Regular readers of this blog may remember that I broke up with my long-term boyfriend earlier this year. This was largely due to us being severely out of sync with one another’s core beliefs which resulted in the lack of true, emotional connection. The diminishment of trust became a growing concern and much stonewalling of communication by both of us became chronic. Meaningful conversations became fewer and neither of us felt able to fully open up and be in a safe space to express our feelings in a timely manner. The harmony of give and take had become silent.
Although I’m reticent about sharing details of my personal life, there are some times when I feel it’s important to share general observations I’ve learned from it. Probably the most important thing I overlooked was self-respect. If one does not love and respect oneself you’ll settle for a partner who isn’t fundamentally right for you. There is the risk of either you or the partner becoming clingy and possessive. This will eventually bring out the worst of both partners.
Being a member of the LGBT community is oftentimes a matter of feeling like we have to walk on eggshells in our dealings with society at large. Many of us become people-pleasers and fall into a codependent relationship with accepted society at large. As a result, this can result in carrying this dysfunction into our personal, intimate relationships as well. In my case, this resulted in two codependent people pairing up as a couple. Both of us were highly conditioned to be shunned by society to the point that both of us were reluctant to do or say anything that could be construed as rejection by one or the other. When coupled with basic incompatablilty, the deficit of self-respect contributed to discord.
In a reasonably functional relationship it’s important for both parties to share a similar vision for the partnership and be on the same psychological wavelength. While the partners may not have the same attributes and skills, each one finds ways to mesh together as a team. In basic ways, the two partners will discover a harmonious synergy when they are together. There is a healthy level of respect for each other that springs from wholesome self-respect by each of the partners. As long as mutual respect and psychological harmony are present, the chances of a long-term, satisfying partnership are greater. At some point, this relationship might even be formalized in the form of legal marriage.
Through either standard dating or by chance encounter, we meet a potential lover or partner based upon mutual attraction. Once the dizzying, giddy feelings of impulsive romance fade, we begin to settle into a type of normalcy and learn new ways to support one another. Some of this involves healthy compromise by both individuals. Timely, honest, compassionate communication by both parties is key during the period of normalization. If the compatibility and harmony remain and grow, then the relationship is on the right track. However, if the two individuals have fixed, strong expectations that differ, then the partnership will likely become ever more dysfunctional.
By and large the flow of love between two people, mutual respect, emotional connection, shared values, and compassion by both parties provide further potential for development and growth. Mutual appreciation and respect for one another are the keynotes of harmonious relationships.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th century French author, Delphine de Girardin. “Men must stop being jealous of their power and generously allow freedom and responsibility to others. The reward is harmonious families and society.”