What is Love?
The million dollar question! and are we giving and receiving our 'fair share'?
Romantic notions of love abound and are very contradictory.
Controlling? confusing? compassionate? caring? Love can masquerade in many guises but
ultimately it's got to be about what is right for you. And that's hard. As we are not used to
listening to ourselves, being constantly fed how we are meant to think or feel in any given
Here's my 12 observations from the school of life!
1. Anyone can be really nice to you for a while, don't confuse their need for you with a desire
to help you have the best life possible. But by all means enjoy it but please have your eyes wide open!
Be aware of someone who is unnaturally attentive too early in the relationship. Whilst it is incredibly
flattering and feels like what ‘real love’ might be like, if it seems over the top, it probably is.
It’s not that you are the best thing since sliced bread – although they will tell you that you are.
It’s because they will seduce you into a commitment before you are ready and perhaps before they reveal their true personality.
2. Those glimpses of something you don’t like at the start of your relationship? Ignore at your peril! Time and time again it’s those ‘little things’ we ignored that end up being deal breakers near the end. You have to have as clear a head as possible (very difficult at the beginning of a relationship) and think clearly about these things you’ve noticed. Because you will have to make a value judgement about how important that ‘red flag’ behaviour or reaction is. No one is going to be ‘perfect’, whatever that means. There will have to be compromises of course. But just make sure you are not the one doing all the compromising. And make sure you are not compromising values and behaviours which you hold dear. Everyone has different priorities, please try to determine what’s important to you, without having to justify to anyone else. It’s your life and you have to decide how you want to live it and with whom you are comfortable to do so.
3. People can fall in love with the idea of being with you, rather than actually loving you – you might represent something they aspire to, and this is very flattering. They may see you as the gateway to something greater and of course, either you get wind of this and start to feel used, or they might get disappointed when the ‘goods’ don’t materialise. This can create very irrational and unkind behaviour which is aimed at you, but is actually caused by their own sense of disappointment.
4. It is possible to fall back into a supportive and loving relationship with someone even if you think the relationship is over. Time really is a great healer. But only if you still like the person.
5. Sometimes you CAN be the problem – perhaps this relationship is not bringing out the best in you? Don’t ignore this possibility. The leap for personal development might be one that at the time you are not able to make. It might be the wrong time for this relationship.
6. Analyse self talk along the lines of ‘I’ve committed so I have to keep my word’. (ie stay in an unhealthy relationship). Have they broken their promises? Spoken or unspoken? Have they let you down (again)? The deal is flawed. You will be the loser if you allow it to continue. They will learn they can get away with it. Time and time again.
8. If someone promises to change only as a result of an ultimatum, their commitment is potentially flawed. You should be able to see demonstrable and consistent changes to behaviour before you can trust it. This is because they should have seen the patterns, the problems (as long as you have mentioned this) and be wanting to change to aid the relationship IF THEY LOVE YOU. You shouldn't have to 'police' the issue - this is not respectful to them or to you, there should not be this confusing imbalance of power, a weird dynamic where they make you take responsibility for their behaviour, make you to be the 'control'. How can you respect someone like that?
9. Most people want to be in a close friendship with someone else. Many don’t know what real love is. Perhaps never received it, or have a fairy tale notion of what it might be. Many want the social acceptance and to fit in. Many look for someone to make them feel good about themselves. Which is not wrong necessarily but if this is at your expense, at the expense of YOUR happiness and it doesn’t make you feel good, you need to move on when the time is right.
10. Having a good relationship with yourself is the only place safe place to start a successful relationship with someone else.
11. Don’t think that someone can ‘complete’ you. Two people does not one whole person make. And even if that was possibly true, that would mean you would need to be with that person 24/7. Which can become a prison of your own making. Where did I go? I have become we. And who is in the driving seat of WE? Is it Me? Or is it YOU? It’s exhausting being the driver all the time. As much as it’s debilitating to be the passenger all the time. If there are two ‘acceptable’ halves (god knows what the other ‘dark’ half of the personality is going to reveal when provoked!!) then are there two roles which you are fulfilling? What happens if you tire of that role? The unit is created on the basis of the static, the status quo. What if one side wants to be more like the other. Is that going to cause an imbalance? Most likely. Then what? Much safer to be whole within yourself, develop yourself to be everything you need to be – forget perfection, just try to be good enough, and go from there – and then when you LOVE YOURSELF and accept yourself and are kind to yourself, and forgiving of your transgressions (which hopefully become less and less over time as you learn about yourself and others) – Live and Let Live – you may meet someone who you want to accompany on the journey of life. Side by side. As equals. Or you may think, actually I am happy as I am, I have loving relationships within my life and I don’t need to be living with someone to be happy. It’s up to you. And you don’t need to decide. You can let things flow and be open to opportunity and encounters.
12. You are enough all on your own. You have the power to develop all the aspects of yourself which will put you in your position of personal power and truth. The key is to be honest with yourself about which areas are already developed and which need encouragement to surface. And do it when you feel good and ready. Enjoy the journey!
If you would like to talk about any of these issues please get in touch via email or social media - or @helenthomsonuk on twitter.
Copyright Helen Thomson, Thomson Training 28th September 2017
This is the part of my training site which deals with personal rather than business relationships. It’s the bit where I reveal aspects of my experiences and observations in the hope that it helps someone clarify something they are thinking about, offers a light at the end of the tunnel or perhaps just reassurance that they are not alone. I would love to hear from you.