Many of us compare our relationships to how we’ve been taught they “should” be instead of what we truly want.
And this is where shiz often goes sideways.
I think of my own out-of-the-box relationship, where my husband and I spend way less time together than most couples because of our respective passions… and it was that way before we even had a kid (and before he discovered paragliding;).
People would ask me, “How do you let him do so many trips?”
Here’s the thing – it’s not about “letting.” It’s about knowing who you are in a relationship with – either intimately, as a friend, or even family-wise – and deciding if you are okay with how things are or not. Which also requires us to know what we want.
And then comes the step of deciding if we can be with the relationship as it is – even if the other person never changes.
When it comes to my own relationship, I like having my own time to do things with my friends and my own passions. It reminds me to always cultivate my own joys and adventures.
Now, when we had a kid and my husband was home even less, we definitely had some issues, because we had agreed that that specifically would NOT happen.
We had a talk, and things didn’t change much. So I had to decide: am I okay with how things are?
And I wasn’t. So I thought about what I really needed and wanted, and I asked for it.
And he said yes. BUT I had to be prepared for him to say no.
To do that, I had to believe that I was worthy of wanting what I wanted and needing what I needed, and that I would be okay without him.
I had to have clarity about my inherent worth and loveability. Which is no small task.
So many of us socialized as womyn are taught that we don’t get to “want” or “need” until everyone else’s needs are met first, right? And as a result, so many of us don’t even know what we really need, let alone want. We weren’t given opportunities to truly explore that.
Instead, relationships often happened to us and many of us got into them thinking, “Whew! I’m not alone, so I’ll tolerate a bunch of BS until I reach a threshold where I can’t tolerate any more.” And we let our anger or frustration or bitterness determine what we weren’t willing to put up with any more, instead of being proactive about choosing what we wanted.
And we often hold out for how things might change,.
It’s no wonder we’re confused AF when we have to decide if we want to be – or stay – in a relationship or not.
Another result of the socialization to defer what we want (or even learning what that is) is we often hesitate about getting clear because then we’d have to ask for it. And we’d have to say no sometimes or walk away or (gasp!) hurt someone’s feelings.
It means we have to accept another human for who they are and not expect them to change (hey – we wouldn’t want someone doing that to us, right?).
If they say no to key needs and wants, or we end up in a relationship we don’t feel fulfilled in, we often feel bitter that they aren’t meeting our needs, or we hound them to change or (and this is super common), we decide what’s really important isn’t really that important when it actually IS really important…and resent it later.
But when we are clear about what we want, it means we have to see when we aren’t getting it.
And if we want to live in integrity, it means we have to be OK leaving when that feels right, too.
So then we’re at risk of being alone. Again.
For many of us, that’s scary AF.
But you get to want what you want, ask for what you want, decide how important it is if you don’t get it, and decide to stay or go … and do it however you please.
So if we’re wondering if it makes sense in a relationship to do it this or that way…
What do you want? What feels good?
If you and your partner want to live separately because that works for you… do it.
If you both want to explore different levels of intimacy and commitment within your relationship, go for it.
If you travel the world and aren’t around for the day-to-day friend stuff, but feel good about showing up for those you care about when it counts…fine!
You can always ask for what you want and need, and decide if you like your reasons for staying or going.
If you’re okay with how it is, I wouldn’t give any f*cks about how it compares to how others roll.
*** But I would give a THOUSAND f*cks about whatever is going on if it’s compromising your capacity to live your purpose and live your truth. ***
That impacts everyone.
For me, relationships are only worth all the sh*t they bring up if they support our soul purpose and help us step into it more fully and authentically. They’re sort of a pain in the ass otherwise;)
The main question to ask is, “What do I want and need to live my purpose?”
If a relationship helps you do that, do it however you want.
If it doesn’t… then it’s time to ask for what we want and need (which means we have to know what that is). If the answer is no, then we commit to knowing, understanding, and deeply feeling our inherent worthiness and love-ability and the absolute necessity that we live our purpose.
And decide from there, liking our reasons.
Our relationships are how WE want to design them. That’s what makes each one so unique and beautiful right? Just never forget, as David Whyte says, “the promise that will kill you to break.”
The promise to your Soul Purpose and birthright to live an authentic life.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
// What stops us from asking for our wants and needs
// How relationships can help or hinder our purpose
// The dangers of comparing our relationships to others’
// What makes a relationship “worth it”
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics.
// Want something more self-paced with access to weekly group support and getting coached by yours truly? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!
// Want to join me for the next cohort of the Adventure Mastermind? Visit AdventureMastermind.com to get on the waitlist to be the first to hear about the next dates and locations. If you’ve already done the mastermind, stay tuned for a special alumni retreat. We’ll pick up right where we left off and dive even deeper!