“When you show up for yourself, you give other people the opportunity to show up for themselves.” I heard this statement yesterday on a Bashar video I was listening to. It resonated with me, kept me pondering. I’ve been thinking a lot lately (always!) about relationships, and all the different aspects of them that make it so difficult to be in one.
I think it’s the not showing up that often keeps people from wanting to be in a relationship in the first place. When the initial excitement of a new relationship wears off and you begin to see the other person clearly, you realize they may not exactly be the prince(ss) charming you thought you’d been dating. The voice you thought was beautiful may start to sound a little grating. Their fascination with old trains, which once seemed so adorably quaint, suddenly seems so terrifyingly quaint. His gluten free diet seems a little extreme. Worse, you might start to think you misrepresented yourself. You don’t mind going to the occasional foreign film or documentary, but you also really like The Walking Dead and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. You’re an undecided voter. You want to start working on your art again. You realize that you have some thoughts and desires that you’ve not been expressing. You’ve been keeping them hidden! Now what do you do? Run to Tinder!
But running to Tinder has been your go to for a while. All your friends are starting to pair off. A part of you thinks it might be good to be in a long-term relationship, for a change. But then the old habits creep in. Is the fear of revealing your deepest wishes so strong that you have to run? What gets in the way? Are you afraid that if you told your partner how you really felt, they will reject you? Are you afraid they will be disappointed in you? Are you afraid they will become angry or run away screaming?
What if all of those things were true and you tried something new anyway? How about showing up for you? What if you took the chance of expressing your desires directly? When you feel the urge to run, how about looking inside at what you might be avoiding? How about giving your partner the chance to see you, really see you? Maybe they will actually enjoy the opportunity of showing up for themselves. How? By tolerating and respecting your differences.
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