I love my boyfriend. I love him so much, but something got in the way of me really loving him.
That amazing bliss we felt at the beginning of our relationship felt like sunshine, teddy bears and chocolate cake all rolled up in one. It’s was like being an angel in heaven, flying through the clouds.
I thought our relationship was made in heaven and he was the man that was going to meet all of my needs.
We moved to Thailand together. I got really sick and my sickness lasted for three months. It was difficult to get better. It was like I was in some weird sickness loop. I hardly had any energy. I got grumpy and depressed.
This affected my relationship with my boyfriend. I love my boyfriend, but I didn’t have the energy and the patience to do what it takes to create a happy relationship.
In fact, I started doing many things that created an unhappy relationship. I started complaining and crying a lot. I got upset with my boyfriend for the littlest things. We started to fight often, which made me feel even sicker.
I felt like our relationship was falling apart. The lips that used to speak words of love to me were now speaking words of criticism and frustration. I started to turn away from my boyfriend and he started to turn against me. Where was all the love we used to feel for each other?
Because I was sick I had an expectation that my boyfriend should take care of me. I wanted HIM to take care of me, instead of me taking care of myself. I wanted every ounce of love and attention he could give me as I was coughing and whining in my sick bed.
I was very demanding and this pushed him away. The more he turned away from me the more devastated I became. I had very bad feelings towards him and I thought he should go into sacrifice to take care of me.
Expecting him to meet all of my needs was actually holding back the relationship. This got in the way of me loving him.
I needed to do something quick to change my attitude.
Right around this time I had the luxury of interviewing Gyan Almira Terra, counselor and relationship coach from Brazil. According to Gyan, most relationships are actually "relation-sheeps."
Just as sheep look and beg for food from its owner, people in romantic relationships tend to take from their partner. "Relation-sheeps" always fail because people are thinking, "Give me, give me, give me." When we are in a space of taking, relationships fail.
Gyan recommends "relating" instead of being in a relation-sheep. "Relating" in Gyan’s terms means to:
The love in my relationship was drying up because I was taking instead of giving.
Gyan told me that we can never be happy in a relationship when we look to our boyfriend to fulfill us. Fulfillment comes from within. How could I love my boyfriend, if I was looking only to him to fulfill me? It was impossible.
I immediately stopped looking to him to fulfill and take care of me. I started to take care of myself.
"Happiness is the purpose of relationship, and it does not come from our partner meeting our needs. Happiness comes from our ability to make contact, to give and receive and to bridge the differences to form an integration for a new level of confidence in our relationship."
- Chuck Spezzano
Even though I love my boyfriend and love spending time with him, I spent more time alone. This helped me to get in tune with my needs and to take action in my life.
I did yoga everyday.
Yoga energizes me. It’s like a gas station that fills me up with fuel. (See my yoga blog)
I spent time with my girlfriends.
It is very healing for me to spend time with cool women. Girl talk miraculously energizes and heals me.
I released my negative thoughts and feelings though journaling.
Instead of "dumping" my emotional self on my boyfriend, I would dump onto the paper. It was amazing to see how many of my negative thoughts got released through journaling.
Gyan stressed the importance of self awareness though meditation as the key to self happiness and ability to "relate". It is our minds and our thoughts that cause dissatisfaction in relationships. Meditation brings stillness to the mind and peace to our lives.
I got massages.
I feel deeply nurtured after a massage. I get so realxed. They are such a wonderful treat.
Since I started integrating "self love" into my life, my relationship with my boyfriend has dramatically improved. I love my boyfriend….and I love myself too.
Loving and taking care of myself has helped me to love my boyfriend more. Since I am feeling full in myself, I now come from a space of giving instead of taking.
How did I love my boyfriend more? I loved myself.
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