Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Relationships, Romance, Rejection, and Taking Care of You

Relationships, especially romantic ones, can be tricky.

Love means different things to different people. There are as many different definitions of love, and ways of expressing it, as there are people on the planet.

We all have a completely unique perspective on love and relationship. Each person has watched their parents and other adults, seen movies, and gone through their own experiences. The relationships they have had with their parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and former romantic partners all come together to create their view of the subject of love. Often, it's what they didn't get themselves that they then give to another to show their love and appreciation.

Sadly, romantic love almost always involves emotional pain at one time or another. It can begin in early childhood when family or friends treat you unkindly. Later, you may have a crush on someone who doesn't reciprocate those feelings. As you grow older and romantic relationships get more complicated, it's hard to escape some form of emotional pain when it ends.

When the person you are in love with leaves you for another, well it can be devastating. Sometimes other people interfere, tell lies, manipulate you or the other person, causing  problems and even total destruction of your relationship.

I've been romantically involved - "going together," dating, or being married - for the past 35 years. Wow - that is a very long time. After my 10-year marriage ended, I went through this deja-vu time of reconnecting with old boyfriends. In particular, I ended up re-connecting, and dating, every one of the guys who broke my heart somewhere along the way. What a crazy, and fun, experience.

I was amazed to find out that one of the guys that I was truly in love with, also had loved me way back when. It turns out that a certain girl we both knew had fed him a lie, and he had believed it. We were both in love and the other never knew it. How ridiculous. And at the same time, how wonderful to find out that I wasn't really rejected, defective, not enough, blah blah, as I had once thought.

The problem with feeling rejected, is that it seriously damages self esteem. Enough of this from relationships gone bad, and a person ends up a mess. The relationships they draw to themselves reflect their poor sense of self, their feelings of unworthiness, and they take on this sticky pathetic energy of "please love me." Or, they become mean and cranky.

Before you can draw to yourself a truly loving, empowering partner, you have to heal your own wounds from past relationships. (I encourage you to check out freeway to freedom and my newest Dancing Dolphin product: "Purity of Essence." Follow that up with Dancing Dolphin "Divine Love" and you will be amazed at the difference!)

If you are kind and honest and in a relationship where the other person is not, it usually takes a little while to figure that out.

There is the euphoria in the beginning - the honeymoon period. You see everything through rosy colored glasses. You feel fabulous. The world looks wonderful. The other person seems perfect. This tainted view can last awhile - 3 months to 3 years - in some cases. (This not only applies to love relationships, but to jobs, friendships, and every new thing. At first we tend to not see it clearly.)

And then the real person begins to come through. Their "warts" start to show. I'm talking about the qualities, habits, and other attributes that aren't really in alignment with who you are or what you want in relationship.

A truly empowering relationship can only happen when someone knows who you are (warts and all), and is delighted, honored even, to be with you. The only way to have someone "adore" you though, is if you also adore them. Not putting them on a pedestal, but truly feeling blessed that they are in your life.

Acceptance and appreciation are the hallmarks of empowering relationships. I'm not talking about false flattery. I'm talking about true appreciation for who the person is and what they mean to you. Every person in your life is a gift - be it spouse, child, parent, friend, or a total stranger. Treat them as such.

If you are with someone who makes you feel bad in any way, drains you emotionally or energetically, then its time to get out. You are being dis-empowered, and it will only get worse over time.

When either person is taking the other for granted, speaking unkindly, using guilt or other forms of manipulation to get their own way, everyone loses. You have to love yourself enough to say "no more." You have to love and appreciate yourself enough to know that you are worth being happy, being treated kindly, and being loved.

Unfortunately, depending on how long you have been with someone, it can be very complicated to get out of it. This is especially true if you are married, have children, work together, and such.

Regardless of the potential heartache involved in relationships, I believe in a couple of things: "Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller, and "It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." I don't know who came up with that.

I am, and forever more will be, an optimist about everything and a true romantic at heart.

How about you?

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