How we start relationships

We grow up from small children when our first girlfriends and boyfriends were just simple and beautiful connections of the heart – innocent play ensued and parents would watch on enraptured. From here there is much to reflect on as to how we form and be in relationships in our adult lives.

From play time to date time much happens in our lives and we have many demands placed on us in a world that sees only lines and boxes. “Got to get there by doing this …”

Are our relationships formed in the same way?

There are many questions we could ask ourselves:

  • Could it be that being in a relationship is as much a part of the getting it right to fit in with what society requires?

  • Have we lost the ease and ability to just be who we are and take this into a relationship with another?

  • How and when did we say goodbye to the playful, innocent, beautiful and heartfelt connections of young?

Boys and girls playing kiss chase in the field behind the school were the first sign that there was more to just hanging out and playing. Where did the shift come in?

In one moment having a wonderful time just playing in the sand with anyone of any sex, to then having to be the chaser or being chased. Perhaps this is the point that our innocence gets shooed away.

Early teens create more stresses and strains; streams of girls and boys are lined up and pushed into various categories not only in the classroom but according to popular pursuits of music, sport, make-up, spots or no spots, funky dress sense or not. The list is endless and interestingly we all fit into one or two to make it work for us, right? Who wants to be left out here?

Recall school days when the cool girl and boy would rule the roost with their relationship for all to see. How much the boys would insist on getting details about the brief sexual encounters and the girls envious, wanting a similar situation so that they could feel loved. There is a tongue firmly in cheek here, yet there is a truth to the way we funnel ourselves into things in order to feel a part of the societal norm. Even back at school this conditioning was occurring.

And so we could ask ourselves what is the true motivation for wanting a relationship?

On reflection of my early relationships, even those at school, there was a need to belong and be with someone in order to feel safe and secure - even though there was not any security in those week-long affairs! The die had been cast so to speak and the formation of a relationship with another sprung from a need to feel whole.

This makes no sense when I recall as a young boy feeling absolutely whole and relating to everyone equally. It didn’t matter if your heart had a girl or a boy wrapped around it; everyone was the same.

Needing a relationship to make you feel whole has the relationship starting on a sandy foundation. It holds but is constantly see-sawing as every need from each party is the background track that plays and plays.

How is it that we need to feel whole when we start off in life whole?

  • That we look outside of ourselves for a love that we do not have for ourselves!

  • Forever searching for love in a relationship with another yet failing to look in the mirror and knowing that love for our self first.

  • Having to fit in with the societal need to be in a relationship to feel whole, normal, not on the fringe.

How do we start our relationships?

There are so many factors as to how we form relationships, it can be intriguing and a fun way of distracting ourselves from what is truly going on. One of the golden rules in getting into a relationship surely should be coming back to that innocence of being your true self – when you felt everything with your heart and the connection you felt was true love.

As a young man I was constantly looking outside of me to fill up the emptiness I felt. “If I only had a girlfriend” was the familiar call to the world. And then they came...

It is pretty obvious now looking back that everything we want for ourselves we don’t actually stop to give to ourselves – we just start searching out in the world to find a person that will have this to give or that to take – a person we feel will make us whole… And the un-merry go round spins on… what if our best approach to starting relationships was to know deeply a relationship to ourselves?

One of the golden rules in getting into a relationship surely should be coming back to that innocence of being your true self – when you felt everything with your heart and the connection you felt was true love.

So when we look at how we start our relationships – would it be possible to start them all this way? Every relationship we form with our partners, friends and colleagues carries the same potential to be love. It is this love – that we can have between each and every one of us – that needs celebrating this minute, right now.

How amazing would society be if all relationships formed this way?

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  • By Lee Green