February 1, 2015

The Worst Thing We can do in a Relationship.

fred and ginger

Is to decide we know everything about our partners.

Is to set our minds that our partners are completely predictable and that we know what they are thinking, how they are going to act and what they are going to do next.

Because we don’t.

We don’t know what goes on in anybody’s minds. We barely know what occurs in our own.

And we certainly don’t know the inner workings of another’s heart. Mine is almost a complete mystery to myself.

The best quote I ever heard about long-term relationships was during a radio interview, and I am extremely apologetic here that I am not able to source the person who said it.

The gist of what she said was is that in long-term relationships we should think of our partners as the continent of Africa. And that we need to remember that as long as we are know our partners we will never be able to see all the parts of them just as in a lifetime a person would never be able to explore all of Africa.


We aren’t in a boring relationship with the same old boring person where nothing changes.

We are in a relationship with a dynamic, diverse, ever-changing, ever-shifting continent of a person.

And from my experience I know this to be true.

Here’s an example from my own life.

I love dancing.

But my partner always hated even the idea of dancing.

I figured we would never dance together.

And then 17 years after I had solidified that view of our relationship, that it would never include dancing, he decided he not only would he be willing to try dancing but that he actually really wanted to go dancing.

He desired dancing. He desired going dancing with me.

Holy crap!

Who would have expected that?

Not me.

So, relationship is yet another place we take our meditation practice from the mat into our lives.

We stay open to the moment, we stay humble-hearted knowing we can’t predict what will come next, we look at our intimate partners through the lens of childlike wonder, as if each meeting was the first time we are meeting them, because in many ways we are so impermanent, so ever-changing that each meeting is the first.

Relephant read:

55 Rules For Love.

Author: Ruth Lera

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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