” Marlena Tillhon
The love we want to receive, we have to give. It does not work any other way. When we do not give love, we give fear. No one wants to receive fear, because fear feels infectious to us. No one wants to be feared. No one wants to fear.
So instead of focusing on our partner, we have to learn to focus on ourselves. What is it we do? What is it we think? What do we bring to our partner and how?
Are we coming from a place of love or fear?
Once we become used to asking ourselves those questions before we approach our partner, we realise that when we struggle, we come from a place of fear. We need our love and attention. We need to learn to provide the safety for ourselves we seek from the outside.
When we realise that we have that security within ourselves, there if very little reason to be in a fearful state of mind.
Love becomes effortless and we realise that by giving what we have always yearned for, we naturally receive it.