Openness in Relationships
There are hundreds of books and techniques and counselors that offer support and guidance in how to cultivate healthy relationships and enhance your communication, passion and sex life. Personally, I never managed to get into their whole world and get it to work for me. I couldn't just read a relationship manual and immediately see the results, it didn't just *poof!* get better! But I did find that hearing other peoples stories and struggles helped me to relate and that I could take their learnings and make them into my own experiences. Because that is what learning ultimately all about; experience. Over the years I have accumulated a few pieces of knowledge that seem to work for me. So the rest of this is about one lesson in particular and I hope that you can take it and experience it for yourself. The lesson is openness.
Relationships, all relationships, are based on connection, and that's what they are by definition; the connection between two people. So to build a strong connection you have to be open. Pretty simple. One cannot form a strong connection with someone they cannot understand or are continually deceived by. It just doesn't work that way! Poor communication (be it intentional or not) is the source of so many problems. With my very first girlfriend, who I was with for a couple years, I always put my own feelings down, I had not yet learned the value of acceptance. I would always say "oh you decide, I don't mind what movie we go to, if you go out tonight, which friends come over' etc. I always tried to make myself feel what I thought would make her happy. Obviously I couldn't fully do that and would end up feeling resentful that we had went and seen some chick flick. And guess who I took it out on? Her of course. There are plenty of other manifestations too, we never could completely understand or deal with each others emotions when things were bad, and I always felt like I was trying to maintain this image of the perfect boyfriend.
Since then I have learned a thing or two.
Openness namely. I currently have the pleasure of sharing a part of my life with a wonderful young woman and we connect with quite powerful synergy (and I say a part because there is a six hour drive between us). We understand each other, not because we are terribly good at reading, but because we Tell each other how we are feeling all the time. Whenever there is a particular thought that I have about her, or worries or ideas, I call her. I tell her what is going on in my head, and she does the same. There is no exclusion or censorship in what we tell each other; we just do. In that way we have a lot of trust in each other, not only in listening and understanding everything that is said but also in the confidence that we know what is going on with each other. Whenever there is a problem that needs attention we work at it together and are constantly communicating impulses, gut reactions or emotions and we thus know what to do. It's like spewing all of your worries and joys and in doing so the worries are dissipated and the joys are shared and celebrated!
One of them most wonderful parts of this relationship though, is that there is so little dependancy. By sharing ourselves, and having the strong connection that we do, there is little need for the constant reassurance of love.
Now I look back and see how much I have learned and how much there still is to know! It is simple lessons like these that when applied will just make living that much better. I am constantly grateful for this experience and I celebrate the teachings that I am been given. It is something I have been inspired to share and I hope that you can take a little piece of it and share it as well.