It was 2004 and I had just ended a yearlong relationship with my girlfriend. It had been the typical relationship that I and many other people have become accustomed to. The type of relationship that we only tend to find ourselves in out of our seemingly insatiable appetite for companionship.
I made the decision at that time that I would no longer repeat the cycle of falling in love, committing, and then staying in a relationship that didn't stimulate my soul.
Shortly after the breakup, a woman walked into my life and gave me the best advice about relationships that anyone has ever given to me—advice that would drastically change my love life forever. Today, I am sharing with you some of that wisdom in the hopes that it awakens something within you, stirs your soul, and validates your heart's deeper calling.
My mentor came to me in the form of a soft-spoken, older woman with grayish-white hair whom I met at a personal development workshop in Albuquerque. I found myself sitting next to her on the first day, and I struck up a conversation that has lasted 12 years—so far.
Here are three of the most important pieces of advice she has imparted to me over the years:
1. Understand the role of romantic relationships.
We're pulled to people for many different reasons. We're often pulled by physical attraction, the way they make us laugh, their honesty, maybe even because we feel they won't trigger our insecurities.
We may feel comfort, affection, sexual satisfaction, etc., but the larger role of romantic relationships is to help us to grow into the best version of ourselves that we can become.
The only way you will find consistent satisfaction and fulfillment in romantic relationships is if you are dedicated not only to loving your partner and to being authentic but if you are also dedicated to using that space to heal and grow.
2. There is no perfect person waiting for you.
Many of us have an idea in our minds of our ideal mate. Although it's important to understand the core aspects that you desire in a partner, it's important to not become so attached to an idea of a dream partner that you turn people away who have many (often necessary) things to teach us.
3. Be cautious of future building.
The fairy tale, the dream of finding someone with whom we can spend the rest of our lives has been programmed into our subconscious from a very young age.
Some relationships are meant for a moment, some for a season, and some for a lifetime. Our minds tend to create the trap of projecting a future with another person before we even know how compatible we are with them.
We can appreciate what the relationship has to offer us. We can even be committed to that person. However, be cautious when your mind starts selling you on the dream of a future and you begin to sell your partner on that idea.
You will know in time how compatible you are; relax and take your time. The quality of an authentic romantic relationship does not need to be diminished because there is no projected future. Take your time and honor what the present moment has to offer you.
If you desire optimal health, learn from those who are passionate about health and who really know their stuff. The same holds true in romantic relationships. Reading this article shows that you are on a path to higher experiences of love, and I applaud your interest.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.