Still nursing a broken heart from a year of profound loss, immense personal challenges and unbearable sorrow, and a mere six weeks since ending a relationship, I experienced what it was to "fall" in love.Read More
There are many beautiful things about being in a monogamous relationship. There's the comfort of having someone to cry to, to cuddle and hold and confide in. There's companionship, often sexual connection and deeper intimacy as a result.
The story of monogamous, romantic love dominates our beliefs about relationships, primarily because of the illusion that we are safe and protected from heartache, fear, jealousy, anger when we are the only person our beloved truly loves.
I’ve written previously on why women in particular tend to seek safety in relationships, but a symptom of this is that we are taught from a young age it is dangerous for women to
Walk alone at night
Have a child, alone.
When we unconsciously seek safety in relationships, we create co-dependency and fall into patterns of anxious attachment when we feel we need a partner to meet our basic need to feel safe. It might be something in particular about having a partner that makes us feel safe, or just a generally assumed feeling we have contrived from popular culture. But this only works to put pressure on the other person to meet our needs.
We have all been in those relationships where we feel 'safe'. It’s a 'good' relationship for all intents and purposes - the sex is good, you have common interests, they're nice and your family likes them. But there's a niggling feeling - you want more.
Often what we mistake for love is actually comfort and safety within the confines of a romantic illusion. The solution to this is to create a feeling of safety within ourselves, so that when we enter a relationship we come from a place of wholeness, of meeting our own needs. Then the lesson becomes allowing others to help us meet our needs, rather than demanding ( more on that another time).
So how can we start to create safety outside a relationship? Here are some of my tips to start shifting from insecurity to a feeling of wholeness within yourself:
[CAVEAT: What I am referring to when I mention safety is not safety is not the "live or die" physical safety, but emotional safety, which is is an internally created feeling. The brain does not know the difference between emotional and physical safety as both elicit the same reaction in the body.]
Give yourself space and enjoy time alone
When we can be content alone, we go into relationships with your own needs met rather than a place of seeking someone else to complete you. As I often go into people pleasing mode, time alone helps me to ground, tune into my heart, and relax because I only have to please myself. The more I do this, the more I can be present with the people in my life. Try reading a book, meditating, listening to music, or going for a walk nature.
Focus on building your self-worth
When you feel lonely, ask yourself, “what would someone who loves themselves do right now?” When we love and respect ourselves, and take action from this energy, its amazing how things start to shift in our lives.
Write down all the things that help you to create a sense of safety, comfort and wholeness. Put them in a jar and pick one when you are feeling lonely, missing your ex, or craving company. It might be having a cup of tea under a warm blanket, wearing flannelette pyjamas, lighting candles, letting yourself have a good cry, watching a romantic movie or seeing friends and family who love you for who you are.
Fill your need for love, connection and companionship from friendships and family relationships. Often these go by the wayside or take second priority when we fall 'in love' but all relationships are special in their own way.
When you connect, make it intentional
If you struggle to be alone, and find yourself feeling the need to connect with another, check in - what is your intention to connect? Are you trying to avoid being with yourself? Or is it coming from a place of genuine love and respect for yourself? I created a video on tuning into our body to know whether we want to sexually connect with another person. Click here to watch.
When we lack direction more broadly in our career or life, we tend to make our relationship, or our desire for one, the centre of our universe. Try spend time alone journaling and discovering what your purpose is. Go to workshops and courses, take a class in something you enjoy or hire a coach to support you.
Women in Perth! I am running a six week course starting in January where we will be exploring our beliefs about love, attraction and relationships to move from codependency and shallow attraction towards deeper, connection with ourselves and with a beloved. You can find out more here, or feel free to shoot me a message
We are often quick to rattle off what we desire in a partner or a relationship. But rarely do we stop to think what a relationship means to us, or even what the purpose of this relationship is. Most, if not all people, are looking for love and connection. But believing that monogamy is the only 'legitimate' relationship can be constricting, forcing many of us to try and fit into a mould of relationship which doesn't suit us, or creating endless unspoken expectations on our partners and lovers to be something which they had no idea you wanted them to be.
The possibilities of relationships available to us now is seemingly endless, as is the diversity of our life situations. Before you answer the following questions, sit down in stillness and breathe, even if it is for a couple of minutes, tune into your heart, and ask yourself:
What is the primary purpose of the relationship I am seeking?
Is it travel?
To raise children together?
Is it about exploring sexuality and pleasure?
Every relationship swings between these modalities at different stages of our lives. The important thing is that both people are on the same page with what the purpose of the relationship is.
The trajectory of my last relationship was heading in towards a mortgage, marriage and kids, which after this year I'm not sure I even want. I was forcing myself into a role which I thought was what I should want, but wasn't in alignment with who I was becoming.
What qualities does this partner have?
Now that you have defined what the primary purpose of your relationship is, what qualities are necessary to create the relationship you want, and which ones are preferences?
We all want someone who has the 'whole package' but no one is perfect. Most people want a partner who is kind, generous, loyal and honest. But what else? If you are looking for a travel companion, then flexibility, open mindedness, intelligent, independent might also be on the list. Write down the top 10 qualities you desire in a relationship (loyalty, companionship, honesty, integrity, kindness).
Who do I need to be in order to attract or create this kind of relationship?
The law of attraction supposes that we create our reality through our thoughts, and the action that follows these thoughts. When we continuously search for particular qualities, either consciously or unconsciously, in our partners often we are looking externally for something that we don’t see existing in ourselves. By failing to also embody these qualities we most desire, we continue to attract whatever it is we embody.
Look at your list from above again, and think back to your past relationships. Where did you embodying these qualities, and where could you have improved?
If it is something you need from a relationship, look at where you can start to meet these needs in the other relationships in your life. For example, a common need people miss in intimate relationships is physical connection. So go visit a friend, or ask a family member you trust for a massage or a hug.
When you can start to get your needs met outside of a relationship, you come into a relationship from a place of fullness, rather than a place of lack.
If this struck a chord with you, grab your copy of my journaling guide for Manifesting Magnetic Relationships and discover what you truly desire in a relationship.