We hear about fairytale love as soon as we are old enough to watch movies. We see princesses finding princes, we see tv shows, we read young adult books with romance and love. We learn all about what perfect love means, and then when we have a love that doesn’t meet these expectations we are left with so many of these tense possibilities:
- Bouncing from love to love, because nothing is meeting your expectations. (Been there.)
- Isolating yourself because you’re wounded at your new understanding that love is painful. (Also been there.)
- Becoming angry or resentful towards our partner for not acting the way they should have known they should have acted. (Also Also been there.)
- ETC ETC ETC
What I am going to write about, is what fairy tale love is in real life.
Real life fairy tale love is not fairy tale-ish at all. Why? Because it involves work. It involves transparency. It involves honesty & communication, and the two hand in hand. It involves a hell of a lot of commitment, dedication, and individual self work. I am definitely going to write an entire series on this topic, because it’s been a big focal point of my life, so I’ll start with one thing for now. Communication. Let it be made clear that this can be applied in any relationship, romantic or not. Any healthy relationship must have clear and loving communication between the two (+) individuals within for it to truly be healthy. And yeah, that totally means being so honest that you aren’t sugar coating things for all of your friends. It means being honest with yourself so that you can be honest with others.
So let’s start! I’ve thought up a few tips on how to improve your communication. Here they are.
1. Learn yourself. Write some lists, talk to some friends. What do you like?! What are your emotional needs? What future lifestyle do you want or envision? What are your sexual needs? What do you like and dislike? Only when you know yourself better and have a more clear and concrete understanding of who you are, can you be more confident and direct in your communication. Without a deeper awareness of self, it is much easier to say things that your partner would want to hear, instead of honesty. It is also much easier to be in a relationship that doesn’t truly meet your needs because you don’t even know what they are. Learning what your needs are may make or break a relationship- and that is okay. This is because after the sparky honeymoon stage if over, we are left with reality. In this time, compatibility with someone will allow for the two of you to keep a spark aflame and keep it growing, therefore- yeah, you’ve gotta know what you want in life, and you’ve gotta know that your partner wants those things, or at least similar things. Ultimately, you are in a relationship or partnership to seek love, growth, expansion with another and to share core values. If you are not going to grow from a union, or your growth stops because your needs/desires/values change (and this is perfectly okay) then you must re-evaluate the partnership. Can you talk this out? Can you communicate your needs? Can you both work harder to fill each other up with love? Is it worth it to you? Do you even WANT to? Learn these things. Most of the time, spending time alone to learn about these is helpful.
2. Now that you’ve begun to learn more about yourself, the journey does not end. Ever. That is a huge lesson in itself. No matter how much you think you know, there will always be something that comes up and shows you that you don’t, so let it be humbling when you don’t know what you want or what to do. However, with the information you’ve gathered about yourself, now is the time for true application. This means sitting down with your partner and having the talks that are uncomfortable, but also the talks that are exciting. It means saying, “I had the chance to think deeply about what my sexual needs are in a relationship, and I thought I could share them with you, and maybe if you want, you could share yours with me too. That way, we can improve upon our relationship in ____ aspects, together and have way better sex.” Make it a goal to work towards something that you can both put energy into. I’ll say it 30 times: Have these uncomfortable talks.
Find out what’s truly bothering you at a core level, and you’ll always notice that it’s coming from within you. If your partner isn’t spending enough quality time with you, communicate to them lovingly that quality time is one of your core needs in a relationship. When you’re communicating your needs to your partner, it is important to know not to point the fingers. For example, instead of saying “I hate when you do this,” you could say, “One of the things that makes me feel emotionally secure in a relationship is spending quality time with you. I would like to spend more of that quality time with you, because it would make me really happy. How do you feel about that?” And then you open up that possibility for your partner to tell you how they feel about quality time themselves. Another REALLY important thing about this is to not “hit” your partner when they’re being intimate and vulnerable with you. Meaning, when your partner is being honest with you about something they’re feeling, it’s never easy. It’s often uncomfortable and scary. So saying something like, “I knew it!” or “How could you say that to me?” (etc) will break that tie of open communication. Be careful when you choose your words. Allow your words to come from a place of loving intention and understanding, of WANTING to co-build a brighter relationship together and of wanting to resolve any unspoken issues. This goes back to learning your desires- make sure you WANT to resolve this. And if you don’t, think of why not? Because that will help you learn what your needs are.
Having these difficult conversations creates a new bond of intimacy and honesty between you and your partner. You are able to feel more free to express and to be exactly you, but also to find a partner who compliments EXACTLY you. Not self-sacrificing, “I’m going to do whatever my partner wants and needs, you.” Some of the difficult conversations I’ve had have even revolved around me admitting feelings for another person while in a relationship. That wasn’t easy in any means whatsoever, but I’ve grown up a WHOLE lot because of it, and my life has changed dramatically for the better. So these conversations, MUST happen in order for the relationship to keep growing instead of the resentment. They also must happen for your own personal growth and development- because ultimately you are two whole individuals coming together in a partnership. Make sure you feel and acknowledge your whole-ness.
3) Third step is very similar. This step is very important to me, as they all are, but this is the one that I first started to implement that I found even easier than those tough conversations of “what future do you want together” or “sex….” or “this is my past.” This step involves communicating RIGHT away. Not waiting. When we feel something, let us communicate with our partner wholeheartedly! Even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it’s scary. If our partner says something that doesn’t sit well with us- especially regarding future plans- we must relay the information that we are uncomfortable with them. That we are unsure, or confused, or angry. If our partner agitates us, why not tell them right away in a loving way, instead of allowing that agitation to grow into resentment? If your partner does something that agitates you, choose to let them know what’s going on inside of you. An anecdotal example of this that stems from my own life is putting up a boundary. If my mom walks into my room without knocking, I say, “Mom, I love spending time with you, but It’s really important to me, and my privacy that you knock on my door before walking in. That would make me feel more comfortable.” Instead of saying, “Mom, I can’t believe you don’t knock on my door. You don’t even care about how I’d feel if you did that.” You see, our friends, families and partners have also all got a huge life happening inside of their heads and in their own realities, and they may not always know that something would make you upset, or uncomfortable. You see, they may be giving love to you in ways you don’t understand, as you give love to them in ways they don’t understand. Let them know, “Hey sweetie, I love it when the kitchen is clean. It makes me feel so clear and grounded. I would love it if you helped me clean the kitchen tonight.” Instead of “You never help around the house.”
-Definitely read “The 5 Love Languages- Gary Chapman.” It will help A LOT.-
The moment you have a weird feeling around your partner, whether it’s sadness, anger, frustration or irritation… etc, energy DOES shift. Your partner, being around you often and understanding your energy a bit better than others, will notice that shift. That quietness will create more tension and awkwardness. Why not just speak up while you’re feeling it? That way you can truly communicate it while feeling it and knowing what’s going on in your body, instead of trying to remember exactly how it was later when either it’s been repressed (and will come out later, promise) or when it’s grown into resentment. We don’t want that. We want to avoid these things building so that we can continue to grow instead of stagnate. So when you feel angry, say it. But say it kindly. Say it in a way that you know deeply you aren’t trying to pick a fight, because if in any way you want a fight, you’ll get one. But you can’t blame your partner for it when it happens because it makes you feel better. You must be confident in owning yourself. In owning how you truly feel. If you know in your heart something isn’t working out, then you know.
I’m no expert in this field. I continue to learn more and more through my own observation of self and in my relationships on the daily. I committed to myself. To learn myself, to own myself, to value myself and to be honest with myself. Being honest with myself allowed for the space for me to be honest with others- about everything. I know these aren’t easy things to do, but they are SO liberating when we can step into the position of being a master communicator. Of letting our feelings be heard, but also listening to the feelings of others with an open heart and mind. Once our feelings are heard, then our partner can take necessary steps to meet our needs. We can not expect our partner to work to meet our needs when they aren’t even clear on them. Be strong and certain in your beliefs, but loving to those who don’t share those same beliefs.
If you have any questions let me know, and I will do my best to answer them. I’ve read some good literature on this topic and have learned a lot through my own knowledge of astrology. I can recommend some reads or we talk some stuff out! Good luck with all of your communicating- and I hope this helps.