A theme I’m carrying over from the old blog is transparency. And I’ll be very transparent with you today: I do not have good Valentine’s days.
The best Valentine’s Day I ever had started off with me seeing a dead body. The second-best Valentine’s Day I ever had was when I had strep throat. Last year it was tonsillitis. Year after year I wait, albeit nervously, for whatever little package of hell Saint Valentine has wrapped up for me.
But not this year. This year I am letting myself be hopeful (90 percent hopeful, 10 percent very nervous) because, and I will not spare any cliché or cheesiness here, I found a really amazing partner.
But the thing he’s taught me most about partnerships is something that I’ve been willfully ignorant to through all of my romantic relationships. He’s taught me a lot about loving each other through your humanity.
My partner and I don’t have a normal story. He was one of seven roommates sharing the house where my best friend lived in Hawaii, and we just clicked. I could go into more detail, but I won’t because that’s really the most important thing about our relationship: clicking. We clicked on a personal level, our senses of humor clicked, and we felt instantly very comfortable around each other. Even though he lived in Hawaii and I went back to Georgia, we kept up communication and leaned on each other through what was (for each of us) an extremely tumultuous year.
At the times when we did get to see each other again, our friendship would become increasingly magnetic until eventually we snapped together and fell headfirst in love.
Something I noticed in my own prior relationships is that the timing of either party running for the hills was usually about the time when we’d start noticing imperfection. Suddenly your perfect partner falls short of that dreamy image you’ve been holding onto, and it can feel like a nightmare. I’ve done it, and I know my exes have done it. When we become more than idea, when we become an actual shape with rough edges and even rougher pasts, we become frightening. And it can be tempting to leave it all behind and try to make it work with another dreamboat – thus the cycle continues.
The advantage, I’ve found, of having that foundation of friendship is seeing the humanity in each other before romance ever comes into play. My advice is this: when your partner falls short of godlike perfection and becomes the human being they actually are, don’t run. Don’t hold it against them. Don’t wonder if they’re suddenly not who you thought they were.
If you want to be seen and loved for who you really are, you’ve got to be willing to do the work of seeing your partner for who they are. In arguments, you start to see your partner not as someone working against you but as someone who is protecting their inner child just as much as you are. On bad days, you see your partner as a teammate and someone who will prop you up just as much as you prop them up.
The beauty in loving through humanity is the equality that we all seek in love. You realize that you really can get as much as you give. Sometimes in love, we expect our partner to behave and react in the same ways that we would. But when you’re loving them through their humanity you understand and accept their sovereignty as another person – because that’s what you fell in love with in the first place.
Love, honor, and respect the humanity of your partner in order to create safety in your relationship. As Ram Dass once said, we are all just walking each other home. Use moments of struggle as a way to learn more about yourself and more about the person you’ve chosen to walk home with. Through this introspection, you can more fully align with your Authentic path in Love.