By Kelli Cooper for BounceBack.com
Depending on your family, religion, society at large and other factors, you have probably had a lot of ideas hammered into your head regarding what is ”right” and ”appropriate”, what constitutes success, what makes an ideal partner, what type of life you should live, and what is supposed to make you happy. These forces are very strong and can lead many astray from the person they really want to be or the life they really want to live. Something does not quite feel right to them but they cave to these arbitrary declarations. They think they are in the wrong and everyone else must be right. This can lead to a lot of unnecessary frustration and suffering.
One of the keys to finding and maintaining a successful relationship is really figuring out what YOUR ideal relationship is, who YOUR ideal partner is. Some people reading this may think this is an obvious piece of advice and, in many ways, it is. But from what I have observed in life, many people claim to know these simple truths of living a better life, but they are far from actually implementing them. We are influenced by things outside of us far more than we realize most of the time.
Many people feel pressure to seek out certain partners to fulfill some sort of image or to have people view them in a certain way. The business man seeks out the trophy wife who looks good on his arm and can produce the requisite two children. The woman who seeks out a ”successful” man, which usually means he makes a lot of money and works in some sort of office. We are often putting our focus on the wrong things and then we end up with people who are not our best match.
The dynamic between two people in a relationship is unique to the two people in the partnership. Your best bet for relationship success is taking the time to define what your ideal partnership would be like, based on nothing more than who you are and what you want in life. Do not worry what other people are doing or what is considered ”normal.” I agree that there are some fairly objective markers of a healthy, successful relationship, but for the most part, what makes a good pairing is based on very individual factors. What works for one couple could very well tear another apart. I think our society’s ideas of what constitutes a ”good” relationship are far too narrow and it leads many people to settle into situations that go against what they truly want because they feel like there is something ”wrong” with how they feel or that what they want is not ”normal” or ”right.”
Some may think that simply deciding what they want is not enough to actually get it. You may think you will never find a person out there who meets your requirements, who would want to live the same way as you. Well, guess what? This clarity is the only thing you need because getting clear on what you want sends out a very powerful message to a very powerful force that helps deliver the things you want in life in ways you cannot even begin to anticipate. Many reject this type of thinking, but based on my own life experience, no one will ever, ever, ever be able to convince me that expectations, intentions, thoughts and feelings have no bearing on our outside reality. If you have not been operating in this manner, I highly suggest you change that quickly!
When it comes to romantic relationships, advice, expectations and expert opinions abound on all sorts of topics related to this major aspect of the human experience. People are all too happy to tell you what they think is right, how they think things are supposed to be in matters of the love department. They are very attached to these opinions and their filter is very strong and they often cannot see another way. When you go against the grain in any way, people take notice. They will criticize, make untrue assumptions and put in their unsolicited two cents. Anyone who feels the need to gossip or give you flack likely have issues with themselves and their own relationship. Remember, people happy with their lives, choices, beliefs, etc… care very little for how other people are conducting their affairs.
If the things you want in life buck convention, in relationships or any other area of your life, it can be challenging to live true to yourself. We have been programmed with a lot of crappy stuff that is nothing more than the results of someone else’s thinking or opinion. Do what makes you happy and works for you. Find someone that actually makes you happy, not someone you think should make you happy. Conduct your relationship in the way that works for you, not the way people have told you it ”should” work.