What do you want in your romantic relationship? How do you want your marriage to look?
When you are asked that question, can you rattle off a mental list of the do’s and don’ts, the deal breakers and the if only’s? Most women can. However, how much of that list is authentically YOU and how much of it was created by the conditioning we absorbed through the years regarding what a relationship SHOULD look like?
I grew up in very conservative, religious family in the Midwest. There was a certain standard or expectation of what a good relationship should be like. Which seems fair, right? There are ingredients that make a great relationship and there are things that, if missing, usually spell disaster. However, are those ingredients the same for everyone? I don’t think so. When we rely on family patterns and the views and judgements imposed on us by societal or religious “norms” to dictate what a good relationship will look like, we could be setting ourselves up for some serious disillusionment down the road.
I know, because I lived it. I relied more on the appearance of what I was supposed to have for a great marriage than knowing for myself what I really wanted. I was “told” through years of examples of the “good” relationships and the cautionary tales, to look for security and someone who would be a good father. The goal was to get married to a man who could provide for our family, be reliable, loyal and of the same religious background. I’m not discounting any of those things as being an important factor in the success of a relationship, and yet I have to wonder how many of us use a prescribed checklist handed down to us by previous generations without ever checking in with ourselves to see how much of it is really true for us.
I relied on the checklist and didn’t think to ask myself what parts of it were true for me and what parts of it were not important. And even more crucial, I didn’t ask myself what didn’t appear on the pre-written checklist that I really desired to have in my marriage. Many of those things on the checklist were important to me, such as dependability, loyalty and a sense of security and respect. However, I realize now that I didn’t need someone who had the same social or religious beliefs as I had. Rather, I would have opted for someone who was curious about spirituality and open to new ideas and perspectives and wanted to learn and expand and grow in this area.
As far as the aspects that were not on the list, I didn’t give much (any!) thought to what might be missing for me the first time around. I was unaware of what I really wanted in a relationship because I never asked myself. I never really sat down and reflected on what was important to me that maybe no one else ever mentioned. At least I didn’t do that until years into my marriage when I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy when I truly had everything in my relationship that was on “the list.”
I remember my daughter calling me a rebel after dating a few years post-divorce. She was referring to one of the men I was dating. I laughed at her choice of words. In comparison to the original relationship “must have” list, it’s true, I looked like a real rebel. However, after learning how to listen to my own internal guidance and following my interests, curiosities and passions I learned, often by trial and error, what I really wanted, what was a deal-breaker and what I wouldn’t live without in my relationship.
Now I have my own list, this time created by me for me.
I would give it to you but it would mean nothing. Because it isn’t YOUR list. If you’ve been unhappy in previous relationships and you continue to duplicate the same kind of situations, might you be looking at the wrong list? If you’re trying to do everything right in your marriage and still can’t seem to find your real happiness, is there something missing that you didn’t realize was important to you?
Fortunately, not everyone who realizes they were looking at the wrong list when they started, needs to end their relationship to get what they want. Sometimes the simple realization that you want something different or something more than what you have is the catalyst to begin transforming your current relationship. The first step is acknowledging that it’s perfectly acceptable and legitimate to want something in your relationship that isn’t present right now.
If you can allow yourself the space to acknowledge what those core relationship qualities are that are important to you, it can be the beginning of creating something new with your partner. Sometimes by discovering those things ourselves first and then finding ways to communicate them to our partner, without being demanding or insinuating that he is lacking something, we can shift the relationship dynamics to one that is the fulfilling experience we are reaching for.
And sometimes we realize that no matter how much we try to be happy in our current relationship, the foundation of what is really important to us is missing. When we discover our desires for a committed relationship do not match what we are experiencing, it’s time for open and honest dialogue with our partners. When we can communicate with love and without blame and projection, what’s possible has room to open up. Sometimes one or both people realize that ending the relationship with respect and honesty is the most loving act for everyone involved.
How do you create your own list? How do you know what you really desire in your heart as foundational in your intimate relationship? What do you define as the core values in your intimate relationship? I have had many women ask me that and in response, I have developed a signature process called, ‘Your LoveLife Blueprint.”
This process is designed for women (although it could be used as effectively by men) who want to discover the truth of what they truly desire in an intimate relationship and not simply rely on what others have told them they “should” want. It’s a powerful process that can help you understand both the demands you have put on your relationship that aren’t intrinsically important to you and the things you left out not realizing they were foundational in what your soul is craving in your intimate partnership.
If you’d like to learn more about my process and how it may work for you, I invite you to schedule a free 30 minute Clarity Call with me. In this call we can talk about what’s going on in your relationship and see how you can learn and apply “Your LoveLife Blueprint” to your situation. Click this calendar link to schedule your free call now.
I have also designed a 2 ½ day retreat experience for women based on these concepts and creating the LoveLife you desire. My next retreat is being held August 26 – 28th in Colorado. It will be an amazing experience for those women who want to get away from it all and immerse themselves in this conversation for a weekend. It is set at a beautiful private in outside of Denver, CO. Click here for more retreat information.
The desires you have for your relationship are not frivolous. You are not expecting or wanting “too much” if you are creating your “list” from the wisdom of your heart and soul. Is it time you “get real” about the relationship you want?I invite you to discover your blueprint for love. If not now, when? Schedule your free 30 minute Clarity Call here.