Did you fall for the 'right' guy or just the 'right now' guy?
Actually, I'd like to start by inviting you to drop the concepts of soulmate or "the One" for the lines that follow. You'll be free to take them back at the end of this article—if you wish to. Until then, you can leave them on your night table.
Instead, let's dig into what I mean with "right" partner.
Right doesn't mean perfect and it also doesn't mean forever. You might think that your exes were the wrong partners, as you are not together anymore. Were they? If you took a really close look and thought about your past relationships, would you only see terrible moments and drama, from the first to the last day? I bet you wouldn't. Even in the worst relationship you've ever had something must have been good, otherwise you wouldn't have started it at all. It could be that it was only about his looks or how smart she was, and still something attracted you to the point that you got closer and closer to that person.
Hence, there was something right in the person you've been dating, no matter how long. But then something changed. You noticed that they grew more distant or became annoying, whatever it was...and still you stayed. Probably you told yourself that things would be fine again, as soon as she would get that job or when he would realize he made a big mistake. Then it would be time for you to come first (at last), and your relationship would work smoothly. However... that day never came. Another one came instead: the day you broke up. For our purpose, who broke up and how doesn't even matter. But you did. And you may think that they must have been the wrong partners, back then!
Yes, they were. When you split up, they became the wrong partners. However, until that moment, they were the right ones as you stayed with them. And yet, especially if you can recall some of your past experiences for being particularly painful, you might have asked yourself hundred times: Why did I stay? Once more, I invite you to drop this question. Why won't take you anywhere. You might spend the rest of your life wondering why it went that way and never get an answer.
What I can tell you is that there were reasons you met that specific person and you started a relationship with them. There was something you needed to experience in this life so that you could grow.
A very interesting thing to observe is that most people keep on repeating the same relationship patterns again and again. They will meet someone new, feel attracted and somehow ignore all the signs they might not be a good fit. At some point, they will blame him for being so insensitive or her for her obsession with career.
Alright: let's also drop the blame. By blaming, you give power away and refuse to take responsibility for who you are, and how your life is going.
Let's sum up what's on your night table, that is what you've dropped so far: blaming, obsessing about why, the concepts of soulmate and the One. Don't forget you can take them back at the end. For the moment, simply enjoy a lighter mind.
Now that you've made a bit more space, let's consider the following possibility: all your ex partners have been the right ones for you for some time, until they haven't anymore. And that's when you separated.
Our heads have all been stuffed with this idea that the right relationship lasts a lifetime. And when you meet the One, you'll just know! Well, it can happen and I know a very few couples for whom it went that way and they are still happily together after decades. Some others were only able to recognize romantic love within a friendship after years. And others can experience fulfilling open relationships or don't even need to label them in any way. Even divorce rates are just numbers: what if instead of being about a lack of long-term commitment, many divorces were due to a conscious decision to let go of what doesn't work anymore? Commitment doesn't necessarily need to mean forever. You may also leave on your night table the expectation for your relationship to last for life, if it makes you feel lighter.
How would it be, if next time you meet someone and engage into a new relationship, you could leave these thoughts and maybe other assumptions and expectations behind you? I'm not saying to trash your dream of meeting someone special with whom to share your whole life. However, don't let it limit you, but rather empower you.
What I mean with right partner here is that they were right for you in that moment, as you met them in order to learn or experience something important for you.
The two questions that follow might support you in your choices and they work both for the guy you just met at that party and for your wife of twenty years.
1. How do I feel in this relationship: Is it making my life better or worse?
Ask yourself and then listen. Be present and acknowledge what the real answer is. I know how hard it may be and I had to learn it myself, too. On one level, you may think things are great and when they aren't... well, you are sure you'll find a way to make it work. And yet, something inside you is screaming to tell you that you aren't actually happy in there. You wish you were, but you simply aren't. No matter how much you ignore it, at some point you'll have to admit that in spite of the love that brought you two to each other, you simply aren't happy together.
Staying if it doesn't feel good to you will only make you unhappy and resentful. Needless to say, every relationship has its part of pain, fights, routine and doubts. However, if you sense a persistent background buzz that something is not really right, then it's time to listen to it.
On the other hand, sometimes the fear to get exactly what you want may sabotage a relationship that has the potential to grow. Especially for people who have a never-ending list of characteristics to be found in the perfect partner, this will be challenging. There will always be something that will have you see how that person doesn't possess all the needed requirements from the list. Once more, after you checked with yourself about the things you'd never compromise with – and they are usually only very few – then get back to that gut feeling you have about the person and the way you are with them. How do you feel in their presence? Is your life better also because of them?
And when you have acknowledged it, whatever the situation is, you'll be ready for the second question.
2. Am I willing to go for it?
As human beings, we are often more afraid of our greatness, than we are of failing. Think about any moment when you were about to get exactly what you wanted: whether it was that present from your parents when you were a child, speaking in public in front of dozens people or getting the date you've been dreaming of. The time before something comes true, we often experience frantic and doubtful thoughts having arguments in our minds. Our inner defense system is just reacting and trying to keep us safe. It knows that, if we succeed, something will change, so it paddles against the stream of our desires. It's normal and it doesn't need to stop us.
The same applies when you want to leave a person with whom you are not happy: you sense that it would be the right decision, but you are afraid. And that's again normal: your inner system is trying to keep you safe. In spite of your unhappiness, a situation you already know feels much safer than deciding to step into the unknown.
Knowing what or whom you want to have in your life is not enough. When you know it, you need to decide to go for it and take action.
Next time you meet someone you like or you are in doubt about what to do, will you take the time to listen to your inner voice? And will you trust it and go for it? And yet, there's no guarantee that this approach will get you the love of your life. What I can promise, though, is that by listening to you and acting on decisions based on your true desires, you won't feel like a victim of the events, but rather like the one who's in charge. You'll be empowered and be drawn more and more to the people you really want to have around you.
To find love out there, you need to find love within. To do this, pause and listen. Start by saying yes to your inner voice. Let it lead you to what your soul truly desires. Love is not for a few lucky ones: it's there for those who are brave to open their heart and go for it!
This article was originally published at www.claudiaferretti.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.