Life can be messy, relationships can be messy and very few of us get away without experiencing some form of heartbreak. Wellness expert and founder of Adira Lifestyle, Emily Wysock-Wright shares the following advice for keeping the spark alive in a long term relationship.
It’s commonly thought that when you find ‘the one’, there will be a spark that continues burning throughout the relationship. In the beginning it is exciting, your partner is flawless and ultimately, you can’t get enough of them…and this keeps it exciting. However, as time goes on, we settle in, flaws emerge and the degree of intimacy changes, it’s little wonder we begin to realise the exciting buzz of our once flawless partner is struggling to light us up. I have a strong belief that the ‘spark’ is within you, and it is your responsibility to keep it alive.
Have you ever blindly walked into relationship with a long list of ‘needs and expectations’ that we feel need to be met in order to feel loved, respected and appreciated?
We’re all guilty of putting up a façade so we can validate our needs and be the lovable person our partner wants. Yet subconsciously we are walking wounded from our early childhood relationships and seeking a partner to close the loop for us, to show us they’re the one.
From the moment we are born, we all expect to be loved and kept safe as the very basic of needs. Many of us received limiting messages when we were growing up that we weren’t good enough or worthy of love and that we didn’t measure up to our parent’s expectations. We felt and internalised the pain of being criticised for not doing our best, being too fat or too skinny etc. It was impossible to know how this inflicted pain on the little being we were back then that only wanted to play, explore and ultimately feel perfect in the eyes of our loved ones…we experience so much pain we lock that little person away and get on with life squeezing into the mould set by everyone around us. We begin to adopt coping mechanisms.
As we develop, we test out a variety of different and often unhealthy ways of coping and from doing so, these ‘coping mechanisms’ become ingrained in us and may be viewed as being part of our personality and identity. There are several examples to go by, including dis-association, people-pleasing, addiction and narcissistic behaviour. Some will be more severe than others, but mostly we are clever enough to adapt to society and conform to a normal life. However, we live, breath and play out our traumas and pain throughout the relationships we hold closest to us, until we finally see the light and how we can heal ourselves.
As many of us continue into adult life, disconnected from our truth and disassociated from our ‘little being’ or our ‘inner-child’, we subconsciously draw in partners who we hope will heal our wounds. However, often they are usually someone similar to the person who originally wounded us when we were younger.
In this fast-paced world, these relationships can come about to serve and satisfy our own needs; our need to feel loved, feel secure, or to be of a certain status. Relationships can easily become extremely selfish and in-turn, dysfunctional.
I feel strongly that now is time to build a new paradigm of relationships.
You do not commit to someone because things are perfect, you commit to them in spite of the fact that they’re not
When you love someone, when you really love someone, it’s not only something you feel when times are good – it’s not a matter of convenience. It is the very foundation for staying together when times are bad, when life gets tough and when you feel challenged. This is the time to pull those you love close, not push them away. You are committing to their whole self and you are understanding that the world is going to happen, things are going to change, and you will adapt with it. You will grow.
Relationships are there to hold the mirror up to us, to show us the wounds we hold and the trauma we need to release. If you expect your partner to ‘meet your every need’ so you can feel loveable, whole and complete, you end up draining them with your expectations and projections.
How I like to work, is by empowering women to open up consciously and there is no better place to do this than in your relationship. Allowing yourself to become vulnerable, will in fact help you grow. Being in a relationship with someone who mirrors aspects of difficulties you faced early on in life, will allow your garden to flourish as this will enlighten and encourage you to do your inner work.
Nonetheless, it is at this point that many ‘throw the towel in’ and don’t feel the relationship is right for them. When actually, I strongly believe that the very relationship they want to give up on, is trying to show them what they need to heal. If they surrender to this journey and appreciate there is mutual acceptance within the relationship, where both feel committed to a sense of purpose and that purpose being growth, they will experience individual and collective growth as a couple and as a force to make the world a better place.
A conscious relationship is not a perfect container where two people fall into endless romantic love and never see a bad day. The difference is self-awareness. Consciously, you become aware of your patterns and the wounds you’re tending to – what your ‘inner child’ needs. It’s a space where you accept your flaws and embody your wounds of the past. You are no longer looking for anyone to fix or save you, you are ready for connection and support and you want nothing more than to reciprocate it back. You want to journey with that person and accept each other as individuals, with different needs. You are there to listen.
I’ll be me, you be you
It is here that the relationship evolves towards something much greater than individual satisfaction. There will no longer be expectations and projections. The partnership becomes a journey into a loving evolution that allows both partners to expand and grow more than they could alone, this requires mutual respect and trust.
As with any healing journey, this is not a linear line. You’ll test and you will learn, and there will be difficult times which will challenge you. This is exactly what makes it worthwhile.
If you are called to take your romantic experience to the next level and become intimate enough with yourself and therefore your partner, so the ‘spark’ within you both is kept alive for as long as you keep it burning, there are 4 key qualities I recommend you both should embody:
- Growth comes first, and this is each of your responsibility to do.
- You both devote yourselves to positive communication.
- Each of you are committed to owning your ‘shit’ and accept there is nobody else to blame.
- You have a strong foundation for mutual acceptance and trust, with a strong desire to look after each other, no matter what challenges arise.