The same rules apply to romance as to any other human relationships.
Here's the bottom line: Stop making things up.
If you are going to be in relationship with anyone, whether the grocer at the corner store or your significant other, you have got to get real. That is exactly why I am so impatient with romance. What people call romance is usually just fantasy. If two people agree to play the same game at the same time it's called a passionate love affair, but if one person's fantasies are unrequited, that is called stalking. Romance is fickle.
That said, sometimes two people who are truly in alignment with one another for a significant phase of their lives happen to meet and the conditions are right for them to form an intimate, ongoing relationship. If they can relate to each other as Spirit loving Spirit, they can have a Divine relationship. That is the highest use of any relationship – be a demonstration of God loving God.
Even if a couple can't go that far, they can still have a relationship that supports mutual spiritual development along a path of joy if both people hold that ideal. Marriage relationships can present the very best learning environments, especially if both people consider learning and growth as something fun to do. If there is resistance to self-reflection and conscious personal responsibility, the relationship will still teach, but it will be teaching along the path of suffering. In healthy relationship the couple gets to grow on a path of joy.
If you meet someone who seems to open your heart, just by their mere presence, that's a good indication that a rewarding relationship might be had with them. This is especially so if you have the same effect upon them. Bringing out the best in one another is an excellent foundation for a relationship.
The essential aspects of healthy relationship are:
- Awareness of the equality among both parties
- Some degree of awareness of their unity, however fleeting
- The ability to accept the other person just as they are with no hope of having them change in any particular way, but a willingness to seeing them change in whatever way. This is another aspect of not making things up. You don't make up the past, present, or future. You relate to them with acceptance in each now moment and let time take care of the rest.
You don't have to be fully enlightened before you can have a healthy relationship. These are not descriptions of enlightened qualities, other than some degree of awareness of unity. Even that is not enlightenment, it is simply a mark of having embarked upon the road towards enlightenment.
The most important item on this list is self-love. If you cannot treat yourself with kindness, patience, and forgiveness you are not going to be able to relate to your partner in a healthy way. In fact, the closer someone gets to you the more you will treat them as an extension of yourself.
If you tend to be hard on yourself, critical, demanding, maybe even self-deprecating, you are going to have to work on that if you don't want to be judgmental, controlling, and demeaning towards your loved ones. Similarly, if you are entering into a relationship with someone who is very self-critical, but who treats you with kindness, be aware that the closer you get to this person the more they will probably start treating you the same way they treat themselves.
Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t engage with them. The psycho-emotional healing that can happen within relationship is one of the greatest beauties of relationship. So long as you don’t try to heal them and so long as they truly want healing for themselves and take responsibility for it themselves, you can make a very positive difference in the world through extending healing relationship to the people you meet.
Within yourself, just hold an understanding of their confusion about their worth along with your certainty about their true perfectly loving nature and send them loving thoughts. Watch for your own tendencies to judge, and decide to forgive, accept, and embrace them instead. Recall Dr. Emoto's research findings on the ability of loving thoughts to bring health and harmony to bodies of water. Your loving thoughts are powerful.
Helping one another heal is an incredibly important part of human relationship.
Love creates the safe space that is needed for people to heal themselves.
[Excerpted from "Being Bliss: A Guidebook for Wholeness, Health and Joy."]