We tend to evaluate our relationships based on how the other person is treating us, how they are loving us, and we measure the goodness of our relationship up against that. We take into account their love, their expression of loving us, and we demand from them, we ask more of them, and when a problem arises, we find ways to make it about them.
What we don’t talk about is how we are loving them. Are we the partner they deserve? Are we a part of the problem? Are we loving in the way we want to be loved? Why would we deserve more than we are giving?
Too often our valuations of another person are based off how much they are giving us. We take and we take more, then we demand more. But, the landscape of our relationship changes when we become the partner we want them to be. We lift ourselves up to the point that we want them to lift to. We realize that the love that is missing is, in part, the love that we are not giving.
The next time your partner is having a hard day and taking it out on you, ask yourself, “What is the most loving way I can approach this?” When we focus on what we can give, we lose the urgency of receiving, the daily pressure of making sure the other person is giving us what we need. When we decide on giving our partner what they need and trusting our needs will be filled within the equal give and take, then we find ourselves expecting less from them and feeling more at peace within our love of them.
When love becomes about what we can get out of it, we’ve already lost. We’ve begun the descent into heartbreak. However, when we make it about loving the other person in the way we want to be loved, then we can experience new miracles within our relationship. We can open ourselves up to a deeper bond and a love that is built on sharing life, rather than a bartering system of which we always want to come out on top.
The next time you find yourself holding up the microscope to your relationship and picking apart your love’s behavior, ask yourself, “Was I my most loving?” Did you give your love fully? Did you give them the patience you demand from them? Did you give them the romance you desire from them? Did you give them the respect you think you deserve from them? Did you give them the affection you think you’re lacking from them? Where are you responsible within your relationship? Before you start throwing daggers at them, blaming them, making the collective problem fall on their shoulders, ask yourself where you are lacking love and understanding toward them.
Give that which you are not receiving. Wake up every morning and ask yourself, “How can I fully love them today?” If you’re in a healthy relationship based off mutual love and respect, you will see the ways in which your love deepens and transforms once you begin to love fully in the way you want to be loved.
By Jamie Varon for ThoughtCatalog