The Key to a Successful Relationship
Relationships overtime hit a wall, a great plateau if you will. Boredom sinks in, the man is stuck in front of a television with a beer, and the woman nags incessantly. This doesn't have to happen, but we as a socially decayed society tend to accept this nonsense. In the most simplest of terms what you should be seeking for in a healthy sustainable relationship is poetic beauty and poetic depth. These two terms are somewhat interchangeable.
You and your partner mainly:
Reports indicate that those who marry with more education (a bachelors, to a masters, to even a phD) have more sustainability overtime as well as couples who marry when they are older. A good deal of this is because these people have become rounded as well as secure in their lives whether with careers or just simply their own internal selves. Part of this also comes from if you have spent a luxurious amount of time in education (way more than normal) it has likely forced you to become engaged in texts that require you to seek for poetic beauty. Graduate degrees seek for higher meaning in philosophy, literature, communication, etc.
Relationships that only circulate around beer and watching television tend to face the plateau, whereas couples who are actively seeking for poetic beauty, enlightenment in life, and flat out conversation -- are going to have stronger bonds with their interests and communication patterns. Those who can read Dostoevsky together are more likely to stick together. So if you want a strong partner, than seek for more depth in your life. Develop stronger of passions such as:
1. Learn a new language (or two)
2. Learn to play a new instrument.
3. Read the classics from Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Dumas, etc.
4. Travel the world, not just the United States but Italy, Kenya, Korea, Brazil... everywhere.
5. Learn to cook rather than rely on simple, overused formulas for food like TV dinners or frozen pizza.
6. Go to art museums, ballets, symphonies, plays, concerts, dance lessons, nature preservation sites, animal sanctuaries, etc.
7. Spend time in nature from hikes, horseback riding, to walking around a lake.
8. Write each other letters.
9. Learn new skills together
10. Work at charity events together.
Your soul craves depth and your romances and intimacies also crave depth. There may be a great deal of love horizontally with your partner from being taken care of to being secure, but without vertical depth, it can really become a drag. Push more for that depth to continually have love in the relationship along with a healthy fascination of each other. If you're not still fascinated and intrigued with each other after two months, two years, etc... then the problem may be on this vertical line. The horizontal line of having your physical needs met should be automatic from having affection, food and water needs met, a roof over your heads, these kind of basic necessities. Finances are a prime area of discontent for couples, and so I suggest -- don't live beyond your means. Be rational with how much money you and your partner make and also the potential of how much you could make. If you are living beyond that, it's going to put a great deal of struggle on the both of you, and finances are not the answer to life's greatest problems, so don't setup your life to only go after the shiniest of things.
Poetic depth means that you are seeking for the finer, more beautiful aspects of life. Great stories seek to find the most wonderful of hidden gems to present to the audience, and that is what you need in your romance. Your romance is a narrative for the world, and if it really is lacking in poetic depth -- then it probably is bland both for those watching you and... for yourself. Living a bland life is only going to be unsettling for a couple, and can even create marital issues to the extent of extra marital affairs, abuse, depression, and irreconcilable differences.
Though relationships may start off great... the excitement of the newness can send the heart into utopia, but don't let yourself become too distracted by the new -- be honest about how much depth you are bringing to the table. Do the two of you swoon to Etta James or Frank Sinatra or do you read classic literature at a candlelight dinner? OR do you complain about dishes and who is going to take out the trash, and other menial activities? What activities are the most common in your relationship -- nagging at each other and being dismissive, or going into the depths of creativity and the soul? You're more than likely picking on chores, which honestly is generally a small area of concern, because you're not receiving enough intimacy in the soul department.
And as a side note... exploring poetic depth with each other should also enlighten your sex life! Lackluster and frivolous sex only looks to perform rather than connect. If you know how to connect emotionally, spiritually, and mentally -- physicality should fall into place.
Many religions believe that the spirit is made first before the flesh. In a relationship, focusing on the creation of the spirit before the flesh will hope build a firm foundation for the relationship, security, and a more sustainable relationship for both partners. If a material exists before it's essence -- then what kind of real identity does it have? Does it have a real soul behind it? Not really. Concepts exist before we even recognize them or before the material even takes shape; the flesh is what gives the spirit room to live itself out, the material is definitely a gift for the spirit.
Rather than focusing so much on sensuality, try engaging more into your mental and emotional spheres. Turn off the televisions and electronics, and try to rediscover other parts of yourself. After many new yoga students have had a few sessions they find that certain parts of their body that they didn't even know existed end up feeling strained -- this is also what happens to yourself when you stretch certain aspects of your self in spheres going beyond some of the more mundane and less enthused activities of life.
Life is only but a short whisper, and so you don't want to waste it away on nothing. Spend it being a bright shining light that actually helps the planet. Dare to be different and unique. Dare to have healthy relationships rather than having relationships just for the sake of having a relationship!
You don't necessarily even need a relationship. I recommend being content with yourself and searching for poetic depth before being in a relationship. Without your own self contentment, you'll bring negative energy into the relationship that isn't entirely resolved. It would be much better to face yourself in your own alone time before trying to face yourself in a long, extended relationship.
You shouldn't lose yourself in a relationship -- you should gain a deeper sense of who you are. Relationships are meant to give you extra support, to give you a stronger sense of your identity, and be a blessing to you rather than a curse. Not taking things seriously and living a life of casual dating is going to give you a life that reflects more of limbo than heaven. Shoot for having both the practical horizontal aspects of a relationship along with the abstract, creative vertical aspects of a relationship. You need both to survive against all the grinding aspects of living on a planet of broken people. You need all of these aspects in your own individual life to give you a self-content life.
Relationships need a solid foundation of trust. It is important to consider your actions and what you are putting into the relationship as well as for your partner to consider this. If you don't think of your partner when making a decision, you could end up becoming insensitive and selfish. You should ask yourself questions such as:
*Could this potentially hurt my partner's feelings?
*Is this a large enough financial item that it should be discussed first?
*Am I being too impulsive or impatient about something?
*Am I spending time with too many other people besides my partner?
*Will this result in any affection with my partner?
You need to stop thinking on auto-pilot and start thinking more critically about how you relate to others. If you don't pay attention, you may end up losing the jackpot of a partner you have found. Life is short and if you only live it inside the cubicle of a house you have, you may end up with a mostly dissatisfying life. Be considerate of your own feelings and be considerate of your partner's feelings. It takes two to tango, so figure out how exactly one or both of you are stepping out of turn.
© 2013 Andrea Lawrence