I am just going to say this from the start. You may not like this blog. It is going to be in your face a bit and if you don’t like the word fuck, stop reading now. I don’t care if it is offensive, because it needs to be said.
Today’s relationship advice is so bad that it leaves people confused at best and broken at worst. It is time to get real about relationships and the stories we tell ourselves about them.
The problem is with your “stories”
It is actually very simple. You are attached to a story about romance and you are unwilling to see how full of shit that story actually is.
Let’s talk about some of these stories.
Story 1: The Jerry Maguire Story
Have you ever seen the movie Jerry Maguire? It’s actually a great movie. The main character, Jerry, is going through an early mid-life crises and trying to “find himself.” He breaks-up with the woman he is engaged to, losses his job and then quickly finds new romance with a coworker and they marry.
He is not fully committed, his life is in shambles and as a result his new wife breaks up with him too. When he finally figures it all out, he rushes home, busts into a houseful of women in the middle of a self-help meeting and declares to his wife “YOU COMPLETE ME!” And, in true Hollywood fashion they live happily ever after.
This story illustrates perfectly the belief that many people have about relationships whether they want to believe it or not.
The story goes like this:
“My partner completes me. They are my person. My One. We are soulmates and perfectly matched. We found each other and were put here together on earth for each other.”
When you buy into a story like this all the dysfunctional beliefs that come along with this story seep deep into your consciousness and sabotage your relationship whether you realize it or not.
“My man should know exactly how I feel and come to my rescue.”
“My wife should be attentive to my emotional needs at all times. They should know intuitively what I need and make sure they are serving those needs.”
“My significant other should put me first above everything else and love me unconditionally. They should be my lover, my best friend, my financial support, my social connection and all else I feel I need.”
This is what I call the Hollywood fairy tale bullshit story. The idea that there are magical forces at work bringing two people together.
I have heard it called all kinds of things (i.e. soul mates, twin flames, etc), but the end result is the idea that there is someone out there put on earth just for you who completes you, takes your loneliness away and will love you regardless of your shortcomings. When you find them all will be right with the world.
I am here to save you from this story and tell you once and for all it is complete bullshit. Your belief in this story has likely damaged your past relationships, is sabotaging your current relationship and will destroy any future relationship.
I have news for you. No one is put on this earth just for you. If you can’t see how utterly egotistical and delusional that is you have more than just relationship problems.
I have watched countless friends and clients fall for this nonsense only to wake up years later and declare, “oh, maybe I was wrong. This hot guy/girl over here is giving me those same feelings my husband/wife once gave me. They must be my “real” soulmate.”
Give me a fucking break.
You may actually agree it’s bullshit when you look at it from this point of view, but ask yourself honestly, how much of this nonsensical Hollywood new-age romantic psychobabble you have bought into either consciously or unconciously?
Look, I realize I am being a bit harsh. I have to be because stories like the above don’t die easily. And believe it or not what I want for you is a real, growth enhancing, joyful relationship.
Let me suggest to you a new story to replace this old one that I think will serve you better.
I call this story “The Chosen One.”
There is no magical mystical love arrow being shot by the woo-woo love fairy. There is simply you and your choice to be with someone or not.
Yes, there is chemistry and romance and warmth and ecstasy and all the things that a biochemical blender of novelty, eroticism, orgasm, learning, creating and dreaming bring. I am not denying it, this shit feels wonderful.
In fact, it is probably akin to singing on stage to a million adoring fans, while being spoon fed tiramisu, with a million dollars in cash in a briefcase next to you as your gorgeous lover gives you a naked rub down.
But that feeling is fleeting. Meaning it is not something you can experience every second and it often dissipates in intensity with each repeat exposure.
Love, real love, is about choice. It is about saying I see you in all your wonderfulness. I also know parts of you are ugly as hell and you likely have more psychological cray than I could possibly imagine simply by virtue of being human.
Yet, despite all of that I choose you.
I don’t choose you because you complete me. Fuck that. I choose you because I think we can help each other complete ourselves.
I want to walk this growth path with you. Share the load at times. Help one another be the best versions of ourselves we can be.
I choose you to potentially create something with me that could be larger than either of us could create separately. Perhaps kids, perhaps a business, or anything else we decide.
And I know it is going to be hard at times. Beyond hard. All things worth it are. I realize you can’t possibly be everything to me and I don’t want you to be. All I ask is to walk this path with you for a time. How long we can never know, but for as long as we both shall choose.
Story 2: The Perfect Match Story
“We are just so different. He wants to sit and watch football and I want to go to the ballet. She likes to shop, never cooks or cleans and is an introverted homebody while he loves adventure, travel and books about sea monsters. She does not have kids and I have kids from another marriage. He is from the city and she is from the country. I like guys who are over six feet with dark hair and big penises and he really does not meet those criteria.”
Give me another fucking break. Seriously? You would think I could leave this story out, because surely grown ass adults in the modern day don’t go around thinking like this do they? Ah, yeah many still do.
This is the what I call “the perfect fit myth.” This story is pretty basic. It basically declares that we are a particular way and only people sufficiently like us, that fit our individual preferences, interests and preferences regarding physical and psychological attributes will do.
When we tell this story we are basically wanting to date ourselves. It is us wrapped up in a perfect romantic package. We want someone just like us and who also fits all our preconceived notions about what a good match would be like, look like and think like.
This, again, is complete nonsense and a trap. Think about where all these preferences came from. They came from experiences in the past that at one time were new and different. Why in the world would you define your relationships in this way?
It’s kind of like saying I like vanilla ice cream and cookies, therefore I will avoid donuts. They are too different. I just don’t eat donuts. They are too soft and gooey and have that weird hole in them. Why can’t they just be more like a cookie?
Well, I have news for you. Donuts are fucking delicious!! Not eating donuts is just plain stupid. What are you going to do, never try another type of food again?
Can you see how insanely limiting this is? Think about the most fulfilling, passionate and growth enhancing relationships of your life? They were precisely that because of the growth, the learning and the discovery of…….you guessed it….. new things.
Perhaps you love hiking and long road trips today because you discovered these things in a past relationship. Relationships are best when they are expansive, push past comfort zones and are growth enhancing. Why would you want to put limits on them? You are hurting no one but yourself.
Making a decision that your current partner is not sufficiently enough like you, and then judging that as bad, is ridiculous and childish. You could just as easily see those differences as the spice that elevates the meal to the next level.
Seek out the new. You have probably heard of the idea of fixed mindsets versus growth mindset right? Well I have also discovered people have the same tendencies in their relationships. They have fixed or growth mindsets in romance.
Those with a fixed romantic mindset are always trying to get their potential, or current, partner to fit some predetermined mold of what they already know or believe they like and don’t. Usually this mold is based on past relationships where they discovered what they now know they like. Do you see the backward thinking?
Can you see the immaturity of a person whose first romantic partner was a blond, Christian football player refusing to date anyone else for the rest of their lives who was also not blond, Christian and a football player? You think this is an extreme example, but I have seen people limit themselves in ways that are not so far off from this.
This shit happens all the time! “They don’t have kids, but I do.” OR “They love to travel, I don’t.” OR “They are extroverted, I am an introvert.” And on it goes.
If you can’t see the amazing growth opportunities that await you when you open yourself up to these differences, you are destined to get the same old shit you have always gotten. I would also argue successful romance is the least of your worries. This type of closed mindset is the breeding ground for anxiety and depression.
Look, you are an adult, not a teenager. If you are going to define your current relationship, or future relationship, based on this type of standard you are going to be doomed. And your relationships are not going to be that much fun. Shit, I would argue that you are not that much fun.
Relationships are at their best when they push us to grow and expand to be something new. Something that moves us closer to our best. Adopt a flexible growth mindset when it comes to your relationships and you will avoid this ridiculous trap.
Story 3 : The Opposites Attract Story
Unless you are a magnet, opposites DO NOT attract. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
I realize what I am saying will at first seem like it contradicts the perfect match story above. It doesn’t at all. In fact, it adds to that story.
When you are getting to know someone in a relationship there are certain things that are compatible and certain things that are not.
I will use my parents who have been happily married for 50 years to illustrate.
My Dad was more conservative minded and my mom more liberal. However, they both believed in civil rights and shared kindness and generosity as core values. Different yes, but they shared a value that superseded these differences.
My mom is more abstract and round-about in her thought process. My dad is more logical and deliberate. They both share a core value of collaboration and openness. Opposites? Yeah! Yet, they were similar in a core value that allowed them to breach and grow from those differences.
My mom is an artist, started a business and wants to spend her free time at art shows and garage sales. My father did the books and managed the finances for that business and he prefers to stay at home eating chicken wings, watching football and the news. They both value independence and quality time together and alone. Different with a shared value that makes it work.
The two of them were opposites in many of their skill sets and beliefs, but matched up on most of their core values. In the areas where there were large differences, their core values bridged the gap. In other words they were both communicators, even if at times that communication came in the form of yelling and screaming.
The core value of communication bridged the gap between their political differences. Now years later, compared to when they first married, they have each moved more to the middle of the political spectrum growing in the process. I would argue this is exactly what life should be about
I realize this blog is a bit in your face. This was on purpose. So was the language. I happen to love the word fuck and use it liberally. It is by far my favorite word.
If you are 100% against its use I could still date you, so long as you are not a racists bigoted ass hole and are kind, generous and honest. Differences, yes. Core values and a growth mindset could make it work.
The point of this blog is to get you questioning the stories you tell yourself about relationship and life in general. Whether these stories are conscious or unconscious, and whether or not they derived from you or were inherited from your family, it is past time you became aware of them. They impact everything about the your life including the quality and success of your romantic relationships.
If there are a few themes I have seen hold true that make things work in relationships, and in life, they are openness, psychological flexibility and a growth mindset. These are what allow some to thrive while others fail. It is true in life, and it is true in relationships.
I wish you the best in life and love. Now fuck off