Once upon a time there lived a beautiful, witty, bold and tough woman called Lucy. She was 30 years old and enormously successful. She was financially independent and worked 18 hour days for the success she believed was her destiny. She owned a couple of properties, had a luxurious car and was very reputed at work with a seven figure income. In spite of all this she felt incomplete because she needed someone for her emotional and physical needs and she felt she was ready to start a family. So she put herself out there, started going to bars and social gathering and waited anxiously to meet her potential partner. Her expectations were really high because she exactly knew what she wanted and she had a checklist in mind for her perfect partner. After 3 years of relentless search, she realized she had to give up some of her unreasonable expectations and finally settled for this guy Max. She loved her partner. He was ambitious, smart, career oriented and overall an interesting personality and they had some common interests and common subjects to talk about and she really enjoyed his company. After two years of dating they got married to each other. They were happy for the first three year and had a lot of struggle and pain entering their fourth year and finally decided to call off the marriage. The reason for them splitting was that they both grew apart and wanted different things in life. Max started living a more spiritual lifestyle. He was tired of chasing money and he wanted to pursue his passion for photography. He quit his job and started following his passion. They did not have common interests anymore and couldn’t talk about the things that they used to. All of these reasons led to their marriage falling apart because ultimately they were not the same people anymore. So does that mean every 2 years or 4 years, as we grow and as we change we need to find a different partner because we are not the same person anymore? This beautiful and bold woman Lucy resumed her search again fro a life partner as she was in need of emotional support and this time she is 45 years old, sitting in a bar waiting to meet her potential partner, exactly in the same place where she was 15 years back. Isn’t this really sad constantly searching for a partner for emotions support that you're not able to put your energy elsewhere?
We all want marriages to last for a lifetime and take a vow to commit ourself to the relationship. But not all marriages last for a lifetime, why is that so? The moment some expectations and requisites are not fulfilled, we are not able to live happily with the other person and things fall apart.
Fundamentally, all relationships in your life have come up because you have certain needs to fulfill – physical, mental, emotional, social, financial and so on. You try to establish a certain type of relationship to fulfill whatever kind of need you have. If that need is not fulfilled, that relationship does not always workout. Sadguru, Indian spiritual leader beautifully explains that love is a sweet emotion that we experience within ourselves. He says love is not about someone, it is someone you become. If you make your emotions sweet, it is beautiful for you. Sweetness of emotion should not come because of something or someone but should be your way of being. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience. You realize love is not something that you do, love is the way you are. The feeling of love is fantastic when you are willing to destroy a bit of yourself for the sake of the other. It essentially means someone else has become far more important than yourself and you’re accepting them as a part of yourself. I love how Sadguru talks about making relationships last for a lifetime. He says if relationships have to be really beautiful, it is very important that a human being turns inward and looks at himself in a very deep way before he looks at somebody else. If you become a source of joy by yourself and your relationships are about sharing your joy, not squeezing joy out of somebody, then you would have wonderful relationships with anybody. Relationships have become a problem because we are not using it to enhance our lives. We are trying to fill the gaps in our lives with relationships. If your relationship is about extracting something out of somebody, it does not matter how much you manage, there will be constant trouble. If your relationship was an offering to the person who is next to you right now, then everything would be fantastic.
There are always expectations when it comes to relationship. The expectations that most people are creating are such that there is no human being on the planet who could ever fulfill those expectations. I don’t think anyone can entirely fulfill the expectations of someone else, they will fail you.
I was a very different person two to three years back when I just started dating, somewhat like Lucy looking for the perfect guy. I found my perfect dream guy whom I fell in love with and everything seemed to be so perfect and dreamy, but after a year or two as I grew into a different person and as my interests and character changed, our relationship faced some major hurdles. I wanted to run away from my problems and I did not want to face them. The reality hit hard and soon I learned that if I think I’m perfect and there will be a perfect guy out there, it is never going to happen. That mindset will only keep me unhappy and make me lead a life like Lucy always seeking for emotional and physical needs from someone. I faced my problems, I started looking at myself in a deeper way and strived to be a loving person and share my love instead of constantly trying to use my partner for my happiness. I tried to stop constantly expecting from him and tried to stop criticizing him. My life changed after that. I’m still trying and there is a lot more inward transformation that has to happen. But recognizing these fundamental problems is the first step towards creating lasting relationships and experiencing love.
I don’t believe in the phrase made for each other or in a soulmate anymore, relationships needs involvement and attention. You have to put the work to experience its beauty, just like how you have to grow the seeds and water the plants to see the flowers bloom.