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.