Ask the average person what they want from their romantic partner, and they’ll give you a shopping list of qualities they are looking for. But the trick, according to many experts, is to focus on yourself first.
There are good reasons for this. Most people in relationships are looking to get something from the interaction. In the grossest cases, it’s money or sex. But there are subtler reasons that two individuals get together. There could be emotional, psychological, or spiritual needs being fulfilled.
These arrangements, though, aren’t always the best. While they can work in the short term, relationships eventually go the wrong way. After ten years, couples may be exploring the cost of spousal separation or simply living their own independent lives.
The problem is that relationships become extracative. One party looks at what it can gain from the other, consciously or unconsciously, and that becomes a serious point of contention.
What Should We Be Doing in Relationships Instead?
The vast majority of people want happy and fulfilling personal relationships. People don’t want to live in eternal conflict with their partners. And they don’t want barriers to go up between them.
The key, according to many professionals, is to switch focus. Instead of concentrating on what you want your partner to be for you, fixate on developing yourself into a great partner.
When you see things this way around, the reality of your relationships changes. The quality of people you attract naturally increases, and you find yourself in a much better place. You’re not looking for what you can get. You’re asking what you can get.
Of course, getting to the point where you are focusing on what you can give the other person requires some significant work on your part. It requires changing how you view the world wholesale. You’re not just looking for ways you can gain. You’re forgetting your ego and concentrating on the benefits that you can bring to the other person.
Abandoning the ego in this way sounds like an extreme strategy, but it is actually a wonderful way to make interpersonal relationships work. Other people are desperately searching for someone who will love them unconditionally, instead of conditionally, based on the desires and fears of the ego. Once they find it, they’re actually far less likely to create trouble in the relationship, cheat or disappear for weeks at a time.
Therefore, your relationship goals should relate to your spiritual progress. The more you can shed ideas of success in romantic matters, the more likely you are to create something beautiful. If you can become a person everyone wants to be around, then intimacy will happen naturally for you. Finding the right person won’t be so much of a challenge. You’ll attract people who think like you, allowing you to take disappointing romantic encounters to the next level.
You can take the first steps towards this kind of attitude by figuring out how to meet all your needs yourself. This way, you aren’t looking for a partner to provide them who will eventually disappoint you.