Relationships can be challenging at times, whilst at other times, they can be deeply satisfying. Despite the challenges of relationships, most people will at some stage yearn to be in a committed relationship with another person. It essentially a part of being human – the need for social bonding, security and intimacy. To feel secure within a relationship, however, we need to know that we are truly accepted for who we are. In other words, we need to be authentic within our relationship,
Challenges arises because intimate relationships also bring us face to face with our insecurities and vulnerabilities. There is a shadow side to connection and intimacy, which is disconnection and loneliness. We can’t have one feeling without knowing the other. So when we feel a sense of getting closer to someone, it can often trigger our fears around loneliness or abandonment. What if I am not acceptable? What if I am not good enough?
Deep down we all have this fear. It is ingrained in use from primordial times when our very survival depended on staying connected to others. To be abandoned, ostracized or caste out of a family or community was a threat to that person’s survival. We all inherently need to be accepted and wanted. Knowing this can allow us to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.
“We are only needy because we need something”
The fear of not being acceptable can cause us to live a life we think will be acceptable to others, rather then living our own authentic life. In an effort to be a ‘good enough’ partner, we can fall into the trap of forgoing our own needs and desires whilst focusing on the needs and desires of the other. If we are pleasing to the other, then we will be needed and loved. There is nothing wrong with pleasing the other, except if we forget our own needs and our own pleasures because then we forsake our own right to life and happiness. We exist equally in a relationships and therefore our needs are equally as important.
The ideal formula for a coupled relationship is: one plus one equals three. Two individuals plus the relationship – all equally as important. We need to know ourselves - our values, needs and desires, and dreams and not forgo these in an effort to please another. If we live a life based on another’s values, needs and desire, we loose our authenticity and sense of self the world. Facades only make us feel insecure and anxious because they are a hollow illusion that lack substance. If can learn to feel our solidness and become strong in our values and how we want to live, despite fears of rejection, we can move to a place free from neurosis and anxiety.
We cannot please everyone in the world and not everyone will always appreciate us, but if we can learn to be ok with ourselves and appreciate our own uniqueness and dreams, we have a greater chance of creating harmonious and secure relationships in our life.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell