“No partner in a love relationship… should feel that [she] has to give up an essential part of [herself] to make it viable.”
In our previous posts, we’ve touched upon how we can shift our perspective to change our experience of our relationships, but for those of you who find yourself on consecutive relationship rollercoasters with entirely unsuitable people, this one’s for you.
The unfortunate reality of our cultural paradigm is that we tend to celebrate relationships and sensationalise break ups. It’s therefore understandable that so many people feel incomplete or self-conscious in the absence of relationship. The result is that we all too often unconsciously seek an identity through our relationships and bit by bit give up parts of ourselves to try to make them work, even when they are out of alignment with our wants, or even our needs.
In my last blog I promised to talk about the process for breaking our unhelpful relationship patterns and attracting new and healthier people into our lives. I also mentioned that the first step is a willingness to accept that we don’t have all the answers and to be open to learning another way.
And here’s why…..
Through my experience working with one of the top dating and relationship coaches in L.A. I observed that the key component for ending the vicious cycle and re-writing our relationship script involves taking a break from dating and relationships for a while; a process otherwise known as a self-imposed dating fast.
For many clients this can be a controversial suggestion given that people are typically engaging in the coaching process to find a partner. But, as we now know, relationships essentially act as a mirror to see ourselves; they give us powerful clues as to what we believe about ourselves and who we are at any given moment in our lives. The upshot is that if we’re in an unhealthy relationship, it’s sending us a clear message about ourselves.
So if you’re a relationship rollercoaster rider, it’s time to pay attention! If there’s only ONE thing that you take from this series of relationship blogs, let it be this…
The most profound relationship we will ever have is the relationship that we have with ourselves.
So, if you are someone who struggles to be on their own for a 3-6 month period, then ask yourself how possible is it that you might be using relationships to fill a void in your relationship with yourself?
A dating fast simply offers an opportunity to consciously look at and become aware of what’s going on for US; to get to know ourselves better. Here are some of the many benefits:
(a) It allows us to clear out the energy associated with the past relationship(s);
(b) It creates space to objectively review who you are and what’s truly important to YOU in relationship (without coming under anyone else’s influence);
(c) It provides an opportunity to lay some firm foundations from which to attract your ideal partner; and
(d) It helps you to learn about the blocks you have around being single that may be preventing you from attracting what and who you truly want.
Makes sense, right?
We can get so churned up by our relationship dramas and break ups that a dating fast provides the space allows the silt to settle. That space offers a newfound awareness about ourselves from which we then have an opportunity to change our relationship experience.
During the period of relationship fast, the client frees themselves up to get clear on who they are, what’s important to them and what being in a healthy relationship means to them (something we’ve already discussed in Part I of this series). In the coaching session, we talk about the client’s values, the characteristics that the client is looking for in a partner and what experience they want to have in relationship. I have often invited my clients to consciously create their ideal image of a partner, including: their values, their lifestyle and their interests.
As you are already aware from our previous blogs The Truth About Success in a Nutshell and Unleashing Your Inner Superwoman, getting clear on what success looks like to you in any area of your life, setting your intention and goal setting along the way, are all critical components to achieving your notion of success. Naturally, the clearer you get on what you want, the easier it is for you to recognise it when it comes along. It provides a yardstick by which to assess whether someone is truly measuring up to what you want.
This “ideal image” can then be reviewed and finessed along the way as the person steps out into the dating world and learns through their experiences which things are more or less important to them. It’s an evolutionary process as we learn more and more about ourselves.
So, before next time…..
I encourage you to:
- Ask yourself, what’s the longest period of time you have chosen to be single and focus on yourself?
- If it’s less than 6 months, consider taking some time out for yourself – perhaps focus on your health or do activities that make you feel good –e.g. book yourself a massage; and
- Start with a week and take it one day at a time from there.