About eight months ago I was lucky enough to meet someone that I to this day consider my soulmate. The age difference between us, some 17 years, was quickly overshadowed by the personality of this man that I fell in love with online. It progressed to visiting in person and culminated in a move across country in April to be closer to him and explore where this would take us. To this day I don't feel the age difference there. Though the dynamics changed some with the move and daily stress I still feel that I found my soulmate.
One of the main topics on any relationship forum as mentioned above are questions of security and holding onto relationships. This seems to be a universal problem and spans both men and women, though admittedly women to a much larger degree. So many strong women will fairly wilt in the face of insecurity if it is someone that they love and want to picture in their long term future. Personally, what has been haunting me lately is how to be sure we don't get buried in the mundane of day to day and how to hang onto some of that wonderful, all consuming feeling of acceptance and love that we had early on in our relationship. Due to past baggage I have issues with insecurity and it's a battle that I fight on a daily basis. if I let it, feelings of self-doubt, questions and anxiety take over my day. One article I found really highlighted the problem that insecure people face and gave some great tips for dealing with those feelings without smothering the object of your affection with your overwhelming worries and need for constant reassurances.
One of the points this article brought out is that insecurities are based in self confidence. Again, another problem I've battled all my life. While I recognize that everyone deals with various levels of this, one's own problems always seem worse because they are, well, right in your own mirror. In any case, some of the tips put forth in this article that I try to remember on a daily basis are as follows:
- Focus on what is going right with your relationship rather than what is going wrong. Don't create problems in your head where none exist and don't constantly monitor your partners moods. Having to ask daily "Are you upset with me?" is a manifestation of insecurity. Everyone has moods and you as well as your partner are entitled to your moody days. Ever had a bad day and had everyone you meet ask you "Why are you upset?" Yeah, it's not fun. It gets exhausting constantly having to defend yourself when you just want to hide in your calm place and ignore the world. It's a natural coping mechanism so the next time your partner is having a moody day, just give them some space, take care of yourself and let them find their inner peace without having to fend off your questions and demands for attention. The ebb and flow of mood changes are normal. It's a pretty safe bet that they will come out of it soon and things will be back to normal, even if it takes a couple of days.
- Give your relationship room to grow and breathe. Schedule some time for yourself, doing your own thing so that you are able to keep your own mental peace and grounding at an optimum. Even in a serious, committed relationship it isn't necessary to be with your partner every waking moment. I'm not saying avoid spending time with them, but do things for yourself too. Hide in the bedroom and read a book, go for a bike or horseback ride, go shopping on your own, turn off your cell phone and take a walk are all things that will help ground you and give you time to yourself. Hopefully your partner has things they enjoy that they can participate in on their own as well to help with their own inner calm. The hope is that you will come back together rested, relaxed and able to enjoy each others company even more than before.
- Don't mind read. Men relax by being quiet and a woman's nature is to talk. Everyone has a right to their own thoughts and time to themselves to consider these thoughts. Don't constantly wonder what someone is thinking if they go quiet. Silence is normal and healthy. Constantly harassing someone as to their thoughts will make people withdraw further into themselves.
- Focus on the good in your relationship. Don't dwell on past relationships and compare them to the present. Learn to relax and enjoy your partner for what you have now without stressing about what might happen down the road. There are no certainties in life and there are no certainties in relationships.
- Learn to be self-assured. Get in the habit of reassuring yourself. If you have fears challenge them with the question "what evidence is there for this fear?" and move forward from there. If you must, write down those fears and then write down the foundation for them. More often than not they are all in our heads. Remember that even if the worse happens and you wind up on your own again, life will go on and you will heal and you will survive.
I am not sure there is such thing as a perfect relationship. Men and women are just wired differently and it's a cruel twist of fate that the wiring is so very different that we wind up going in completely different directions sometimes. Us women are our own worse enemies on this front because we tend to sit and constantly analyze where we are, dissecting every mood or statement. As I said, it is something I battle constantly. There are millions of very lonely people out there. While I truly believe there is someone for everyone out there, many of these people will wind up either settling for something they are not happy with, or staying single out of fear of loving and being loved.
I guess my message through all of this rambling is to not pass something up because you are afraid to love, or are afraid that it won't be what you imagined in your head. It's not fair to believe or expect that you can control a relationship so that it is everything you wanted and needed. So much of the dynamics of a relationship are based in compromise and understanding that it turns into an ever changing thing, growing and moving on it's own. Enjoy it for what it is, cherish the one you love, live and love for the moment and let the future take care of itself. Life is too short and too uncertain to pass up something beautiful because of what it may or may not be down the road.
I hope, if you are battling with a problem like this, that in some way this helps. It's a very common problem for women especially and trust me when I say I understand, I truly do. I adore my guy. He is so special to me and even though there are days and times I could quite cheerfully strangle him, I wouldn't give him up for the world and don't want to go through life worrying and wondering. Whatever the future holds and whatever direction it takes, I welcome it with open arms.