Written by: Trina Wyatt
The spiritual connection is the single most important aspect of a meaningful relationship – far more than the physical connection.
Here are several of my truths (not necessarily The truths) about relationships.
1. Every relationship is successful– no matter if it lasts for one year or 50 years.
Relationships offer the most opportunity for personal growth. A good relationship will require us to hold a mirror up and see ourselves from a new angle. Many times I have told friends that there is no such thing as a “failed” marriage. Every marriage and every relationship offers an opportunity for personal growth. If we are willing and able to grow from being in a relationship, then it has been a success.
2. Love at first sight happens.
But I might rephrase this in saying, I believe that the eyes are the window to the soul. So it is possible to look into someone’s eyes and recognize that his or her unique soul has a special place in your life. This happened to me 16 years ago when I met my husband. Granted I thought he was one of the most handsome men I had ever seen, but as we looked into each others’ eyes and talked, we discovered a deep connection based upon shared values and a mutual love of poetry, literature, film and travel. After sixteen years, my husband and I still appreciate every bit of advice on keeping the “fire alive”, and Esther Perel is an expert worth turning to.
3. Good relationships are based upon SPIRIT chemistry, not BODY chemistry.
Boy is this a tough truth to learn, especially when you are in college or your biological clock is ticking! I love being a mentor to younger women. Many times I have been asked, “How did you meet your husband?” “How did you know he was the one?” I always respond that I knew he was the one because 1. I felt completely at ease living my truth in his presence. 2. We shared the same values; liked doing the same things; and shared a complementary vision of our future lives – individually and collectively.
Taking this idea further, all good relationships have good energy – whether romantic or platonic. For the most part, relationships should be easy, bringing more joy into your life than sorrow. You shouldn’t have to think about a relationship too much or try too hard to make it “work”.
So if you are struggling to find a “good” partner, ask yourself which part of you is leaning into the connection, your mind, your pheromones or your soul?
4. The most important expression of love is the love of self.
As the saying goes, “you’ve got to first love yourself, if you want to find (romantic) love.” I always thought this was a selfish approach, putting oneself above all others. But over the last decade, I’ve learned that not only is self-love an important precursor to romantic-love, but most forms of addiction and self-destruction stem from a lack of self-love. Finally, in keeping with the teachings of non-duality, the other person is you. You are the other person. In loving yourself, you are loving others.
5. Sometimes the relationship you want is not the relationship the other person is capable of giving.
This has been one of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to learn, whether with my husband or best friends.
In romantic relationships, we mirror what we learned from our parents. Every day I saw my father hug my mother, tell her how much he loved her, how beautiful she was, and how lucky he was to have her in his life. Conversely, I never saw my father-in-law be “publicly” demonstrative with my mother-in-law or compliment her in any way. (As you can imagine, I have wanted my husband to be more demonstrative than he knows how to be.) That said, somehow we just knew that my father-in-law was crazy in love with his wife. Perhaps by the healthy meals he cooked her? Or the adoring looks he gave her when he thought no one was looking? In my 16 years with my husband, I’ve made it a practice to express gratitude at the ways he shows his love for me and to catch myself when I question or complain that he isn’t expressing his love for me in the way I think he should.
The best relationships are able to weather the “storms” with active listening, a willingness to compromise and a focus on gratitude. I try to remember to express gratitude at what the other person is willing and capable of giving, and to remember that love means accepting people for who they are – not who you need them to be.