What I'm about to share comes from my own hard-earned experience as I searched for love throughout my 20s, and from seeing it all the time in loved ones, friends, and clients. This is a message I wish I had fully understood at 21, 25, and even 29.
Partnership isn't about having someone validate or increase our value.
This was a tough one for me because as a child, I had accepted that I didn't have very much value. I felt I had to prove I was worthy, and as a young adult I thought finding an ideal man would be my answer. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Our partners aren't there to validate us through good looks, material things, money or status. Our partners aren't responsible for our happiness or life's fulfillment. They're not here to make us money, or to fill a void, or to heal a childhood wound. They're not responsible for our sexuality or turning us on. ALL OF THAT is our responsibility. Yes even the sex bit.
Many of us have heard that long-term couples (married or common-law) have less and less sex. Is that your partner's fault? Sorry, it's not. That is definitely the easiest way out, but it won't get you more sex, or more passionate, mind-blowing sex. Nope. You need to own that you're the only one in your skin-suit with the controls of your limbic system- and thereby, your libido. You've got to cultivate your sexuality, and only then can you explain the instructions of your turn on to your partner. They aren't there to read your mind or body for you, and they aren't there to live up to every Hollywood heartthrob who's trending at the time. If you let the media influence or dictate who you find attractive, then your partner (and partnership) doesn't stand a chance. If your turn on is related to status and peer validation, then that's unsustainable too: what if you have the envy of all your girlfriends as you parade your partner around, and then a year later, they're envying a different friend with a new trophy guy who's 'got it all'? Will you then stop finding him attractive and let your sex life stall? It just doesn't work because life is always changing and relying on external factors to determine how we feel internally is a broken system. When we cultivate our own sexual energy, self esteem, and life's fulfillment, we have a sustainable, abundant source to draw from. We don't need to try to tap into it from other people, we have our own unlimited supply.
If you can imagine having a well of invisible energy, and every time you're seeking approval from someone you're trying to pull that energy from them. It doesn't feel good for them or you. You feel desperate, and they feel repulsed by you. And the more you try to get it, the more they pull away. Now imagine that your well of energy is full and swirling inside your heart space, sparkling and effervescent. You draw on it when you feel you need something, or if you're having a hard day. But it's always there for you, and it's yours - ever present, and always replenishing. How does it replenish? From the expansion work you do, which is an act of self discovery and self love. Things like breathwork, meditation, inner child work, and so on. Pick your medicine. And there's also your self care regime that replenishes you. Maybe that's having a bath and rubbing coconut oil in your skin, or writing in your journal, or going for a hike. Doing the things you love is an act of self care and self love. And it replenishes your energy.
Might be tough to accept because we've been socialized to expect all of those things to come from outside ourselves. But in giving away our responsibility we give away our power...and in the process we mistake what partnership really is.
Partnership is two people walking through life side by side, supporting one another as each of them fulfills their own dreams. Love, support, friendship, kindness, and respect is just about all that's required. They're responsible for their life, and you're responsible for yours (and jointly, your kids or pets if you have them). The sooner we accept this we can allow more love into our lives, we can stop waiting for someone or something to come along and give us what we desire. And we can release our loved ones from expectations that are completely baseless (and made up by advertising companies and movies).
Why is it baseless? Why should we 'settle' for anything less than a movie?
Well, let's explore here. If we marry someone because they are wealthy or very attractive (which is highly subjective anyways), does that make us wealthy or attractive? Not in the literal sense. Being with someone does not literally make us more valuable either, whether by status or inherent value. We are who we are, no matter who we are 'attached' to.
Even IF it were true that we gained value via partnership, what then if your partner loses their wealth, status, or good looks? Does that mean that we have less value then? Do we then have to pressure them to get it back or leave our partners in order to find our value in someone else? It's pretty absurd, right? But lots and lots of us do this every day.
Many people marry for money or looks, and many of them get divorced when those qualities fade or dwindle. It's not sustainable, it's not realistic (after all, money comes and goes and we all get old if we're lucky), and it's not love. It's the pursuit of the ego. When we don't connect with ourselves and know our own inherent value as human beings, we seek value and validation from our peers.
When we deeply know our value, and our ability to create the life we want, we do not need others to supply us with those things. We then pursue partnership in the form of companionship, friendship, love, compassion, support, connection, and (hopefully) having fun together. You are the sweet, layered, light and delicious cake! Your partner is just the icing on top.
If you're single and still searching for 'the one', or you're married and are disappointed in your partner or your relationship, coming to terms with this reality and taking your power back via accountability could be a true game-changer. It has been for me.
I hope sharing this offers something for you today, even if it's triggering -if you feel something, there's something there to look at. Above all, I hope that you feel empowered, and take a moment to look inside if you're not seeing what you want in your external reality. The next time you're wanting something, ask yourself, what is the feeling that I'm wanting to have? Chances are, there are many other ways to get that feeling, and you can give it to yourself.
You are the one you've been looking for.