A typical relationship scenario is as follows: Before you know it, you are sifting through the relationship in search of any traces of the person you were when you first fell in love. You begin the relationship feeling like the best version of yourself that you have ever been.
“That individual, where did I put them? Who or what is “me”? How did I become confused within the “we” that you and I have created? Also, where did you go, now that I think about it? That person and I haven’t crossed paths in a very long time!”
Being in a partnership presents the possibility for two whole different experiences, which makes it challenging. On the one hand, it gives two people the chance to rely on each other’s admiration and affection for the unique individual that their spouse is. Such a partnership benefits both partners, who flourish and develop as individuals.
On the other hand, some people may enter a relationship with the hope that it will help them overcome their fears, past injuries, and insecurities.
Both people degenerate as they replicate their early attachment patterns and revert to juvenile or parental methods of relating under this illusion of fusion, or fantasy bond.
What can people do to make sure that they and their partner have a happy relationship? And what else can they possibly do to prevent their partnership from stifling either of them?
Steps to Take
Being close to someone while still maintaining one’s individuality is the aim of any relationship. People are happier and more upbeat when they are in an individuated state. They are able to be more intimate, loving, and passionate in their relationship because they have a greater sense of who they are as individuals.
Here’s a typical relationship scenario: You start out feeling like the very best version of yourself that you have ever been and before you know it, you are digging around in the relationship looking for some remnant of that person you were when you fell in love.
“Where did I put that person? Where is that “me”? And how did I get lost in the “we” that you and I have become? And come to think of it, where did you go? I haven’t seen that person in a long time either!”
How can you be in a relationship and not lose yourself; how can you be part of a “we” without losing “me”?
What makes being in a relationship tricky is that it provides the opportunity for two completely different experiences. On the one hand, it is an opportunity for two individuals to be supported by each other’s appreciation and love for the person their partner is. Both partners are enhanced by such an association and flourish and grow as people.
On the other hand, people can go into a relationship with a fantasy that the union will assuage their insecurities, hurts, and unresolved issues from their past. Within this illusion of fusion, or fantasy bond, both individuals begin to deteriorate as they repeat their early attachment patterns and retreat to childish or parental ways of relating.
So what can people do to make sure that their relationship is one in which they and their partner thrive? And what can they not do to make sure that their relationship is not having a stultifying effect on either of them?
What to Do
The goal in a relationship is to be close and still maintain an identity as a separate person. When people are in an individuated state, they are happier and more optimistic. They have a stronger sense of themselves so they are capable of more intimacy, love, and passion in their relationship.
Keep your interests in mind. When two people fall in love, they experience each other and themselves as distinct people with unique identities, as well as their own opinions, interests, and social circles. They find each other interesting because of their differences.
Maintain the pursuit of interests that were significant to you before to starting your relationship.
Maintain the friendships that you valued when you were single.
Encourage your partner to continue engaging in activities that have special importance for them.
Encourage your partner to keep up the friendships that were significant to them prior to meeting you.
Establish meaningful dialogue. When two people live together, they have a lot to talk about. It is crucial that they learn to communicate and listen to one another in an honest and caring manner.
Maintain meaningful communication with your partner by making sure it involves more than simply light talk, inane chit-chat, or everyday topics.
Make time to share a meal and discuss your personal lives.
When speaking, look each other in the eyes.
Instead of focusing solely on your relationship or the children, each of you should make an effort to talk about themselves while the other is listening.
Listen to your spouse with empathy and without passing judgement; do it with the same level of deference you would show to any other person.
Give your sexual relationship a high priority. In addition to being a private way for two people to show their love for one another, sexuality plays a crucial role in an adult’s identity. Pay attention to your sexuality and take pleasure in flirting, making love, and other passionate sexual acts.
Be flirtatious—fun, it’s seductive, and intimate! It also serves as a means of recognising one another as unique individuals.
Plan a date night and make time to be affectionate. Give your relationship the same amount of attention as the other areas of your life (children, career, etc.).
Be totally in the moment when you make love. Talk while maintaining eye contact. Block off the outside world and truly be with each other.
Hope it helps!