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Western culture has romanticized the idea of partnership. From the time that we are kids, we are raised to believe that life and we are not enough until we find someone else.
So, many of us are desperate to find someone to match our ideas of what that partner is. Having a partner is great; however, this romantic culture does not mention many important things. One being that you need to be secure within yourself to be in a healthy relationship first.
Here are six more things that I wish I’d learnt before my first relationship.
1. Health comes first.
I spent many years thinking that in a relationship love comes first. Yes, love is important; however, happiness is first. Unfortunately, you can love someone who makes you unhappy and love someone who you make unhappy. Relationships are about more than love: compatibility, trust, loyalty, respect and happiness are also important in a relationship. Two unhappy people in a relationship is a disaster and a disservice to The Universe; however, two happy people help to restore and raise the energy of The Universe.
2. Complete yourself.
Another myth that we are sold in relationships is that, someone else can complete you. The truth is that only you can complete yourself. Unless you believe that you are enough, someone can yell it to you and you won’t understand it. In order to practice something, we need to fully understand it and the same goes for this. Complete yourself first before you attempt to complete someone else and expect someone else to complete you.
3. Practice more than you preach.
It took me a few relationships to understand that how you behave in a relationship is more important than how you say you will behave. I have been guilty of telling a former partner that I will show up and not. In my current relationship, I have noticed that if I show up and am open, so does he. Vice versa. The saying, ‘lead by example’ also applies to relationships because relationships are an example of what you put out, you get back.
4. Games are for kids; not adults.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing games in relationships: trying to manipulate situations by being insincere. In all the mess that I once created by playing games, I learnt that I’m the only one that suffers. If I am untrue and manipulative, I might have to live with regret when things don’t work out. And in games, most of the time, relationships do not work out because the one is trying to control the other. They usually don’t work out because respect of the other person goes out the window. Sometimes when my partner doesn’t reply to my messages, a part of me sneaks up and says, ‘how can we get him to reply?’ However, I then release the need to control him because what we have is too important to me to lose over a game.
5. Clinging to someone is not healthy.
It’s normal that when you find something, you might want to cling to it and never let it go. However, this can smother people. People need space to be themselves and to grow. Holding onto someone else is a form of codependency and healthy relationships are not formed based on codependency. They are formed based on respect and love, not forcing someone to be with you.
6. Be sincere and come as you are.
It can be overwhelming in the beginning of a relationship, wondering if you are enough for someone else. Especially when you like the person a lot. However, if someone likes or falls in love with an idea of you as opposed to you, it is not fair to you or the other person. It might be scary to be sincere and who you really are because it requires vulnerability. But, if you don’t give your true self and it doesn’t work out, you might question and regret if you were authentic. It sounds clichéd because it’s true: if someone doesn’t like you for you, then leave space for someone who does because there is someone out there who does.