I know a lot of folks who have had two divorces. I have had a least a dozen breakups in one decade.
So, Why do we keep breaking up?
What We Don’t Know About Breakup Will End Us.
If you have gone through a breakup in the last decade this is what is actually happening.
Prelude to a Breakup:
- Load App on phone.
We hear fairy tails of people being best friends first and then it turning into a relationship that produced two kids, a happy marriage, and a great pension plan. We have heard about that friend who met her boyfriend on Tinder and they are doing good. We have plunged ourselves into some form of self-betterment like working out, meditation, or doing yoga. We have said, “I have patterns that I’m going to break.” Nonetheless, we keep breaking up and getting back online to mend what’s broken.
Watching other people be “successful” online compels us to do what they are doing. The mob is meeting via artificial intelligence. So, let’s talk about “meeting someone online”.
What is a dating profile?
It’s a picture of a past moment that we judge with one glance. That’s what most dating apps have trained us to do. And it’s not wrong. However, what you are seeing in a person the you attracted to is yourself. That is to say, the parts of our conscious we feel disconnected from we project onto an image and hope that that other person will fill in the blanks.
So, in some way, swiping is reinforcing narcissism. Philosophy aside, desire drives us to consume. That what a date with someone is, it’s a consumption of information mixed together with projection.
If no one has said it to you in a while, “Intimacy takes time.” We often confuse the rush of terror that comes with meeting ourselves in a new person with falling in love. Intimacy is peaceful. Dating however is anxiety provoking because most of us go into it thinking about “forever.”
- “Will this guy be the one?”
- “Will she be the mother of my kids?”
So, bla bal bal, we meet, we share some information, and then we get naked and fuck each other. All the feel-good chemicals rush in. The love songs start making some sense. And attachment kicks in. We get used to having a particular person in our life, call it magic, and start to adjust our choices around the relationship.
It’s a program. I’m just going to say that. The way we get into our relationships is a program. The only way out of that program is intimacy. But, again, 96.8% of us are just going along to get along. So, inevitably we “breakup” and trade one person for another.
The Breakup Cycle
Breakups happen at the beginning of the relationship not the end of them. We talk about “red flags” and shit like that to describe what might ruin a relationship. The fact is that our parents programmed us to be a certain way in the world by handing down their limitations to us. The function of being a parent is to program your child. You know what, you aren’t going to understand why you do what you do. You won’t, so talking about your childhood or whatever stupid story you are telling yourself doesn’t help unless it changes your behaviors. Nothing can be figured out by talking about it.
You have to live, fuck up, forgive and keep going until your body gives out. But, you know why we go round and round about our stories? It’s because we think that doing that gives us some control over how they will unfold. Somethings have already been decided in the great mystery of existence.
You don’t get to choose the duration of a relationship. Stop thinking that you can be a person that engenders people staying in your life “forever.” That is stupid. Each relationship has a time-period built into it. In fact, the relationships that last the longest are also filled with a lot of space. A deep bond has a pulse to it. It’s not always together. It’s not always falling apart. It’s both.
I’m annoyed and I’m mad at you for reading this article because what you need to be doing is talking to a professional that can help you communicate who you are. “I can’t afford it.” Well what are you doing with your time? Spending hours reading articles online about twin flames, mental health, red flags, or getting your ex back is just mental masturbation.
And I’ve done it. It doesn’t get us anywhere. The only thing that moves us forward is relationships with healthy people that hold space for us to show up unafraid. But, let’s be real, most of us are running in fear after a breakup. Truthfully, we were fearful the from the beginning to the end of the relationship and all the time in between.
And a lot of us cope with breaking up by doing the same shit:
- Leave the relationship emotionally while we are still physically in it and going through the motions.
- Talk to our friends about how bad our partner is but still have sex with them.
- The sex starts to shift and doesn’t feel as connected.
- Reading articles on how to save the relationship.
- Reading lists on what a good partnership looks like.
- Some version of “This isn’t working.”
- Then we breakup. We lust after our ex. We go back and forth. Or we numb out.
And we don’t ever fucking stop to heal.
Now I’m really mad at you for reading this article looking for answers. Honey, nothing you read is going to get you what you want. Sorry.
Do you know what it’s going to take? It’s going to take a relationship with a counselor, spiritual guide, or teacher that will direct you back to yourself. The same person who hurt you won’t heal you. It takes someone new–that new person is you. And to get to that fully expressed person vibrating at the rate of Love, facing yourself is required.
It’s not until we master our emotions that we will be able to have a truly loving relationship; with or without a partner in the picture.
But, that’s not where the story ends. Yes, loving ourselves is important. But, we don’t love ourselves by ourselves. It takes relationships to guide us and aid us in being expressed. So, here’s the deal pumpkin, If you are reading this it’s because you are afraid.
Being afraid is not way to live life, to date, to get in a relationship, to breakup, or to exist.
There is a better way to never breakup again.
Have faith in the process. Give yourself credit for progress. Get help.
Book Your Free Consultation with Me now.
12 Realistic Steps for This Thing We Call Life
- Go along with the crowd and hate your life.
- Blame your parents for everything. #fatherwound
- Have more than one addiction.
- Get divorced more than once or die alone with 12 cats.
- Give other people advice how to live life; especially when your life is fucked up.
- Become LA spiritual and post inspirational quotes on social media.
- Have a like/hate relationship with your body, time, and God.
- Become intellectual and never feel your feelings.
- Hire a goal oriented life-coach for $20,000; or just give your power away to something or someone else.
- Project onto everyone else that they are a narcissist; then fill the Gram with Selfies.
- “Do Ceremony”–taking sacred drugs in some quasi-shaman’s Orange County living room.
- Have a life-crisis that wakes you up because anxiety and depression are only drinking buddies and not real friends.
There are no definitive answers for your life or existence; ok pumpkin.
We are all just reading something someone said at some point in history and repeating it to each other. Some of us agree, some don’t, and we all fake it until we die “wise.” So, in the meantime, this is the brief overview of the 12 Realistic Steps for This Thing We Call Life. Feel free to repeat it and make this bitch go viral–mama’s got money to make and jerking off to Rumi quotes isn’t doing it.
Step 1: Go along with the crowd and hate your life.
What rat bastard coined the term “waking up”? None of us are waking up. Even the people who are the most spiritual are still consumers on this planet. Too dark?
Well, I use plastic bottles, buy cheap clothes, fuck strangers, have drank booze and done psychedelic drugs, and yet “I am the light that inside all of us.” And yes, Gandi, Jesus, Buddha and the Spiritual Masters are not me unless they are me looking at me through the spiritual lens.
WE ARE ALL ONE.
None of us have to stay alive. It’s not mandatory. It is a choice. A lot of us just choose to go along to get a long because it produces the feeling of belonging, which feels safe. We like what we like and sometimes turn into raging assholes over what we don’t like.
Every single one of us will have a day that goes like this:
“What am I doing with my life? Maybe I should just kill myself. Nothing makes sense. I feel so alone. No one gets me. I don’t care anymore.” (Insert Netflix Marathon or numbing agent of choice.) “Hmm, I’m hungry, I should go get something to eat.” And then you jerk off, go to sleep and live another 70 years.
Step 2: Blame your parents for everything.
In a quest for redemption we seek out the reason “Why” we are so fucked up. In my case, my Grandmother wasn’t getting her sexual needs met by my alcoholic Grandfather and decided to molest her sons–my father being one of them. So, that set off a generational chain reaction that has made having healthy relationships a wee bit difficult. And, I’m the one who made the choices I did. It’s not like my grandmother’s ghost was like, You go fuck all those guys and get herpes and then look back and regret life.
Nonetheless, we live in a cause and effect world. So, really bad shit has a long reaching impact. When you can’t access forgiveness the next thing in line is blame.
Future parents be warned; your child is going to need therapy–send them to me. (I have a Masters and am legit.)
Step 3: Have more than one addiction.
Insurance companies and big industries are depending on our addictions. So, thank you addictions for keeping the economy running and for giving me meaning and purpose in life. Also, fuck you addiction because I’ve been recruited into your cult-like following.
Hello, I’m Rebekah and I have codependent tendencies–Hi, Rebekah. (The addiction is the cult–the actual 12 steps are the redemption.)
Step 4: Get divorced more than once or die alone with 12 cats.
Do you boo.
Everyone is going to tell you to love yourself no matter what anyway. So ride the fantasy of forever into litigation as many times as you need to so that you can die saying, “I tried.”
Never get married and have animals as your friends. Either way–divorced or perpetually single–you are in good company.
Step 5: Give other people advice how to live life; especially when your life is fucked up.
I’m doing this right now. Enough said.
They say the best counselors are the ones who have lived the message they are sharing. That’s me, right here, living the message: Freedom Baby!
The power is in the process.
Step 6: Become LA spiritual and post inspirational quotes on social media.
This step is a symptom of anyone about to leave their “normal life” and become a life-coach. Chances are there will be a name change that goes along with this step as well; for instance going from Joe to Orion (Based on a True Story). So, this is a fun attempt at being a better person but really the ego just got a little more cunning. According to Dr David R Hawkins 49% of America are low-vibrating conflictual beings (AKA total douche-bags).
Step 7: Have a like/hate relationship with your body, time, and God.
Author Mark Manson would say something about this step that goes like, “We all want to feel good…but what pain are you willing to endure?” All of us are chasing our tails trying to feel good all the time. The fact is, feeling shitty about your body, time or God is a cry to level up already. Set some new standards and endure pain to realize them.
Step 8: Become intellectual and never feel your feelings.
Paging big pharma and the internet. Why bother feeling when there are so many options for distraction and hubris?
Step 9: Hire a goal oriented life-coach for $20,000; or just give your power away to something or someone else.
I’ll gladly take your money and sell you back to you. Porn has been doing it. So, if it’s good enough for porn, isn’t it good enough for all of us? I wonder what Hugh Hefner would do?
Step 10: Project onto everyone else that they are a narcissist; then fill the Gram with Selfies.
I just don’t get why people have such a hard time having meaningful, long-lasting, loving, and healing relationships these days said every generation since the dawn of industry. We can’t take care of ourselves without each other. Duh.
Step 11: “Do Ceremony”–taking sacred drugs in some quasi-shaman’s Orange County living room.
Sure seeing a Jaguar in a psychedelic haze and speaking to your past-lives may provide relief for this current 3D plane of existence we are sharing. But, we all poop and that has to go somewhere. We are still responsible for this life, no matter how fucking old our soul is.
Step 12: Have a life-crisis that wakes you up because anxiety and depression are only drinking buddies and not real friends.
I met some 20 year olds in a oxygen bar called Tonic located in Boulder, Colorado. They wanted recommendations for what to order off the menu of tonics and potions. I said, “It depends on how you feel. What emotions are coming up for you?” The three 20-something guys replied, “Tention, anxiety, and acid reflux.”
What the fuck?
Being able to relax isn’t a luxury. And fuck it, we are all going to die, it’s how you live on the way there that give us all something to blame while we are doing the same damn thing as we trudge through
THE 12 REALISTIC STEPS FOR THIS THING WE CALL LIFE.
I hope you realize this is a satire.
Self-help will totally save you and you should probably go work with a counselor that knows how to unlock your potential.*Sarcastic tone
*Actual voice: But, if you have any interest in what the truth can do for you, I take visa, master card, and process it all through Paypal. I’m just a schedule click away.
Listen, I get it, life is tough and going through a breakup is wicked hard. You do not have to do it alone. I don’t discount my packages but I do offer payment plans. So, I suggest not suffering these bogus 12 Realistic Steps and actually enrolling in Breakup Rehab. It will change your life, now. I’m happy to help but you have to do the most difficult thing and get on-board.
It’s not about being “ready”. It’s about committing to your life like your life depends on it—because it does!
SIGN UP NOW
The 5 Questions We Ask when Deciding to Break Up or Stay Together.
If you want real answers, just hire me. But in the mean time, for those of you without an extra 10K for life changing guidance, I hope this article helps.
The 5 Questions:
- Is my boyfriend a narcissist?
- How to I overcome conflict in my relationship?
- What are signs of abusive behavior?
- How do I save my relationship?
- What are signs that I’m in a good relationship?
This isn’t an easy article to write because there is no one “right” answer to those questions that is specific to your situation. However, if you are reading this it’s because you are in that really shitty place where you don’t know if you should try harder or cut your losses. I’ve done my best to summarize answers that will move you forward. Chances are that you are attached to the person who is inspiring this type of Sherlock Holmes gathering of information. Your mind is like, “If only I can get to the bottom of this then life will be bliss.”
How do I know all this? Because I’ve lived it multiple-times over.
I’m not only and amazing counselor/witch/healer, I’ve also been in the dating pool enough to know to learn how to swim.
The 5 Questions We Ask when Deciding to Break Up or Stay Together.
Chances are if you are asking this question, Is my boyfriend a narcissist? it’s because you want to blame all your shit on your partner. Is it okay for a man to be abusive self-centered dick? FUCK NO IT IS NOT!
However, why are you dating someone that has you asking the question, Is my boyfriend a narcissist? What half-baked pop-psychology shit have you been rifling through to circumvent the very real fact that your choices create your life.
If he is a narcissist, that means you can’t change him. If he isn’t, you still can’t change him. And if you stay with him, then you get to be just as fucked up as he is. So, start with the wo/man in the mirror.
You could try to be the “better person” and look at if from a spiritual lens.
It sounds like this:
“Well my boyfriend may be acting like a narcissist but that doesn’t mean that is who he is.” Great, you separated the behavior from the identity. But, dating someone who only thinks of themself all the time feels like shit. I mean, some of us submissive types go along to get along. But if you think for yourself at all, there is a good chance being with a “Narcy” isn’t a good match for your overall well-being.
Sucks for you that you got addicted to them though, which brings me to the next question:
How do I overcome conflict in my relationship?
“Well everyone has fights.” That’s true. But, if you are focusing on that chances are little attention is being paid on how cooperative your partner is. If you are thinking, “They reject me most of the time” then get out of that martyr situation. I mean, burn off your Karma, and then a better situation will show up.
But, if a better situation seems far away, we can get stuck trying to fix the shit we are in.
If you are asking, What are the signs of abusive behavior? then you have experienced abusive behavior. People don’t ask this question unless some shit has gone down.
When people fight, many of us seek to destroy the other person by undermining their character, points of view, and sometimes we physically harm the other person. This is not how healthy people fight. Healthy people say things like, “I’m so angry right now I could scream my head off but instead I’m going to walk away and come back when I’m calm.”
The reality is “blowing it out” might feel good in the moment but it locks both people in an addictive cycle resulting in a dysfunctional relationship.
Please click this: Signs of Abuse
So if you got to the question, How do I save my relationship? after having gone through the thread of finding a diagnosis, learning about conflict resolution, looking over signs of abuse, you are not going to save a healthy relationship. You are just trying to find out how to put out a tire fire with your body.
However, if you began the search for answers with How do I save my relationship? there are a few factors to look at. The first one is, Why? According to John Gottman 68% of couples have the same recurring fight for the duration of their relationship. So, the quick and dirty answer to preservation of what you’ve got is to pick your battles and forgive quickly.
This then brings us to the award winning question, What are the signs I’m in a good relationship?
- Cooperation: The ability to turn differences into relational strengths.
- Contribution: Self reflecting so that you give the best of you to the relationship.
- Communication: Tell the truth every time.
- Consideration: There is more than just me involved in my decisions.
- Christ: Have a spiritual foundation to turn to in times of trials and celebrations.
A lot of people will tell you that it’s better to be single than to be in a bad relationship. I disagree. Being single is a bad relationship if you keep attracting bad relationships. Being single is a critical time to examine your inner critic and see how kind you are to yourself. However, that will get you only so far, so we need bad relationships as tools of refinement. The really hurtful abusive relationships that echo shit childhoods can fuck right off though. Those are ecosystems of destruction and death; that require more than a life-coach to repair. Eh-hem.
In short, this life is a journey and no one is going to care about your legacy 100 years from now. You have to care about your time more than anyone else. To make the most of it I suggest reading Breakup Rehab and learning the skills that produce happiness, prosperity, and good feeling relationships. Help is here as well. I offer integrative sessions that combine psychology with psychic insights so that you can get to where you are going faster. Book a session now.
And thanks for reading. I hope this helped.
“We are as sick as our secrets”. –AA
It’s in every yoga studio, in every eyelash extension salon, 6:30pm at the liquor store, and tucked away in the phrase, “Let’s have a girls night.” Cities like Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and New York all house these beautiful women who are holding onto a secret. Some of these women have some things in common and proudly belong to the division known as “Boss-ass Babes”. A group of them are top executives and a few are artists turned savvy business women who, on the surface, seem to “have it all”.
She has an Instagram account full of pictures of tropical vacations, afternoon rose wine, curated meals that some hipster dreamed up, and fashion. There’s a lot of networking and late nights that show up on her Instagram stories. And, it’s just that, it’s a story.
The door closes on the yoga studio and the heat is turned up to 109 degrees. “Andrea” has on her lululemon hot yoga shorts and a bondage inspired sports bra. Her 5’4 frame looks elongated as she stands tall in tree pose. She convinced her friend “Vanessa” to join her for this early morning class, “To burn off last night and because the teacher–Keegan–is so hot.” “It will be great and then we can get a green detox drink after!” she promises her sluggish friend.
Vanessa doesn’t make nearly as much money as Andrea does and she has had to fall back on her parents several times since her breakup had such an impact on her online clothing business. Andrea came up from the middle, got a scholarship to an Ivy-league school, and landed a top tech firm job that flies her all across the world. These two women met through mutual friends who were into fashion and they became “besties”.
As sweat runs down Vanessa’s back, she is quietly questioning her life choices while simultaneously trying to keep her focus on when to transition from one pose to another. Half way through the class, she gives up and walks out. “Fuck this!” Andrea feels embarrassed but finishes the class, and then after she puts herself together for work, texts “Megan”: Vanessa is such a train-wreck! I can’t believe she bailed on yoga this morning!
Megan is in the middle of a meeting and shoots back a poop emoji and a LOL face. If there were a pack leader, Megan would be it. She was engaged, running a seven-figure fitness business, lives in Los Angeles but has a condo in New York that had been in the family for generations, and she defers big decisions to her spiritual guru shaman. She is sleek with perfect hair (extensions), a designer wardrobe, and a beautiful Mercedes.
These women and those like them drive commerce in the Western World. Their hearts are in a pretty good place, and despite knowing about the Law of Attraction, their minds are in turmoil. What Andrea doesn’t know about Vanessa is that Vanessa is on antidepressants she washes down with a bottle of Malbec, most nights of the week. On the nights she’s not chasing her pills with booze, she is on a date with another “rando”. And she’s chasing her booze with cheep sex. But, this isn’t the big secret because when all the girls are together–the tigers and the ringleader–they laugh and joke about dating, sex, butt-plugs, and do their best to one-up each other’s ability to be salacious.
Megan feels like she has dirt on both Andrea and Vanessa since they both complain to her about the other one. She also feels better than them because she is engaged. For Megan, life is going “according to plan”. But, she didn’t plan on her sex-life being so dry and flat. She didn’t plan on feeling envious of Vanessa’s ability to hook up and move on.
Both Megan and Vanessa think Andrea is totally put together. But, what Andrea doesn’t share is that she spends way to much money on Amazon.com around 3am in the morning because she can’t sleep; her anxiety keeps her up.
Hints of these secrets show up when they get together and “get four bottles deep”. It’s not that they are bad. It’s not that therapy hasn’t worked. It’s that in yoga class, in the eyelash salon, in the liquor store, and after “girls night”; the ache of living with broken hearts, guilt, shame and emptiness is there.
Love is packaged and sold as a drug in these circles. We binge watch shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress. No one is keeping up with the Kardashians; although some of us are still trying to emulate them. None of us feel really great about our bodies. We all have had a version of childhood that left holes in our psychology. A handful of us drifted into the “plant medicine” world. And using catch phrases like, “I’m enough” is just enough to get us to the next day.
But, the medicine isn’t in the stack of self-help books we buy but don’t actually read. It’s circulating through podcasts but only as information. The medicine isn’t in a “mindset” coaching formula, singular church service, or twelve-step gatherings. Broken hearts and empty spaces are healed through the conversations that happen in Breakup Rehab.
It doesn’t matter what her name is–she is lost. I’ve been her. I am her. And what I know to be true is that rehabilitation brings us back home again.
Allen Ginsberg elucidates this by saying, “And while I’m here, I’ll do the work. And what is the work? To ease the pain of living–everything else is a drunken dumbshow.”
We are fallible humans that pass down the lineage of guilt to one another like it was an explanation for existence. It’s not. Life cannot be explained nor can it be lived fully with misunderstanding. Access to unconditional love and the peace that coincides with it requires a commitment few can integrate but in retrospect. Love is nothing and everything.
And it’s there, in the quiet moments, in our prayers, at all hours of the day, in our asking and in Breakup Rehab.
Being married doesn’t make you more legit than being single anywhere else in the world besides government.
The ceremony of a white dress,exchanging vows, and family gathered around will endure as a capstone in the evolution of our lives. However, some of us who have not yet had the experience of getting and being married feel like we are failing at life.
I’m going to out myself on this one and say that having made it to 38 years old without children, student loan debt, or a husband feels like both an accomplishment and like a failure. I’m like a virgin in the dating market, but I’ve been touched many, many times. Yet, no one has ever stuck around long enough to take the long walk down the aisle.
And I know I’m not alone. In fact, I’m guessing that there are a few other relationship therapists out there giving advice to couples about how to have a healthy relationship who have also never been married. We teach what we need to learn; each with our unique perspective.
So, to the point of married people getting tax breaks and access in hospitals, legislation is slow moving and oftentimes antiquated. Thanks to “The Gays” some structures have changed when it comes to permissions partners are given. But, I’m not a lawmaker and I don’t know much about that world. But, what I do know is the often devastating impact mental isolation can have on individuals who buy into the notion that they are less-than because they are single.
Don’t get me wrong, being single is isolating. The lone-wolves of this world have found a way to diminish feelings of discomfort by being hyper-independent. And as a recovering lone-wolf I will say, the hurt is still there.
Sleeping alone is great when it’s a rare occasion. But, when a whole decade goes by of sporadically sharing a bed with quasi-boyfriends and poor excuses for a lay, you just want to lay down and die. Eating out because it’s easier than cooking for yourself can be parlayed into the whimsical hobbie of being a “Foodie”. But, when you can’t work of the extra pounds or pay off the credit card bill from always going out as not just a source of sustenance but to curb loneliness, it can feel like living in an abyss. Interacting with artificial intelligence on dating sights to try to match you with someone with actual intelligence can make masturbation seem like the only smart thing to do.
There a lot of things we can do to distract ourselves from the terror “Dying alone.” Some people even beat death to the punch and become nihilists, goths, or republicans. Even democrats band together to try and make meaning of this life. But, government and political parties aside, what is it about being single that feel like shit?
Let’s just take a moment and have a collective sigh around the fact that even though there are good things about being single, it still feels like shit. I don’t want to be single. I want to have a partner that helps me grow our dreams. I want to give up the hunt for sex and just have sex with the person I like a lot. I want to go do things with someone who I trust and who makes me laugh. And while all directions point to self-love and being the person you want to be with, I have spent years cultivating better versions with me only to end up with me. It feels like shit.
You know why? Because every day we wake up to a rejecting world that delivers the message, you are special but not that special. Just think about the name of the industry that has supplanted organized religion as the bastion of salvation–self-help. It is organized around entropy. We are trained to reject ourselves and save ourselves at the same time.
We need relationships and we need to know, in a world of 8-billion people, how to have a successful and sustainable life-long relationship with a partner. In my years on this earth, I have learned a simple truth: When you ask for an outcome you get a process first. For the majority of inhabitants on this earth participating in a peaceful and healthy relationship is possible. But, it won’t happen for everyone in the same decade, at the same stage of life, contingent on the same socioeconomic status or geographic placement.
Some people will find the love of their life at 50 after three divorces and recovering from a drug addiction. Other people will get married out of high-school and die together never knowing what sex with another human felt like. A lot of us will have two or three significant relationships but spend most of our life being single. Those of us with pets may find that relationship more gratifying than with humans. Then there are the deviants whose function on this earth is to murder, rape, and terrorize. There are all different dimensions of relationship ranging from the emotionally sound to the pathologically mentally ill.
The mechanics of relationship most often displayed on in our culture are a mix of mental disorders and sensationalized drama. “Cut a bitch” is an actual phrase people use to express themselves when they feel their needs are going unmet.
There will be a level of life we settle in at and occupy for the majority of our lives. We can continue to change and grow if doing so is a priority. The only advice I can give to anyone is to take care of what is in front of you. If you reach a point in your life where you feel unsatisfied or even just disgusted by how things have been, then invest your time into making thing how you wish them to be. But, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It won’t get you anywhere but upset, angry, and depressed.
Being single and being married both have their moments of bliss. But, if you compare one to the other both can feel like shit. So, as the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Assess where you are, examine the choices that got you there, and if you want something different then find the person or system that can help create that for you by education on how. Learning soothes the ache of comparison and that’s legit!
These and other labels are often used as descriptors for relationships we engage in where one person is more attached than the other, one person is fixated on fixing the other, and one person feels a deep sense of remorse when the relationship ends while the other person remains unmoved. In fact, these type of relationships seem like they are a dime a dozen–easy to come by but difficult to let go of.
Why is this the case?
It’s because many of us equate intensity with love. In our stupor we choose people who are projects and not partners. What is the difference between the two? The process.
So, what is a partner?
No matter how spectacular they were or how horrible they seem, our parents are not our partners. They were our initial care givers. And here is where all of us mess up. We think that a partner is someone who will take care of us. Nope. A partner is someone who can fully support themselves, be emotionally articulate, and in addition to running their life can also include you in it as well.
A partner is someone you can depend upon who communicates clearly. They work with you in a way that improves both of your lives. In fact, partnership is an active state that both parties in the relationship contribute to. Each person has a vested interest in the other person’s well being. This often means non-interference in one another’s lives as a deep trust has been fostered between the two. Each person is an invitation to the other into expanded awareness.
While it’s true that a partner can demonstrate caring by performing remedial tasks such as laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and generating a steady income, that is not where his or her worth lies. When basic needs are attended to it does promote stability. But, the real treasure of having a partner is in the growth it inspires.
When we get married or join our lives with someone who is a partner, we often trade how we were raised for who we want to be in this lifetime. We are able to be reborn inside the relationship time and time again because we can trust that growth promotes the well-being of the couple. This brings us to the second huge mistake we all make when trying to “find” our partner.
We think, “I can’t be needy.”
The denial of our needs is the very thing that turns companionship into a competition. Denial of needs fosters anxiety that shows up as urgency.
When you find a partner it will feel peaceful. The urgency of “figuring it out” or “locking it down” will be replaced with a time of discovery. However, in the mad dash for resources and to come out ahead, we often approach relationships like a race. The less “needy” we pretend to be is supposed to promote efficiency. But it does the opposite. It actually complicates things.
When urgency is applied to partnership it becomes a project. In fact, most people default to their childhood upbringing as a measure of their potential mate. Project relationships begin with empty promises. A lot of them begin in the online dating market & we package ourselves as something we are not.
We price ourselves like items at a grocery store. Isle one–whores. Isle two–playboys. Isle three–intellectuals. Isle four–romantics. Isle five–pragmatists. Isle six–spiritually evolved. It’s a marketplace predicated on lies.
The primary lie is that “If I get a partner, it will make my life better.” And by “better” we mean more certain. In fact, studies have shown that only 15% of of the population is truly invested in personal growth. So, that means, for the other 85% relationships are where they go to die and fight about it on the way to their grave.
Women are often faulted with wanting to change their men. However, it could be said that men wanting women to be simple is also a gross amendment. People who get into project relationships come with a list of fixed needs and a fanciful idea of what a relationship is supposed to supply. It has plenty of sex to satisfy at least one person in the party. It has enough joy and happiness to last a lifetime. It takes little effort and should “just feel easy.” And above all else, each person will “just know they found the one.”
These and other rhetorical fallacies lead to a battle for power. The toilet seat being left up isn’t about the toilet seat–it is about “disrespect”. Dinner not being cooked is not about dinner–it is about not being seen. Lack of sex isn’t about lack of sex–it’s that pleasure has become a burden. Coming home from work on time isn’t about coming home from on work on time–it is about trusting in the fidelity of the relationship. Getting tested for STI’s isn’t just about the health of the body—it is about loyalty. But, in a relationship that is a project, people don’t talk about the underlying issues.
Women become bitches and men become distant. Or men become possessive assholes and women become manipulative seducers. Each person just picks away at surface issues. “Why are you wearing that?” “You are getting fat.” “How much money do you make?” Since what is being felt isn’t being spoken both people in the relationship are totally unsatisfied. Some people deal with this by jumping from one short term fling to the next. Others grit it out over twenty years until “the kids are grown” and then get divorced. Both parties become jaded with no escape from their insatiable lust. It’s hell on earth.
So how do you pick a partner and not a project?
In a word–Aliveness.
Anyone or anything that sucks your energy is a fucking waste of time. I can’t be any more clear than this. If you are spending more than five minutes wondering “Why didn’t he text?” If you are on the phone with your girlfriends saying things like, “If he would just do this one thing, then things would be great.” If your mind is on overdrive on “how to fix this” then you are not with a partner. The marker of partnership is clear and open communication from day-fucking-one!
You say what you mean and mean what you say. You are responsive to one another. You check in and fill each other in on your day. You give each other space to be individuals. You grow together through your diversity. And you actively let go of the past.
A project relationship is like dating the walking dead. We all have fetishes and dating emotional zombies might be one of yours. But, if you want to knock that shit off and actually inhabit your life, you must be invested in your personal growth. You must be willing to give all you are to your relationships: your calling, your career, your passions, your sex life, your love life, your spiritual practice, and to your partnership. This requires expanding beyond the edges of “how life should be.”
So, if you feel more alive, expansive, supported, and awake in a relationship chances are it is a partnership. But, if you feel drained, confused, angry, or frustrated chances are you picked a project. The choice is yours.