This week’s question is from a reader who writes:
“I am in love with a man I’ve been seeing for two years. He recently broke off our relationship and I was devastated, but he came back after two weeks saying he missed me and realized he was wrong about some things. We’ve had long talks and I feel stronger about him than ever, but am afraid he might leave again. How do I know if this is the one for me?”
It’s absolutely true that no relationship – not even if you are soulmates or twin flames – is without ups and downs and conflicts. It’s the way that you navigate the conflicts that determines the longevity of a relationship.
For starters, I’m assuming there is no abuse, addiction, unfaithfulness, or other deal-breaking behavior. I’m assuming you feel good about yourself when you’re with him, and he is willing to respect your needs and be a giving, loving partner. Assuming that your relationship is pretty much on the healthier side of love, there are three things that determine longevity:
1.) The strength of your bond. Do the two of you have enough commonality and compatibility in the areas you each value the most? For some couples, wanting children, being of the same political views, or belonging to a certain religion is the most important thing they value. And there are other couples who can get along just fine with a partner of a different religion or political view.
For some couples, having the same sense of humor or taste in music is essential, or enjoying the same types of films or vacation destinations. Or they highly value sports activities or certain kinds of friends. Again, none of this may be important to you.
What is important is that there is enough commonality and compatibility between you, so that when the going gets tough, you each feel strongly enough to fight for salvaging the precious bond between you. If there isn’t a strong enough bond, eventually there won’t be enough to keep you motivated to weather the tough times together.
2.) The level of your self-awareness. The more awareness one has about their own strengths and weaknesses, the easier it is to have a discussion about what is going on in your relationship dynamic. If one or both of you has not developed a great deal of self-awareness, are you each willing to be receptive when the other (lovingly!) points out something you haven’t seen in yourself before?
There are some people that are not at all self-aware and are not at all interested in becoming self-aware. These folks are the ones that are tougher to live with for someone who really values self-awareness. Still, if they have a myriad of loving, kind qualities that makes them a joy to be with, and you are clear you accept them as they are and it’s okay that they may never change, there could be some longevity for this relationship.
3.) Your willingness to focus on connection and work things out. The more you or your partner point the finger at the other or run at the first sign of disagreement, the less either of you are focusing on the connection between you, the less likely this relationship can go the distance. It takes two people willing to take responsibility for their part of the dynamic to work things out.
And it IS a dynamic! When we’re in the midst of relationship trouble, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the other person is the trouble. That’s because we have no objectivity about our own point of view. We cannot see our own Shadow so we can’t tell what it is within us that is contributing to the other person’s behavior.
This is why it’s so helpful to have an objective and caring relationship coach to help you through the bumps in the road to relationship longevity. The more you both can uncover the hidden agendas stored in your Shadow, the more you can free yourselves of the self-protective mechanisms that keep you from creating an open, vulnerable, loving relationship.
Let me know how I can be of further service to you and your relationship!
And I welcome hearing what you thought of the above – feel free to post a comment below or on my Facebook page with your “yay” or “nay”. Let’s explore this topic further! Wishing you many blessings and healthy, long-lasting love!