Its ok to let go

Holding on can sometimes hold us back.

Recently I let go of a beautiful relationship that had served me well but was not going to serve me going forward. There is a lot of talk about not having expectations in relationships in self-love, self-development circles.  I’ve got to say I’m not a big fan of this approach.
It is ok to have expectations and I think these expectations are essential to have a strong relationship and a happy life. Boundaries and expectations are important to help us understand who we are, what we want and why we want it.  Without this knowledge we run the risk of sleep walking through life and accepting less than we deserve or desire.
My expectations in a romantic relationships are fairly simple :
  • feeling loved – the person I am with needs to be able to express, communicate and act out love in a way that makes me feel loved, cared for and important to them.
  • being their no 1 priority – I need to feel like a no 1 priority in their life. This means phones away at the dinner table, time spent being present, sharing activities that we both enjoy, spending down time together, etc.  Basically this is about time and being able to just be together.  This is of course difficult when we are busy working, studying, progressing our careers, travelling, planning, etc but being present and in the moment is the foundation of a strong relationship.
  • energy and passion – energy and passion need to be at similar levels, whether this is the energy we each put into life, love or a special project. How we approach life matters and needs to compliment each other.
  • shared sense of purpose – there needs to be a ‘glue’ that ties it altogether that surpasses dinners and drinks.  It needs to be an expression of our love. I truly want a partner who I can inspire and who inspires me and a shared vision of what our loves mean to us. To me this creates some magic and mystery around the relationship, something sacred between two people.
  • self-love and development – the person I want to share my life with needs to love them self. Not in any kind of arrogant or egotistic way but in a true and kind way.  I am not good with insecurity, low confidence and pity parties. I believe in strength and resilience. I want this in a partner.  It takes a lot of self-work to love yourself, love your life and really appreciate everyone in it.  I want someone who wants this is as part of their life.
Ok, maybe those things aren’t so simple.  Being able to ‘just be’ and be kind to yourself and your partner takes work (sometimes A LOT  of work) from yoga, to coaching sessions, to climbing a mountain, to a lot of introspection.
Being a strong enough person to say ‘I love you’ to yourself takes enormous amounts of courage, self-empathy, vulnerability and honesty.  I know my journey to self-love has been long, gruelling and largely mystifying.
But this is what I want in my next partner.  So I put it out there to Facebook, the universe, my blog to say this is WHAT I WANT! And, I’m not going to settle for less.

Now, do you agree ?

Are expectations are good thing in a relationship ?

And, if you have them what is your no 1 expectation of a romantic relationship ?


5 thoughts on “Its ok to let go

  1. You do realize you pointed out one flaw in your own pursuit of lasting love? Busyness. If your life is so riddled with busyness, it may be next to impossible to have all the other expectations/needs met. How can there be any spark, passion or other form of binding energy if the majority of your time/energy is consumed with work, travel for work, socializing/friends, etc.?

    And, I think some have a hard time just coping with or having a circle of friends AND a serious relationship. Healthy, well-adjusted folks have no such problems and balance everything so well it makes others sick. But, I think many more still struggle with balancing everything, including a serious relationship. Not to mention all the ways communication fails in stabilizing such relations (and it only seems worse with modern technology though it’s supposed to make it all the more convenient).

    Up until the insecurity part, I was swooning a bit. You were painting an enchanting picture full of color and zeal. It would be nice to find someone who is just simply comfortable with him/her self without any flaws in that armor.

    Or, is the only growing together you want in new experiences/lessons shared, like travels, learning languages, etc.? So, if someone doesn’t love their life first before meeting you, that’s not a good start?

    I think LOVE is such a confusing word/concept that we torture ourselves with it. Maybe loving yourself isn’t a good choice of words because love comes in so many forms/shades. And, we may not see each other loving ourselves the same way. Some might be very expressive with self-love, as they are with love given/shared. Others might quietly accept themselves. Yet, within every framework of self-love, there may just as well be those cracks like the cracks found in a marriage that may rock the boat or, if left untreated, lead to divorce.

    I blush and smile warmly as you put this out there and salute your…courage? I, too, have come to some decisions/expectations of my life partner. Some might misread them as superficial or complex. Nothing is set in stone. But, like you, I think, I’ve done some soul searching and sorted out what direction my heart wants to travel.

    There are those who have financial expectations and those who have expectations of the mind and/or heart. Those who place financial expectations on a life partner are suffocating to me, as are people who cannot be open to a higher power and the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. [If all life is just what we see and the universe is just a trick of smoke and mirrors, what a depressing torture-filled life this is.] Expectations of the mind and heart seem easier to fulfill because they should become apparent when with another person. But, apparently, they are not so apparent, thus so many relationships falter…

    I guess, if you are pursuing or seeking a particular relationship, have and set expectations and justify them with experience. Follow your heart.

    Yet, there is just as likely the possibility you could have your expectations blown out of the water as a good relationship develops organically. I wouldn’t be much of an optimist (yet a cynic) if I didn’t say anything is possible. So, I cannot say it’s impossible to meet someone by chance and find some kind of love you did not expect yet greatly enjoy/appreciate.

    I have a hard time picking a #1 anything. Chalk it up to my astrological hot mess. But, I’d pick the “shared sense of purpose” from your list (and continue to ponder my own choice). I think with that shared set of values and/or direction in life, at least, some common ground that doesn’t have two people going in too different directions struggling to stay and spend time together, the other expectations you list should come together. The shared purpose stokes the fire that is energy/passion. And, working together in some capacity, you find a reason to and express that love you share. Hopefully, that also fuels self-growth and self-love without claiming any change is purely due to the partner, that, in some way, the partner inspires growth without that growth wilting should the partner prove insufficient and/or end the relationship for some reason. If your partner is driven to be something you don’t approve or fully appreciate, how can you claim to be fully supportive? It’s more like being a friend who meagerly says, “Yeah, go for it,” without telling how they truly feel lest they cost themselves that friend.

    One lesson I’ve learned in all of this (in my experience): While I may not immediately approve of a date’s/partner’s choice/direction, that does not mean I cannot learn to think otherwise. It’s possible we may think/judge too hastily, too, when we don’t fully understand the direction our present partner has chosen or see the merit. Given time, we may learn/see differently.

    So, what can I pick as my own #1 expectation…

    Well, how about two? Heh. 😛 One physical (potentially superficial) and one emotional/mental/spiritual.

    Physical: She has to have a face I love without question, a face that super-cedes all other features, so I may not care about her figure or health problems as much. A face I long to kiss, to hold, to draw and to speak with without hesitancy. [If I could pose a second physical clause, I’d add someone close in height (as I am not the sort of guy who wants a doll/child below his chin/nose).]

    Emotional/Mental/Spiritual: She has to believe in a higher power (and not be restricted to one religion), in souls and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

    Actually, if I could narrow it down to one driving force, I’d say the highest expectation of all is knowing in our guts that we won’t give up on each other. Kinda in that mix with the shared purpose. And, not so easy to identify or acquire from the start. You’d have to invest some time to ensure this. But, that’s the most important thing and why it’s part of the standard marriage vows. For better or worse, in sickness and health. You have to know your partner is the sort who will stick by you and put up with your crap. [And, be okay with being crappy now and then. Love the gal without her makeup, etc. Don’t gag if they pick their nose. Don’t go to bed angry if you can help it. And if you can’t help it, sleep in separate beds and take a lil time apart to regroup but never put enough distance between you that you worry about the status of the relationship UNTIL you make it clear you want to make a clean break and then don’t hesitate to make that break, I guess.] So, not just to feel loved or be #1 but be assured this person isn’t going to bail on you when ___ comes into play. [And, I’d say it’s a good idea to discuss these things early on up front, find out what is or is not too much for the person and maybe test those waters rather than go purely on word of mouth.]

    Phew! I sure can think a blue streak. ‘Hope I didn’t fry your brain and that you appreciate my input. 😀


  2. Amy says:

    That is really lovely hun, I loved reading that and will read again. One of my major expectations is my partner being accepted by my son, my son is only 6 and I feel it is a harsh expectation and one that needs compromise, though I do expect my partner to put enough effort in with my son, knowing we are a package deal and this is my life. Another is healthy lifestyle with no judgement on each others health beliefs, only suggestions and thoughts.


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