Relationship advice… Where do you even begin?
I want to start off by saying that for me, this is one of the most meaningful and exposing posts I’ve ever written. It’s long, but I share a lot of myself, my mistakes, and the ways in which I was able to transform my relational life and reach indifference to so many anchors that weighed me down. If even one sentence resonates with you, I’m happy.
I usually write blog posts on my phone in under 2 hours. For the past 6 days on my laptop, I’ve been working on this post and another one that I’m posting after this (which for a long while, I’ve been really scared to write, let alone publish). I’m also in book writing mode. It’s been nonstop writing for me (sorry for being a little MIA).
I wanted to give you guys something different. Something that made too much sense for your fears to complicate or your ego to write-off and ignore.
So, I took some time to look in my rearview and examine mistakes I’ve made. I revisited stuff that brought up really intense feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt, insecurity and pain, which surprised me. I took breaks in between and just felt my way through it. There was no way I could write this all in one sitting.
For the past 6 days, I’ve been an emotional chemist.
I made it my mission to pinpoint (and then simplify + make assessable), the common denominator of the close/long-standing relationships in my life currently, and in the lives of couples who were kind enough to allow me to interview them.
I’ve also spoken to a lot of men over the last few weeks as research for this post and my book. I spoke to men of all ages and stages about what it takes/would take for them to want to commit and remain committed.
DISCLOSURE: this relationship advice will only illuminate a diamond that ALREADY is (aka an emotionally available partner). It won’t turn a pebble into a diamond that’s magically illuminated just because it accepts you tirelessly shining it, in hope of some immaculate transformation.
A few questions that clients and readers have asked:
“What would it take for the person I’m with to feel like the grass is always greenest underneath my feet?”
“What does it take for emotional commitment to occur?”
This isn’t about putting a ring on it, proving everyone wrong and “settling down.” A baboon could literally get down on one knee, put on a tux and repeat vows. Marriage is neutral. In chemistry, a neutral solution is neither acidic nor basic – it’s the product of whatever is put into it.
It can either be something really uplifting and amazing or really suffocating and sh*tty, depending on what it’s made of. Marriage, in and of itself, will not fix a damn thing. If you go into it for the wrong reasons, it will only end up highlighting and taking on the identity of the bullsh*t that it’s made up of.
Same goes with relationships, friendships, business & dating – they are all a direct byproduct of their ingredients.
The problem is, we tend to ignore the fact that we ONLY have control over:
- Our own ingredients that we put in.
- Making the decision to act upon the fact that the other person’s lack of/missing ingredients have nothing to do with us or our value. It has to do with THEM. Their kitchen was empty long before you came into the picture. It’s not your job or within your abilities, to keep your kitchen stocked while restocking anyone else’s. You’re not Costco.
- Getting turned on by the fact that the other person needs our ingredients to feed off of for narcissistic survival (and enthusiastically consumes until you have nothing left but a codependent nightmare – they are dependent on wiping their emotional shoes on the doormat you’ve become and you are dependent on them using you + the crumbs of mud they leave on your mat, just to feel significant).
For me, this post was about identifying an X Factor that would make the thought of deviating induce a “No thanks, I’m good” yawn, instead of a “Yes-!!!-I’m-finally-free-from-the-ball-and-chain,” excitement.
What, if anything, would silence and shut down the “Could I do ever do better?” wonderings ?? Even in the most connected and empathetic partners.
Relationship advice is interesting. There’s such an abundance of it, but the living, breathing results of its application are few and far between.
I examined the few and far between – both in the long-standing relationships in my personal life and with the couples I interviewed that have been together for decades.
And the conclusion I came to, the “secret,” to long lasting relationships… Just like every solution to life’s complexities, is so simple.
This relationship advice will give you a sense of peace. The kind of peace that can only come from realizing the keys to your jail cell have been in your back pocket all along.
Take it from someone who finally escaped and got out… Your cell is self-imposed.
You are right now, voluntarily serving a sentence that was never meant for you.
It’s time to reclaim your keys and get the f*ck out.