We are Attracted to Those Who Will Discharge Our Tensions - Grasshopper
Dreams discharge tension; that's why this is the person of our dreams.
One of the things that I've noticed about highly functional, loving relationships is that there is a deep friendship combined with complimentary energy. Each person's energy flows to their partner and it becomes absorbed. There is an amount that fuels them and there is an amount that is discharged.
It reminds me of a perpetual push/pull mechanism - a seamless give and take that resembles a dance.
The magic in these relationships is the ability for one person to have a "bad" day and the other person to take in that energy, balance it and send it back - providing a discharge. This usually happens without thought.
Then there is the scenario where both people are having awful days at the same time. That's when even this special relationship seems like a ship taking on water and it lists to one side. The wind howls and disagreements are most likely to surface. The boat is out of balance.
The good news is there seems to be self-correcting software within each that rights the ship and it sails along smoothly until it hits the occasional, powerful storm which they successfully ride out.
These relationships are rarities and are not only to be cherished by those involved, but modeled by others.
Side note: These relationships are not to be confused with people who have merely stayed together for a long time and experience an ongoing disjointed dance. That's misery cloaked in togetherness.
So is there a recipe? Yes, there is but I only know some of the essential ingredients, not the amounts. We can all spot an award winning cake, but can we bake one?
This is the recognition that no matter how strong or weak we are, we rely on another to bring out the best in us. They help us become whole. When this assistance goes both ways, the relationship has foundational energy.
Another ingredient is they have our back and we theirs. In private, they will help us address our short suits, but can be counted on for support when we're being assailed by another. If you are earnestly complaining to a non-counseling third party about your partner's shortcomings, your relationship is eroding.
Loving relationships don't need artificial space. The space that is necessary in a relationship will create itself naturally. "I need some time to get away" is a sure sign that you're not involved in a relationship that's working optimally.
Your partner is your favorite person to talk to. You can talk about anything and you can feel the invisible push/pull. The line from the Billy Joel song Just The Way You Are illustrates this ingredient.
I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.
The lyrics lead to the last ingredient. Your partner is not someone you need to fix. You certainly can be a catalyst to their growth or recovery, but if you have your tool box out, plan on building a separate residence.
I don't claim this is an all inclusive list, but it certainly points us in the right direction.
Great relationships don't remain great by accident. There is tending to that's necessary. The largest mistake you can make if you're in one of these partnerships is to set it and forget it. Businesses don't manage themselves and neither do relationships.
If you're in a relationship that's coming unglued, I suggest you look over the recipe and see what's missing. Your best chance to "re-bake the cake" depends on assembling those ingredients.
If you are entering a new relationship, be mindful and on the lookout for the essential ingredients especially if you want it last.
The person of your dreams doesn't add to your tension; they discharge it. They have a certain amount of space for yours and you for theirs. If you exceed each other's storage capacity through neediness, selfishness or neglect, the dream can easily become a nightmare.
Here's to successful sailing!
All the best,
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