A lot of people get into a relationship for all the wrong reasons. They might be afraid of being single, so they rush off to the dating world to find someone – anyone that meets their minimum standards. Or they might force themselves to get into a relationship because of external causes like societal or familial pressure.
“When will I have grandchildren?”
“When are you going to settle down?”
“Your biological clock is ticking…”
“We’re all getting married this year, dude. What about you?”
Some individuals may even get into a relationship for the sole purpose of experiencing more happiness, which, If you think about it, is fucked up.
Let’s stop for a second here and explore this topic in detail.
It rattles me how many people think that becoming exclusive with someone to experience more happiness is healthy. Well, it’s not. It’s a shallow and narcissistic reason to get into a relationship.
When you become exclusive with someone solely for obtaining a coveted outcome (happiness/personal growth), you’re making the other person a means (for your happiness/personal growth) rather than an end. And treating anyone as a means rather than an end is, according to Immanuel Kant, the basis of all unethical behavior.
But now, let’s flip the script.
Suppose you view your partner as an end by itself rather than as a means. In this case, happiness/personal growth becomes a side-product of mutual loving and continual participation in the relationship. Thus, the whole situation becomes wholesome and ethical.
Ultimately, I would say that the purpose of a relationship is to help your partner grow into a better person and vice versa. However, keep in mind that personal growth must be a side-product of consistent, mutual, and unconditional giving, and not the (sole) reason why two people became exclusive.
The keyword here is unconditional giving (near identical to unconditional loving); this is the purpose of a relationship and simultaneously one of its core elements. Thus it’s paramount that you begin to understand and incorporate it into your own relationship.
But, what does unconditional giving mean in general?
Well, it refers to being able and willing to share yourself (your insecurities, thoughts, and desires), your love (in various forms), and your gifts (experiences and physical items) without expecting your partner to give you anything back in return.
Down below, I’m going to go over each of the three elements in turn and explore how you can incorporate them into your romantic relationship to make it more gratifying and ward off a future breakup.
Sharing yourself is the equivalent of sharing your inner world. It means you’re not hiding the little stories that made you, you, no matter how embarrassing or traumatic they are. Put differently, sharing yourself is
in its purest form.
But there’s a trap when it comes to sharing yourself, that is, oversharing.
For example, an overly needy person could start whining about how they almost killed themselves when their ex-partner left them. And as a result of their toxic vulnerability (oversharing), their current partner or date would probably lose interest in them over time. Let’s face it; no sane person wants to be with a downer.
Therefore share who you are in a non-overcompensating way – a.k.a, a mature and healthy one riveted in non-neediness.
For example, I could tell my breakup story in two highly contrasting ways.
The first will be riddled with neediness and toxicity, and the second with maturity and a healthy attitude towards loss. Put differently, the first repels people, and the second attracts them.
My ex dumped me because I was needy and insecure. I was the type of guy who always acted panicky about his girl cheating when she was out. Hell, I didn’t even let her enjoy the nights out. I messaged her constantly, always asking the same thing, “Do you still love me? Is it over?” She was also not the kind of person I wanted, but I still tried my best to mold her into what I wished she could be – I was in love with an idea of her, but that was not who she really was.
Soon the arguing started. I heard tears and squeals every-time I called. Sometimes she just ignored me, lied where she was, and avoided me. No wonder. I was a mess – an uncentered hollow emotional mess.
After she left, I spent months chasing after her, trying to win her back. I felt as if everything around me was burning, and I could feel the heat from the imaginary flames slowly coming up, melting my skin, and soon swallowing me whole. Engulfed by suffocating emotional flames on earth, I wished I could go to hell. I wanted to die.
Sounds pretty shitty, right?
Now imagine you hear the same kind of monologue from someone every other day. I don’t think you would want to hang out with that kind of a downer for long.
Real beauty is learning to see challenging situations, like a breakup, as something beneficial. What’s even better is to present it as a substantial learning experience to others. So if your partner asks you about an event where you suffered greatly, give the story or the explanation of it a hopeful twist.
Yeah, my ex did dump me. And I was to blame, and it fucking hurt. But the truth is that, back then, I did not know how to treat my partner in a healthy way or how to communicate with them efficiently. So I’m not surprised that my ex left. I was a mess at that point.
But, even though I suffered immensely back then, the breakup was still a fantastic opportunity for personal growth. I kissed rock bottom and had nothing left to lose in my romantic life – so the only way was up. I got a chance to rebuild myself from the ground up into something way better. Into someone secure, and so I did. I am grateful for my ex being in my life. She made me the man I am today.
Now, don’t get this concept wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being negative from time to time. You can still honestly declare that something sucks when you’re talking to your partner. But avoid turning the discussion into a 1-hour long rant on how much of a victim you are or how life is not fair.
Conclusively, the danger isn’t being morose and gloomy; it’s staying that way for extended periods of time. Because at that point, you can quickly become vexatious.
SHARING YOUR LOVE
Sharing your love refers to sharing your presence and attention enveloped in affection with your partner.
In practice, this means you don’t forget to do the little things — those subtle details you had been doing when you first met your partner and when the lust and excitement were at an all-time high. Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Kissing your partner when you stopped at a red light/Kissing them goodbye when going to work.
- Helping them with daily chores.
- Meeting their emotional needs.
- Sending them heart and kiss emojis via text.
- Telling them how gorgeous they are when you wake up next to them.
- Thanking them for the great meal.
- Taking a sip of their tea to see if it’s not too hot before giving the cup back to them.
- Sitting down and listening to what they have to say even when it comes to trivial subjects.
- Holding their hand while having a stroll.
The cool thing about these little gestures, these tiny yet powerful acts of love, is that they add up over time and keep your relationship afloat and thriving. So, keep doing them, and never waste time forgetting or arguing about them.
SHARING YOUR GIFTS
Sharing your gifts can mean two things;
- Buying or making your partner a materialistic/physical gift.
- Going on a date with your partner/sharing a fun experience.
Let’s go over the two ways of gift-giving in turn.
This one is obvious.
It’s a great idea to buy gifts for your lover here and there. If they’re a giver, they will soon start giving back. For instance, they will buy you something because they love you. That’s the best part about people who are givers by nature.
However, don’t go overboard when buying gifts. I’ve seen a few men and women fall into the trap of continually buying their partner everything from sports cars and jewelry to expensive trips and designer clothing, none of which they could afford with their own money. As a result, these people went into debt. And that’s not where you want to end up.
As a rule of thumb: you should keep romancing, dating, and courting your partner as long as you’re together. I would even go so far as to schedule specific times out of your day when you’ll give them your undivided attention.
I don’t care if that means waking up half an hour before your usual alarm, I don’t care how exhausted you feel, and I don’t care how much work you have to do. There’s no excuse not to spend quality time with your lover.
In summary, the purpose of a relationship is to unconditionally and consistently share yourself, your love, and your gifts with your partner – and vice versa. It’s about what you can do for them. It’s not about you. It was never about you.
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