This is a question I have been asked many times over the last three years. The question usually comes in many forms. “How would you describe a relationship?” or “What does a relationship mean to you?”. In all of these cases the subject was romantic relationships so that is what I am going to talk about.
I think of a romantic relationship as if I was a mythical beast, impervious to anything and everything. I can only be harmed by one thing…this magic sword. When I am in a romantic relationship I give the magic sword…the only thing that can hurt me…to my partner with the understanding that I trust them not to use it to hurt or mame me.
I also look at a romantic relationship as if my partner was doing the same with me. I cherish their sword…the key to their heart. I lock it away in a safe place and carry it with me wherever I go as a reminder to never get involved with anything that would hurt them.
I do my best to not wield the sword. Sure, I have weak moments and screw up, we all do. The point is, I have been given this weapon that can destroy another human being and I choose not to use it.
This is, when you get down to it, the basic description of a partnership. Let’s be honest, a relationship, romantic or not, is a partnership and the only way a partnership can survive is with mutual respect, and proper communication.
Now when you add the word romantic, in my mind, you are adding sharing. Sharing of your most intimate details. Sharing of the mind, the body, and the heart. You are opening yourself to another. Letting them see not only the good, not only the benevolent, not only the loving but also the hurt, the damage, the bad, the ugly and allowing them to accept it as a part of you.
Only when you truly open yourself to another. Only when you truly show them who you really are, share your triumphs and failures, share your fears and courage, your tastes and distastes and give your partner the chance to accept them, can you experience true love.
And that folks, is how I define a romantic relationship. A partnership between two people that consists of trust, respect, loyalty, communication, acceptance and love. When you find all those things in a partner, and that partner brings those things out in you…hang onto them, tightly, and make sure they know how much you love and appreciate them.
Peace, love, and happiness always,