“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu
What is love other than to care for another more than you care for yourself? What is love other than to put another’s needs ahead of your own? What is love other than to love without expectation?Advertising
Love is not reciprocal. Love is selfless. It is giving through sacrifice, expecting nothing. You may have dreams, plans and expectations coming into a relationship, but as the old boxing quote says: “Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face.”
Instead of trying to force yourself into the fully-scripted roles of the perfect relationship, it’s advisable to let go of your expectations and dependence on your partner for affection and validation. Love that has no expectations cannot be betrayed. Betrayal is only possible when an exchange is expected.Advertising
So, for all that someone is, love them. Appreciate them for who they are rather than for how well they fit your pre-existing fantasies of how things should be. This way you’ll free your heart from any anger or frustration and begin to love unconditionally, even if it has to be love from afar.
When you love unconditionally without expecting anything, you’ll establish a special and rare relationship anchored on affection that is free and non-possessive. Your relationship will be pure and honest because you are not merely using another to satisfy general self-interested desires.Advertising
How often do we set the bar too high to reach and then use this as an excuse not to love completely? Jonathan Lockwood Huie said it right, “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.” Let everyone be completely who they are. Don’t try to control or change them. Just love them – as they are – right now.
View people through the lens of compassion and acceptance. And then let circumstances freely and naturally resolve themselves into the most perfect outcome for all involved. Chances are those you love without expectation will dazzle you when they in turn begin to see you in your truest light.Advertising
Here are little ways to love without expectation.
- Love yourself first—totally and unequivocally. Be okay with yourself. If you can do that, then the need for others disappears.
- Believe and have faith in the good intentions of that person you love. There is good in everyone.
- Accept that person just as they are. People are not ours to own or rearrange.
- Smile, laugh and spend more time with that person, exploring new and challenging activities together. It builds intimacy.
- Protect and defend him or her always, including protecting their sense of dignity as human beings.
- Be truthful and honest in your interaction with them. Stop playing them.
- Voice your love and affection to them openly. Whisper in their ear how beautiful they are each morning.
- Express your affection physically. A simple kiss on the cheek or light touch on the shoulder can bring healing.
- Respect and treat that person like a gentleman or lady—with courtesy and dignity.
- Don’t lie or cheat on them. Stay faithful to your relationship until the end.
- Don’t whine, nag or complain all the time. It vexes the spirit.
- Don’t criticize them all the time. Instead, encourage and support them whenever you can.
- Show more compassion. We all need a little understanding from others.
- Surprise them with deeds of kindness when they least expect it.
- Be there for them when they need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or someone to uplift their spirits.
- Don’t compare your relationship with what others’ have.
- Stay calm, collected and keep working on making your relationship better.
- Cultivate a thick skin in the relationship, knowing that challenges are an inevitable part of life.
- Forget your personal investment in that person or in the relationship. That way you won’t expect a return on investment.
- Don’t blackmail or manipulate them to do your bidding.
- Don’t keep unnecessary secrets from them. Secrets indicate that there is a lack of trust and authenticity in the relationship.
- Listen to what they have to say with an open mind and a view to understand where they are coming from.
- Speak up in defense of that person you love and the integrity of your relationship when confronted by others.
- Talk openly, face-to-face with that person about what’s bothering you.
- Stop focusing on that person’s flaws or things that upset you about them too much. It is not worth it.
- Sit, discuss and plan for the future together.
- Don’t shift blame and heap it on them, rather take responsibility for your own actions.
- Apologize for your mistakes, learn from them and make amends where appropriate.
- Forgive offenses committed and move on. Life is too short to hold on to grudges and be unhappy.
- Celebrate that person when they are in your life, and let them go when they leave. Don’t force anyone to stay.
If you can do these things and have no expectation for any particular outcome, it is a glorious sign of emotional maturity. You become a better person and take the reins in the relationship.
Last Updated on September 17, 2018
7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck
Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.
Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.
When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).
Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:
1. You’re depressed about your home life.
No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.
However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.
If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.
When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.
You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.
2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.
Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.
If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.
You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.
If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.
3. You can’t stop snooping.
Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.
I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.
Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.
So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.
It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.
If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.
4. You’re afraid of commitment.
If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.
Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.
No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.
If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.
Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.
5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.
If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.
Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.
Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.
Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.
If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?
6. You resent, rather than love your partner.
When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.
When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.
If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.
7. You chase past feelings.
It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.
You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.
When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.
If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.
Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com