LOVE? The Most Powerful Transformational Tool Known To Man?
In my opinion, a conscious, loving relationship is THE SINGLE most powerful transformational tool there is. Whether or not you’re in a relationship or interested in learning about the conscious kind, the distinctions I am about to share will be useful in any context, because our lives are made up of relationships.
If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that my last relationship recently broke down. This got me thinking about what I want in a future partner and what I feel will make it last…
I’m going to approach the concept of “conscious romantic relationships” as a system, with components that make the system run as designed…
Although the 7 components I will put forward here don’t include every piece of the puzzle, these are the ones I find most useful. I hope you do too.
This blog post includes a video and article. Watch the video first and then read the article below…
7 Principles Of Conscious Relationships
By writing this, I am admitting that I’ve screwed up and loved in enough relationships to have learned a thing or two about what doesn’t work and what does.
1. Close Your Escape Hatches
In romantic relationships, we all have escape hatches – ways to avoid dealing with the issues that confront us when we embark on the journey of loving another in the context of a committed relationship.
In my marriage, my escape hatch was traveling around the world to avoid dealing with my own inability to generate intimacy inside my marriage. For you it may be that you run to a hobby, another love interest, drugs, food, alcohol, sports, work etc…
Your escape hatch is your “way out” when the going gets tough. It’s the exit strategy you use to avoid feeling pain when faced with a confronting situation in your relationship.
The problem with keeping escape hatches open is that eventually you use them…
…and when you do, you take yourself out of the game of growing yourself and your relationship and put yourself back on the bench and as a result, your relationship suffers, you and your partner end up unfulfilled and often grow apart.
In a previous article, I shared that relationship expert, Harville Hendrix, recommends that couples commit for life, in order to close all escape hatches and get the maximum growth out of a relationship.
I know that this thought may scare the living bejeezuz out of a lot of people, so let me explain what that means for me…
Committing for life does not mean that you will stay together for life. Who knows what the future holds… However, creating the commitment for life, changes the context in which your relationship shows up for you.
By committing for life, you create a safe container in which you can work through any challenges that come up.
By keeping an escape hatch open, you always have the option to run away, and as comforting as that option may feel, it doesn’t serve your growth or your partner’s growth or the growth of your relationship, because you always have a back door to escape out of and avoid dealing with the source of the problem in the relationship.
Usually, you’ll end up attracting the same situation in your next relationship until you deal with the source of the pain within yourself.
I’m not suggesting that you commit for life, I’m just saying that I see it as a possible way to close all your escape hatches and maximize your personal growth.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that you commit for life to the first person you meet. I’m suggesting that when you meet someone you WANT to commit to, consider doing it for life (whether in a marriage or not).
I’ve witnessed the power of this when I was involved with Landmark Education – the personal development training company.
Their trainers commit that their job will be the last job they ever have. This gives them an ENORMOUS amount of personal power and ability to transform people’s lives, because they are committed with no escape hatches… Landmark Education’s trainers are the best trainers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Again, for clarity’s sake, I’m not saying that committing for life is the only way to grow, I’m suggesting that it works.
Remember the last time you fell in love?
Remember the dates, the conversations late into the night, the laughter, the romance, the fun activities you did together?
If you think about all the fun things we do when falling in love, we could put them all in a category called “recreation.”
One of the smartest men I have ever met, Werner Erhard, taught me that what we human beings really want from relationships is recreation.
The dictionary defines recreation as refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
If you think about it, isn’t that what we all want in relationships – refreshment?
You most probably played with your partner throughout the honeymoon phase of your relationship. Remember how fun that was and how excited you felt playing together?
A relationship without play and fun soon becomes dull and boring.
If you want to cultivate a gorgeous relationship, build it on a foundation of recreation. Inside the context of being playful and having fun together, a loving, conscious relationship can emerge. Without it, one or both of you are going to get bored quickly.
If your current relationship lacks recreation, perhaps now is the time to cultivate it…
3. Sexual Intimacy And Passion
If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing you also love sex – not just any old sex, but the kind of sexual intimacy that opens your heart, mind and body to the ecstasy of love.
Intimacy is a core component of a thriving relationship… It renews love and connection between two lovers. It reminds us of the joy of being alive. It connects us to life (or god or whatever else you want to call it).
After the honeymoon phase of a relationship is over, sexual passion is often one of the first things to fade away as you settle into the everyday routine of life with a partner.
The good news is that sexual passion is easy to ignite again if you’re willing to be emotionally vulnerable and honest with your partner. In my experience, sexual passion is a natural byproduct of being emotionally vulnerable and honest with my partner.
For some really helpful tips on how to re-create sexual intimacy and passion, one of the best books I have ever read on the topic is Revolutionary Sex For Men and Revolutionary Sex For Women by Alex Allman.
I highly recommend you get one of these books and read it now (it’s a downloadable eBook). Alex is a close friend of mine and I can recommend his work wholeheartedly.
4. Make Your Relationship About Meeting Your Partner’s Needs
A fatal mistake I made in some of my past relationships was approaching the relationship from a 50/50 perspective. I give 50% and my partner gives 50%.
Giving 50% of yourself to anything never results in anything extraordinary. Try having a phone conversation with someone while they are typing on a computer and you’ll know what I mean…
After lots of failed and successful relationships (and reading on the topic) I have come to the conclusion that the way to sustain love is to give yourself 100% to your relationship and make it about meeting your partner’s needs.
To do this, you first have to discover your partner’s needs and then be willing to meet them. Obviously, this course of action works a lot better if both partners commit to giving 100% and meeting each other’s needs.
In case you’re wondering, you are NOT responsible for meeting your partner’s needs. That is their responsibility. However, you can give them the gift of meeting their needs as an act of love.
Imagine how great you’d feel if your partner met your needs. Would you want to meet theirs back? I’m sure you would.
The best information I have read on how to discover your partner’s emotional needs and meet them is by Dr. Harville Hendrix in his book, “Getting The Love You Want (And Keeping The Love you Have).”
5. Put Yourself Into Your Partner’s Shoes
I’ve seen so many relationships break down because of misunderstandings. A big part of why my last relationship broke down was because we were both struggling to understand each others way of looking at the world.
I automatically assumed that my partner saw the world through my eyes… If I could do that relationship over, I would have made every effort to put myself in her shoes and get her world.
My friend Alex Allman, a relationship writer, calls this “Getting Each-Other-Ness” – the ability to climb into your partner’s world and see the relationship through their filters of the world.
Here’s a place to start:
Assume that your partner does not see the world (and your relationship) the way you do.
From that standpoint, make it your business to get into their world and figure out how they see the world. This is one of the biggest acts of love you can give to your partner.
Let them know that their view of the world is a valid one and that you respect it whether or not you agree with it.
Gifting your partner with unconditional acceptance is a turn-on and catalyst to love.
I have attracted many incredibly wonderful people into my life (both men and women) by just gifting them the space to be whoever they choose to be.
6. Commit To Opening To Love, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
You don’t need me to tell you that LOVE is the foundation of any successful relationship.
The thing is, it’s really easy to think of love as something that just happens on its own without your control. It doesn’t…
You have to create love… and you create it by opening your heart to your partner.
If that sounds a little woo-woo, let me explain how I see it…
Love is ever present in the world, like air is. Like air, there is no shortage of it, only the inability to let it flow through us.
Just like we starve our body of air when we hold our breath, we starve our relationship of love when we withhold it by closing our heart to our partner.
Ever had a disagreement with your partner and noticed that you feel no love for them, when the day before you felt head over heels in love with them?
It’s not disagreeing that blocks love, it’s closing our heart to our partner that blocks the flow of love.
It takes extraordinary courage to keep opening your heart to your partner, especially in the middle of conflict, but I promise you that with a little practice, you’ll see miraculous results in your love life if you do.
7. Have Emotionally Honest Conversations
Perhaps one of the most important spokes in the wheel of a loving conscious relationship is having emotionally honest and vulnerable conversations.
For the longest time, I didn’t feel confident enough to share my deepest feelings with my partner.
In the last 2 years, I have had several experiences with women where I was rejected for exposing my real feelings.
Eventually, I concluded that it was not possible for me to be vulnerable and tender and not be seen as a weak wussy…
…so in my last relationship, I tried to be emotionally strong and not let her know my deepest fears and thoughts.
This only served to create distance between us.
If you’re a man reading this, my wish is that you open up emotionally to your woman in a vulnerable and tender way. It doesn’t make you weak, but shows your courage and strength…
I mean, if you can’t be 100% honest with your partner, why are you even with them?
So there you have it… My 7 components for creating a conscious, loving relationship that lasts… Here are some of the resources I mentioned:
Resources For Women
- Revolutionary Sex For Women by Alex Allman (you’ll need to enter your email address and Alex will give you an incredibly informative video about being a great lover. You probably don’t want to watch this video at work as it contains a frank discussion of sexuality and might not be for everyone)
- Getting The Love You Want – Dr Harville Hendrix
Resources For Men
- Revolutionary Sex For Men by Alex Allman (you’ll need to enter your email address and Alex will give you an incredibly informative article about being a great lover)
- The Way Of The Superior Man – David Deida
- Getting The Love You Want – Dr Harville Hendrix
I wish you love,
P.S. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you learned.