Wow. Yes. This.
The definition of a relationship is "a state of being connected." A state of being. Nothing more. No requirements. No demands. No rules. No expectations. No agreements. No give and take. No compromise.
I'm not sure at what point in history this definition has ever been realized. Relationships have always been an agreement. An agreement for peace between nations, peace between families, an arrangement to transfer property, etc.
A relationship is a label, a definition that comes with a host of assumptions and ideas that are all rooted in human insecurity. Modern day relationships have devolved into a way to regulate another person's behavior.
Even a parent-child relationship is an agreement: I will take care of you but you have to do what I say. If you don't do what I say then I will kick you out. Does that sound like a state of connection or a hostage situation? It's a system of regulating another's behavior.
I'm listening to the podcast We Can Do Hard Things episode 114 on friendship. Glennon Doyle asked Reese Witherspoon, "What is friendship?" She said, "It's a system of deposits and withdrawals." I hit pause to come write - No it isn't! Friendship is defined as: a state of being friends. Not a transactional agreement.
Relationships are yet another system that needs to be destroyed, updated, and replaced.
Either we need to change the definition of relationship to: a system of rules. Or we have to start living in a way that reflects the actual definition of relationships: a state of being. Nothing more.
Doesn't "a state of being" feel so much lighter and warm than "a set of rules to obey?"
My question for you to consider is: How can you have connection without structure or rules?
Does the thought of having a relationship with no structure make you uncomfortable? Why?
Going forward think of a relationship like spirituality vs religion. Spirituality has no rules, no schedule, no building, no leader, no book, no traditions, no rings, no ceremonies, no performance. Spirituality is a state of being connected. Nothing more.
Let's dispose of the old ways of thinking about relationships. Relationships are not a tool. They aren't something to be used.
It's frustrating to see sad and lonely people looking for someone to make them not sad and lonely. This is not the way that this universe works. I know that people desperate for a partner hate hearing this but nothing ever comes from the outside. You cannot look into a mirror and expect your reflection to smile back at you without you smiling first. If you are miserable now, you'll be miserable in a relationship. The harder you try to find happiness, the more elusive it becomes. Relationship does not equal happiness. I have asked friends after they got married if anything felt different. No one has ever said yes.
Absolutely everything is an inside job. Take stock of your own state of being. The shortcut to "happily ever after" is by taking responsibility for your own happiness. Don't expect people and circumstances to change for you to feel happy. It's you that has to change!
Your value as a person is not contingent on having a partner. You are enough. Do not put your sense of self-worth in the hands of someone else.
Your capacity for happiness is not dependent on having a partner. You can be happy now. A partner is not the solution to all of your problems. It's no one's duty to make you happy, make you feel secure, or fulfill your needs. You can't expect other's to coddle your insecurities. This is personal work for you to take care of. Identify your insecurities/triggers and deal with them.
Don't make your so-called loved ones accommodate your fragilities at the expense of their own freewill and wellbeing. Don't make them walk on egg-shells so that you don't get upset or insecure. Don't take others hostage.
Do the work! Develop your self-worth. There are tools you can learn to change your beliefs about yourself and the stories you tell yourself that cause all of your own misery. Stories keeps you stuck. I highly recommend learning The Work by Byron Katie and reading her book I need your love, is it true? and I also recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle it's a great resource for life!
In episode #4 of the Mirror Talks podcast with Bentinho Massaro, though it's a bit long and repetitive, he plainly explained what I have observed and felt about relationships. They are so primitive! We need to evolve and graduate from this old paradigm. He makes some solid points:
Relationships are rarely about love but social conformity, a manufactured sense of security, and the fear of the alternative - being alone. Relationships are more about possession and control - you're mine, therefore I own you. They are the biggest limitations to growth and expansion, which leaves people feeling unfulfilled, which makes them think they're just with the wrong partner. It's not the partner - it's the institution of relationships!
Wowza! Never in my life have I heard anyone speak like this about relationships. Everyone else seems to think that they are the most important thing on Earth. This talk might change your mind.
I found this passage from another one of Bentinho's videos that I scribbled down: