We withhold information and emotions due to fear – the fear of ending up alone. We put on smiles and say “whatever you want is fine.” Then these little moments add up and culminate in the “you’re not the person I thought you were” discussion.
Everyone has an opinion. There are the critics who argue its very existence. There are the hopeless romantics, believing there is one person on this Earth tailored just for them. There are the chronic love finders, falling in and out of love before you can say microwave popcorn.
Then there are the people who find love and think they have found The One. Then one year, two years, five years go by and it’s not the case. Then enters The One Part II, more swooning, more meeting of friends and family, more birthdays, more crisis…another tear stained break-up. Rinse and repeat.
What gives? Why isn’t The One always The One?
Think about your Demons of Relationships Past. If you took the relationship seriously, chances are you flirted with the idea of them being The One. Then there was a turning point. Some people can name it and some cannot. I thought Relationship Past could be The One...for a whole six months. My math is a little rusty, but last time I checked six months does not equal forever. Little moments, annoyances, and key differences began to pile up until I had a house made of What-Did-I-See-In-This-Person? and How-Do-I-Get-Out?
I was so in love with the idea of being in love I swept things under the rug. You don’t like to try new things? That’s ok, there’s cuteness in simplicity. You don’t care about film and literature? I pretended like it didn’t matter. I could care enough for the both of us! It’s either Your Way or No Way? All of a sudden it doesn’t bother me to be submissive - it’s a miracle.
I lied to myself. I ignored red flags for an illusion of love. I wasn’t being honest with my partner. Even more profound, I wasn’t being honest with myself. It took two years for me to accept the fact that The One isn’t always The One.
To be in love and to fully give yourself to another person requires a great deal of vulnerability. You expose every detail; the good, the bad, the ugly – sharing everything from what you hate about your own mother, how many zeros are really in your bank account, to the time you drunkenly peed in the laundry hamper (swearing it was the toilet.)
People rarely have the courage and fortitude to submit to the vulnerability love asks of us all. It is a unique form of honesty where no stone is left unturned. I am not proclaiming that most people are chronic liars in their relationships, but deceptions and half-truths exist. We withhold information and emotions due to fear – the fear of ending up alone. We put on smiles and say “whatever you want is fine.” Then these little moments add up and culminate into the “you’re not the person I thought you were” discussion. Add another few months to grind a bit more salt into that wound and cue break-up.
If you think you aren’t being completely honest in your relationship, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
#1 Where’s The Compromise?
Are you constantly surrendering to everything your partner wants to do? Or in turn, do you have a partner who never has their own opinion? Is there a middle ground where you both engage in each other’s interests?
#2 Do They Know Your Fears?
I’m not talking spiders and the zombie apocalypse. Are you afraid of being a failure? Are you afraid you’re never good enough? Are you afraid of the future? Are you afraid of the past? Are you afraid you’ll end up like the rest of your family (and not in the happy way)? Whatever the case may be, we all have something, and sooner or later it will come to light. Being vulnerable enough to share those somethings with your partner is where the courage comes in.
#3 Do They Know Your Vision?
Does your partner know where you’ve been and where you’re going? It’s not about stalking, it’s about your vision of how your past has molded your present, and shaped the future you see for yourself. Do you want a family? Do you want the high end job or are you happy with your current situation? One day would you like to live in another state? Another country? How do you rank your priorities?
In my current relationship I have opened all the doors to my past, present, and future. This allowed for me to know from an early stage if there was the potential that this relationship would not only work, but last. I didn’t want to again be seized into a realm of Emotional Walls and I Will Never Tell You. When someone knows everything there is to know about you, you know everything about them, and they still love you in the morning - it’s quite a remarkable feeling. It opens the door to the deepest kind of love where you are released from hiding and are free to be you.
I am not claiming that being this emotionally and mentally honest will magically flip the switch in your relationship from Doomed to Together Forever. I’m saying it can save you time, heartache, and emotional bruising. It is vital to knowing if The One is really The One. If you want to be liberated from your uncertainty and embrace the truth, you have to face the firing squad and be honest about yourself. About your relationship. About everything.