You search for that “special” relationship. Falling in love means finding that “special” someone who reciprocates that feeling of being “special.”
Or, you long to feel “special” in your significant relationship.
If you are bored or there is a lull in your relationship you long to make it again “special.”
Those cheating on their spouse report over and over again that they found that “special” person or relationship that was missing in their marriage.
And when the “specialness” begins to fade in the context of your relationship you begin to fret and worry. Something seems to be wrong. The marriage or relationship is in trouble.
Please know that a “special” person or relationship differs from a special person or relationship. “Special,” as I use the word, refers to a set of illusions or distortions that get in the way of ultimate and lasting intimacy.
Special refers to a relationship of devotion or commitment, where an intentional focus exists to know and be known at deeper and deeper levels.
Let’s take a careful look at the pitfalls in the idea that either you or the relationship needs this “special” feeling. And then, I will show you a different way of thinking that transcends the “specialness” efforts and leads you to a more mature, deeper and EASY LOVE.
1. Looking for the “special” person or hoping to feel “special” in your relationship is often tied to your past.
At one level you remember the past slights, the disappointments, the perceived emptiness and the desperation you felt in a relationship. This pain is deeply embedded within. You carry this pain with you. And, of course, there is no way you want to come close to that experience again.
Your ego suffered a severe blow. You are wounded. You are scarred. You are afraid.
And so, you look for that someone or relationship that will heal the wounds and restore your confidence. “Special” means that those scars are removed and your ego can again feel okay, “special” if you wish.
But here’s a problem: your relationship is built upon your reaction to your past hurts and pains. You build the relationship with your eye toward the past, comparing, hoping that the past is in the past.
This focal point precludes you living in the present, being in tune with ALL s/he and you offer; the good and the red flags.
2. Creating a relationship of “specialness” demands you focus on the other person. You consistently look to the other for signs, signals, and affirmation.
Many express, “I feel like I lost myself.” You put on hold or shove to the background your preferences, opinions, values, standards and slow the self discovery and self disclosure process.
Your feelings and overall sense of well being and worth ride on every anticipated response of your other.
The other is your starting and ending point. What s/he says and does is paramount and rules your life.
3. You and your “special” other perpetuate a mirroring process. You become a mirror to one another.
You give your other what you believe will make your other feel “special” and in return anticipate your other will mirror back what you need to feel “special.”
The mirroring process is an attempt to recover from the past slights, disappointments and hurt and restore the self esteem.
Triggers of those past slights or disappointments are ignored or avoided. The process of knowing and being known, in all dimensions, is short circuited.
4. The “special” relationship is marked by an underlying tension.
And, you worry that the “specialness” might fade and evaporate.
Effort is demanded to maintain the sense of “specialness.” You must be on guard. You must put forth your “good side.” You must look and express your best, even if one day, you are far from that state.
You take great pains to hide your humanity and inner fragility. A part of you, however, feels the stress and strain of this process.
5. It seems ironic, but in reality you must maintain emotional distance, although you believe you are striving to be “close.”
Your emotional intensity revolves around the hope and excitement of your other restoring your lost self esteem.
Stroking your ego is the emotional focal point, not the warmth, laughter and lightness of sharing and accepting your foibles, differences, perceived weaknesses and struggles.
Differences, foibles, and struggles are shoved aside since they easily seem to trigger the past hurt and relationship pain.
6. You must perform to maintain your “special” relationship.
Mirroring is based on performance.
Your other must see in you an ideal that your other needs to feed and stroke the ego.
You must be on your best behavior, determined by the needs of your other. You must impress. You must be that shining trophy that spells success.
7. Unfortunately, rather than building self esteem, the drive to find that “special” person or build that “special” relationship diminishes self esteem.
A part of you knows you are pretending.
A part of you knows you cannot keep this up.
A part of you knows the “specialness” will not last.
A part of you knows you eventually will be found out.
You live with the conflict, often, just beneath your awareness, but present, nonetheless and feel less than a whole you.
So, we’ve looked at the pitfalls of finding and holding onto that “special” person or relationship.
Please know that love can be special, very special. Your other can be special. Your marriage or relationship of emotional investment can be special.
I offer some guidelines, that often fly in the face of conventional relationship advice that encourages you to manipulate, perform or make that “special” person or relationship appear in your life.
I offer to you the concept of EASY LOVE, as opposed to “special” love.
EASY LOVE is based on 3 powerful concepts.
First, the love answers are found within you, not in your other. You know how to love. You know what you can give. You know your capacity to receive.
EASY LOVE blossoms when you pay close attention to your inner stirrings and guidance. You project you, not an illusion. You come from a position of personal power, rather dependence on another.
Second, EASY LOVE wants you to know that you are terribly lovable, in all your uniqueness. Their is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You need not carry the past pain, hurts and slights along with you into relationships.
You have no need to hide. You need not project an illusion of perfection. Beneath your relational protective armor is a person or being highly capable of giving and receiving love.
Third, a relationship based on EASY LOVE demands no performance. You can be you. You need not carry the stress and strain trying to prove your worth or “specialness.” Failing to demand performance from your other is your gift to your other.
You can cast aside all efforts to manipulate, seduce, control, be x for your other or be y for your other. Love is not a contest. Love is not a strategy. Love is not a skill to perform.
I hope you are aware of the shifts you can begin implementing as you move from creating that “special” relationship to EASY LOVE.
If you want more information and a deeper explanation of the 3 underlying concepts go to: www.saveamarriageforever.com/ebook.
EASY LOVE is embracing ALL of you, throwing that out to your other and smiling when your other throws ALL back to you.
Once you shift to EASY LOVE you and your other will move toward an incredibly deep and rich relationship, welcoming the uniqueness of each, in all the manifestations.