I probably don’t have to tell you this, but romantic relationships are some of our most challenging relationships.
Partly because you choose your romantic partner. You don’t choose your parents or siblings or neighbors, but you choose your partner. And the way you choose your partner is not so straightforward as it might seem.
Also, as your commitment to one another grows, every aspect of your life becomes interdependent with this other person. We place very high expectations of our romantic relationships, more than any other relationship.
How we really choose our partners
You might think that you know why you chose your partner, but that’s only part of the story.
Your unconscious mind was very busy when you were choosing your partner. There are tons of potential partners out there, but only a few you’ll even consider, not because they aren’t attractive or smart, but because there’s an unconscious template inside of you of the perfect partner. You’re looking for someone that fits.
But there’s a deeper layer to this.
Consciously, you think you’re looking for qualifications. Those might be things like someone who has the same religion as you or is a certain height.
But really, your unconscious mind is scanning the universe for a love object that resembles, in some way, your earliest experience of love.
Don’t believe me?
Listen to the language of romantic songs. They’re full of lyrics like “Oh baby, I need your love.” Or “I’ll die if you leave me”. We hear words terms like baby, daddy, and momma shared between lovers. Without realizing it, we are mimicking parent-child relationships.
There is usually a possessive aspect to romantic love. Jealousy to the point of even feeling murderous or suicidal is common in romantic relationships. Statistics vary, but about 50% of women who are murdered are murdered by their past or current romantic partners. Ironically, romantic love is not very loving!
Love songs are like that because we’re attracted to our partner from that first love relationship, which is almost always our parents.
We don’t know that we’re doing this, of course, unless we’re conscious about it.
So, if someone says, “Why did you marry your husband?” you might say “Because he’s handsome, a good provider, and a nice guy,” but in fact, it might be because your unconscious mind noticed he didn’t listen to you and often seemed distracted, which is just like your mother or father.
At first, you might find that characteristic charming or you may not consciously notice it. However, as time goes on you will start to feel reactive to that trait or even come hate that about him. That’s where we get the phenomenon of “I love you, now change.”
Why do we do this? Your unconscious mind is replicating your first experience with love because you want to heal that experience.
So how do we heal that relationship?
We heal these relationships by becoming conscious of our thoughts and actions, so we can move out of those patterns.
Consciousness is everything.
The more conscious you are, the more you will be able to engage in self-healing. You’ll be more likely choose a partner with your eyes wide open instead of unconsciously choosing someone just like your dad who didn’t pay attention to you.
You might wonder if you choose your partner unconsciously, is your relationship doomed to be unhappy? No, not necessarily. If you and your partner both commit to becoming conscious and growing, both of you can heal the parts of you that are getting in the way of having a healthy relationship.
However, if one person grows and the other doesn’t want to grow, the odds are not so good. The person who is resistant to growth will likely see the partner’s growth as a sort of betrayal since the relationship was formed on certain implicit agreements. The partners will no longer be viewing the relationship through a similar lens. Both of partners will feel a gap growing between them.
Let’s say that you grow and become clearer about what you do and don’t want. As you set clearer boundaries, your spouse might become angry and question why you are being so difficult. If your partner is rigidly attached to the original relationship structure let’s say, where you were more docile, the relationship will likely be unhappy and/or break apart.
However, if your partner is flexible, the changes that you’ve made might be perceived positively. Your partner may enjoy the shift of power and see the benefits of a more equal relationship. The shift in dynamics might spur a renewal in the relationship.
Becoming more conscious is a choice. When you choose consciousness your life will change, your relationships will change. If you want to maintain the status quo, this work isn’t for you. If you want to go on a grand adventure of healing and are willing to let go of what is no longer serving you then this a journey is for you.
When you launch yourself on the path living consciously you will heal yourself, your relationships, and find the fulfillment you’ve always wanted.