A Couple of Relationship Truths
Butterfly Tree Counselling
with Dana Webster
The only thing more complex and complexing than a single human being is a relationship in which two or more human beings are involved. I wrote a blog about this some time ago so I'm going to pull out the salient bits for this post.
...the key to a solid relationship is individuality. Yes, I said that. There’s you and there’s the other person (or, if you’re polyamorous, there’s a bunch of other people but the general principle still applies; it’s probably just more complicated). Two distinct people each with their own equally weird, obnoxious and engaging ways of doing things, coming together to form this other entity called a relationship also with its own weird and wonderful qualities. The fun part is that, together, you get to create the relationship from the ground up. It is a melding of all your best and worst attributes. Through experimentation, communication and a sizeable dose of humour, you figure out what you will keep, what you will modify, and what you promise to only ever do when you are alone.
Relationships are not about losing or subjugating your uniqueness for the benefit of the other or to “keep the peace.” They are about maintaining each person’s individuality while, at the same time, keeping the distinct needs of the relationship in mind. In this way, all three aspects can feel understood, loved, and cared for. It’s a juggling act, to be sure, and requires a very solid foundation of love, respect, safety, and trust. It’s all very well to assert our own needs and wants (it's healthy, in fact) but the third element, the relationship, has equal say and equal needs which require equal thoughtfulness.
So much easier said than done. But certainly not impossible and definitely worth the investment.
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