Remember when you were single, how you used to fantasize about what life would feel like once you fell in love?
You imagined how you’d never feel lonely again because you’d have a companion with whom to share your days and nights. You’d go on vacation together, you’d have someone to share the holidays with, you’d have someone to cuddle with and talk to on cold, rainy nights.
You imagined that you’d always have someone in your corner to support you and validate you, so you’d never have to feel rejected or shamed. They’d cheer you on and tell you that they have your back. You’d feel courageous to face just about any challenge.
There would always be someone in your life who thought you were attractive, funny, smart—even if the rest of the world criticized you or made you feel wrong or insignificant.
”Finally,” you thought, “this one person is going to make everything alright.”
It’s funny that so many of us still believe that, even when we’re faced with so much evidence that it’s not true.
We cling to the dream and tell ourselves that we’re unhappy in our relationship because we “picked the wrong partner,” or “we can’t communicate,” or because “we can’t seem to get along” with the one person who was supposed to make everything okay.
But when we come into a relationship with these expectations, we’re dooming ourselves to fail. It’s the very belief that a relationship will make us happy that will create the exact opposite of what we’re really looking for.
Why isn’t the key to happiness simply giving love to someone and getting it in return?
Why isn’t being loved the answer to feeling accepted and blissfully content?
Because it’s not the getting of love that fulfills us—it’s the sharing of love that we have bursting forth within us.
And that’s why so many who seem to “have it all” can NEVER feel fulfilled.
Just look at celebrities. No matter how many accolades, vacation homes, or adoring fans they have, many are still depressed, addicted, and dissatisfied. Acquiring attention does not make them feel loved or take away whatever empty feelings they had before they became famous.
Likewise, most people move into relationships from a place of lack. They look for someone to love them, take away their pain, and make everything alright.
Thinking that the “answer” lies outside them, they will be needy in their relationships—always expecting the other person to fill them up. And because it’s impossible for someone else to take away our pain, we end up feeling more and more empty when they don’t.
If you go into a relationship believing you need your partner’s love to feel good about yourself, this leaves you in a very precarious place. You will carry with you an urgency to get this love from your partner, and it will compel you into behaviors in order to get this love.
For example, you do “nice” things for your partner like cook them their favorite meals, but you’re really doing it out of the belief that if you cater to their desires, they’ll never leave.
Maybe you need them to constantly reassure you of their love—through words or gifts—and you sulk when they don’t do it.
Or perhaps you rearrange your schedule to spend time with your mate so you can keep tabs on him or her. If they decide to go out with friends instead of you, it throws you into a panic—you think they’re losing interest.
Painfully, these behaviors often feel like pressure and control to your partner, who will pull away. This leaves you feeling more empty and rejected. Your relationship suffers, and maybe even ends.
Making another person responsible for our sense of worth and validation isn’t love, and it won’t make you feel loved.
The key to real love is to have so much love and acceptance of ourselves from within, that we don’t need to get this from our partner. Instead, we want to SHARE love—not give to get.
There is no greater joy in life than the sharing of love, but until you learn to love yourself, you cannot sustain the sharing of love with another.
We don’t need anything back from anyone when we’re validating ourselves, approving ourselves, and knowing our worth.
When we take responsibility for our own sense of validation and self worth, we come to relationships completely differently. We don’t need our partners to prove their love to us, to agree with us, or to take away our pain.
Instead, we are safe and secure within ourselves, which allows us to create true safety and security with our partner.
Where before we were trying to get love, now we can give for the sheer joy of it.
When both partners are doing this, you create the most joyful experience you can ever have.
As you and your partner each learn to fill yourselves up from the inside—rather than trying to get it from each other—you begin to be able to feel love within.
Now, instead of trying to get love from each other, you’ve filled yourselves up with so much love that it comes spilling out to be shared with each other.
Both of you are now getting what each of you wanted all along.
It’s really quite simple: love flows between two people whose hearts are open to learning and to sharing love.
You can learn to do this—even when you’re feeling insecure about yourself, even if your partner is being unloving, and even if you feel so stuck in your relationship, you’re thinking it might just be easier to get out.
When people heal themselves first and make themselves happy first, more often than not, the relationship also heals.
And that’s when both partners can experience the incredible joy of overflowing love.
I don’t want you to spend another day in a relationship that isn’t filled with the abundant joy that the sharing of love brings. That’s where I come in. For the past 50 years (yes, 50!) I’ve counseled couples to completely transform their relationships into joyous, passionate, satisfying love affairs…even if they’ve struggled for years.
Now I’ve partnered with Flourish—so I can help people like you heal your hearts, and consequently heal your relationships.
When you subscribe to our FREE Relationship Advice Newsletter, you get access to an accomplished community of carefully selected experts (like me!) giving you our best insights and strategies to overcome any relationship challenge. You’ll learn:
When you learn to fill yourself up with love and keep your heart open to learning and loving, something magical happens—you naturally want to share this love with your partner. No longer in a state of neediness, you just want to give. When two people come to a relationship like this, it’s the greatest joy in life.
You too can experience this joy; all it takes is the right tools and information. I hope you will subscribe to our free newsletter. Why spend one more day in a relationship that’s anything other than wonderful?