You are in love and it feels wonderful. This love is different and you are prepared to do anything to make it last.
To prevent this ship from sinking you work hard to steer this relationship into a safe harbor. In the process you lose yourself and your romantic relationship becomes all-consuming!
When Kyra fell head-over-heels for Dan she went out of her way to create a wonderful relationship. She found herself at hockey games, watching horror movies, at parties with his friends and on vacations with his family.
At home, things were not much different. Kyra cooked his favorite meals, kept house the way he wanted and listened to music of his choice.
On Dan’s advice, Kyra cut her hair short, wore less make-up and a conservative wardrobe. She had even given up her night classes, because they cut into their dinnertime. For Dan, this relationship was perfect.
In an effort to not disappoint him, Kyra lived in constant anxiety.
She had adapted to his lifestyle, defended his views and even began to talk like him. Kyra’s friends witnessed her change from a spirited and happy woman to a subdued and pleasing personality. This relationship had sucked the life out of Kyra, yet she was the last to notice.
While compromise in a relationship is a necessary ingredient for it’s success, denying the core of who you are is not. When you finally realize that an all-consuming relationship is depleting you, there will be nothing left but resentment.
It will be difficult to reclaim yourself while remaining in that same relationship. The outcome of such a relationship is usually a heart-breaking crisis, with no one but you to blame.
The opposite of an all-consuming relationship is a half-hearted relationship. In this relationship you withhold affection until the evidence is in that the other is hooked.
I love you, if you love me first has become a common trend. Fearing that you will give more love than you receive, you put your partner on probation and control the power in this relationship.
You judge according to your expectations and keep track of his or her scores. The higher the scores, the more you are willing to reward with love. This conditional view creates tremendous emotional insecurity.
All-consuming or halfhearted relationships are very unnatural and unhealthy. Ironically, both types are guided by fear.
In an all-consuming relationship, fear of not being loved is the driving force. In a halfhearted relationship, fear of being hurt prevents you from knocking down protective walls.
Is there a happy medium?
To you love wholeheartedly without losing yourself requires a very different perspective of relationships.