How do we create the relationship that we want?
Once this wouldn’t even have been a question we’d ask…
We’d just do what everyone else, including our parents did- we’d fall in love, get married to a person of the opposite sex for the rest of our lives, having some kids along the way, crossing our fingers that it would all turn out alright.
Today’s traditional beliefs about relationship are fading faster than a politician’s election promises. Now we’ve not only monogamous male/female couples married with children and without children, but also couples living together with or without children, step parents, single parents, blended families, couples choosing not to have children, same sex relationships, serial monogamists (several consecutive relationships), open relationships, together-living separately relationships, friends with benefits etc.
The choice is ours
Instead of leaving it to society to determine how our relationships might look we now have the power to make our own choices and create relationships that will really work for us.
To understand that we’re dealing with something powerful and magical and if we don’t have a guide it’s easy to get lost in the details, in the problems and in the suffering, missing the joys along the way.
Having a plan lets you avoid looking at your partner and going into mind games if they’re not connected with you in the daily ups and downs of life. It gives each of you a little breathing space to be yourselves, in the safety of the plan you have together.
We do it for our workplace
We plan and set goals in our personal and business lives that help us achieve our desired outcomes so why not do the same in our relationships? The clearer the plan the more likely we are to get there. Of course, in our relationships, even more than in business, we need to expect the unexpected and change along with our circumstances so the plan may evolve over the years. But the idea remains the same- to actively choose what we want to create. This helps us in moments of uncertainty to not sweat the small stuff, just stick to the plan.
Plus, talking about your desires, needs, values and dreams in putting a plan or agreement together can also teach you all sorts of things about your spouse or partner you never knew, and vice versa.
The most important thing about a plan for the relationship you desire is to have one!
A healthy relationship is a conscious creation- where the people in it actively choose the kind of relationship they desire. Both individuals get to decide what theirs looks like, remembering that the only “normal” in any relationship is the setting on the washing machine. Each individual decides to include as few or as many aspects of relationship to make up their own unique design.
Simple or complex…
At its simplest a relationship plan may simply be an agreed intention to live together always with a no fuss approach to life and to be there for each other as the highest priority.
At its broadest a relationship agreement can include all aspects of the two selves- personal, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and spiritual- the union being not just the union of two people into one, but all aspects of the self into one. It creates a deeply committed, conscious, loving and open hearted bonded connection with a balanced healthy sexual partnership.
The difference between these two very different approaches (and everything in between) doesn’t matter, the fact that it is talked about and agreed to is what’s important.
Making active choices, having goals or setting intentions forms a very powerful container for your relationship, created as it is from a triangle rather than a couple- a triangle of you, your partner and the relationship itself. This takes the focus off the two individuals competing with each other for their individual needs and places it on the relationship; for when the relationships’ needs are met then so will the individuals’ within it.
The power of commitment
As a famous mountain climber Sir Edmund Hilary, the first man to conquer Mt Everest, the largest mountain in the world once said ‘the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.’ Creating an active commitment to your relationship brings unseen powers to support it.
If you were to develop a relationship plan, form an agreement or simply set some goals/ intentions for your relationship what would they look like? What are your beliefs and values about relationship? What would you like more of? What is most important for you?
If you discussed this with your partner/spouse what would their thoughts be? Where would you align? Where would you be different? The only way to know for sure is to ask…
The places where you are in agreement are the places to begin with.
The places where you differ are the gold in your relationship and can be added in as you get clearer on them.
The most important thing is to begin the discussion!