If we are in the belief that the most important aspect of any relationship is ensuring both people have their needs met, then it helps to understand one of the main “Laws of Attraction”. That you will meet the person who will fulfill your needs; only when you know-how and are also fulfilling your own needs… on your own, all by yourself!
And when I say ‘needs,’ I’m talking about the kind of needs that are a prerequisite to achieving those important relationship goals. Bringing the joy, peace, and love that comes with finding and nurturing a harmonious and interdependent relationship. There is a phrase that sums this up neatly:
‘You get everything you want when you no longer need it.’
Fascinating stuff hey?
To find and keep a wonderful partner, you must strive to be the best version of yourself to be a match for what you want. This means you are always looking to understand yourself a little bit more. To do this, you must look deep into the mirror and understand yourself and everything you have learned from past relationships. What is the mirror reflecting to you?
You will often notice, either consciously or not; that you dislike in others that you dislike in yourself. Often these aspects you often avoid seeing are famously named by Carl Jung as the part of the ‘Shadow Self’. Parts we suppress, the fears, the insecurities, often the qualities that drive our ego into places that hold us back. For example, if a person is nervous, and they are too loud or quiet, you might dislike that. This is because you are aware of your own self-doubt around this and you may automatically find a reason to highlight this.
Speaking of the ego, this aspect of you can really sabotage a potential or blooming relationship by finding fault in a person that scares you because you feel a little out of your depth (which ironically is generally exactly what our heart and soul has called in for us).
A partner may be more intelligent, more conscious, or be of different financial status. If this is not what you are accustomed to, then your ego will create a wobble around anything to make you feel safe again. That tension, that resistance, is the thing you should be walking straight towards because the fear is creating the potential for growth.
It is likely that the higher the potential of them being a great match, the stronger the fear of being out of control is. But what happens if you were to fall in love with them? The unknowing of what that would look like is too great.
A key to understanding what went wrong in past relationships is by owning your part on a deeper level. Acknowledging everything was a co-creation of both parties and neither one was to blame entirely for any situation, or the only one that requires recovery.
By really acknowledging your own part in a relationship break down we can look within, see the learning, the triggers, and the inner work required. Having the courage to own up and then forgive yourself for whatever that part was. It will set you free and create space for the new. Only then will the emotional triggers not happen in the future.
You will then be free, by either completely understanding that the growth was the main reason you attracted the relationship in the first place. Or by forgiving anyone else involved (and meaning it.) Then pat yourself on the back for realising what a relief that is, and what you have done differently since. This will give you a tremendous pleasure of learned self-awareness.
Give yourself a massive hug if you can see the growth, the change, the new twinkle in your eye. You feel the self-acceptance that comes with allowing yourself to be vulnerable and courageous and you feel so much less self-judgment than before. To meet that very self-aware, conscious, kind, and special person, you first must be that person yourself.
My background as a leadership coach and I work with those of you who are on a more personal journey of exploration, the ones that have found yourselves in a place where nothing quite feels complete. Where your sense of purpose is calling you, and no matter how successful you are, you just want more. And it’s for those of you who feel you need another person to complete you?
Look back in that mirror, the person staring back at you is the only one who can achieve the relationships you want. If you are not having your needs met, then you must check-in as to whether you are fulfilling your own needs and not expecting someone else to do it for you. For example, people with lower self-worth look for others to approve and validate them (this is okay so please don’t start judging yourself on this, just be aware of it).
Conversely, those that expect others to support you may always substitute your higher needs of growth to self-actualisation, (See Maslow’s’ Hierarchy of Needs) by staying in a less healthy relationship and avoid moving into a new and healthier space in order to stay comfortable in that supportive feeling.
I don’t know about you, but I am all about going deep or going home. I’m not interested in scratching the surface. I love communicating on all levels, being open, getting intimate, vulnerable, and speaking my truth. I am not talking about compromising yourself in any way, one must always keep healthy boundaries and be discerning with our decision-making, and keep our self-worth and value system intact.
For me, the key is to go with what feels right for you, to be playful and light as much as possible. No one can leave all their baggage at the door as they step into a new relationship, as the past is what has shaped them. But what you do and how you react to your past will make all the difference to your future.
So, the next question in exploring love is, what do I do?
In past relationships, you may have been hurt and felt you haven’t had your needs met. Our grand expectations lead us to overlook all the good someone is providing for them because it isn’t exactly in line with their expectations. Repeatedly the Love Languages quiz has helped couples. It is a free quiz on the internet, created by Gary Chapman and rated highly by celebs like Oprah Winfrey, for being so simple and powerful. It brings us to a point of understanding how we like to be loved and how our partners or children do. The link to taking the quiz is at the bottom of the article. Love Languages is all about this list:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Physical Touch
Which one immediately appeals to you? All you may say, but there is likely to be one or two that are more important than others. The two most important next level languages of love, I believe, are not yet on the list of how to create a deeper connection. Adding the awareness of two extra Love Languages is how I propose we quickly reach that kind of awareness.
As a coach who works with high functioning, high achievers that may be feeling rather burnt out, I often hear I did everything for my partner, and they didn’t appreciate it. This can also be the same when parents discuss their children. They are running the story of not feeling acknowledged, but it’s because the love language of needs may not be the same for everyone.
For example, if you are a person whose top languages are acts of service and words of affirmation, you show your affection through doing things for someone and you like verbal acknowledgment as a reward. Or alternatively, you may show your love through buying gifts and organising holidays because you feel that putting considered thought into things and having time together is your higher priority. Understanding the difference must be observed for the relationship to run smoothly, otherwise, hiccups may occur. My first piece of advice is to do the Love Language quiz and get your partner or potential partner to do it as well. It’s fun, go into it with a playful, non-serious heart, but be 100% true to your feelings.
We can play with the quiz; I took it three times with a different version of me in mind each time. I created an avatar of myself (who said women aren’t complicated) and each time they were different, so the results can change as we evolve, and I also looked back at previous partners as I was in testing mode in different relationships. The quiz is valuable, and it highlights how being true to yourself in every moment because things do change. It forms a great gauge to show very quickly what you understand about feeling happy and satisfied and when you are not.
Now let us introduce Love Language 6 and 7: –
Love Language 6: Energetic Connection
The current Love Language that is so important for creating lasting bonds is physical touch. But for me, adding a deeper energetic connection is stage one of what can be explorative, explosive, and beyond your wildest dreams. I recommend you research everything there is to know about Tantra and energy and put it into practice. It’s about tapping into your senses. Tan means expansion and Tra liberation and travels back 7,000 years. Its story begins with the beginning of civilization in India way back then. Tantra explores the notion that everything in life works better when we feel more conscious. If we feel, rather than think our way through life, learning to get out of our heads and into our hearts.
Tantra connects you with your senses, the feeling zone; it creates a connection, with your self, and others. When you delve deeper into this you will never come up for air in the same way. We live in an ever-growing conscious world, and for me, Tantra is a game-changer. One key aspect of Tantra is to feel so connected with yourself and the other person that performance is absolutely the last thing on your mind (and we know it’s all about mind over matter, right?). Once connected in the states of bliss (heart space rather than headspace) that Tantra provides, you are swimming in a sea of multi-conscious experiences and euphoria and, as a couple, you feel each other energetically and emotionally.
The physical touch is a vital part, but not the main part, of the connection that two people can share. Breathing, feeling a heightened connection, and extreme eye contact, is so much higher on the list of love, and the time for making love goes on for hours as bodies are explored and celebrated, and all the insecurities and inhibitions dissipate into the old story. Even a shallow dive into Tantra becomes a pleasure, a purpose, and brings with it a whole heap of passion. Believe me, if you are looking for love and a potential partner knows and understands how Tantra works, you know they are way past the “stuck in my head” phase and completely able to understand and appreciate the human physical, energetic and emotional connection. Through this, you will always be able to get naked, feel the power in vulnerability,
Leverage that with courageous communication. Bringing energetic connection into your life full stop is when your self-awareness reaches new heights too, delve into the unknown and see the delights that come with it.
Love Language 7: Holding Space, Listening and Being Present
If you feel time-poor, then being present is the number one life hack. Be 100% present in everything you do. My biggest love hack is applying the 80%-20% rule when it comes to communication. Eighteen years of working in sales teaches you how to listen rather than speak. Active listening is the single most important ‘love hack’ I can recommend. Do not listen to react, do not listen to respond, be present with someone, and hold space.
“Holding space” is a term that people sometimes cannot get their head around, the main reason for this is because it’s about feeling the space between two people. The three big Cs in relationships for me are Communication, Connection and Confidence, and the key expression I use over and over is ‘Where intention goes, energy flows.’ If your intention is to be open, vulnerable, and be present with someone else always, this will create an amazing bond. The number one recommendation is always being present. Quality time is not quality time if you are not fully present. Digitally detox and becoming 100% present means taking the phone, laptop, TV, music, and games consoles away, and this includes drinking alcohol and anything else that is state-altering out of the equation.
Quality time is about instilling confidence by finding connections with communication. To be present means to be out of your head, to really be present with your intention. If your thinking is elsewhere then you are not energetically in flow with yourself when you are with them. Remember, it’s the things that we say, the unsaid assumptions, the analysis, the reading between the lines, that often causes miscommunication and therefore lack of connection. Going into the getting out of our head and into our hearts in every single way.
Speaking from the heart is so important as is the language we use. For example, ‘I need this’. I mentioned the expression: ‘Once you stop needing you get everything you want’. You will learn so much more about the person you want to get a deeper connection with if you are in a silent space (without distraction: music, TV, phones) and you just listen. You devote the time to hearing, feeling, and letting them talk. Asking them deeper questions; let it all come out, let them get vulnerable.
The interesting bit comes when you realise, they are holding space for you, you feel held and cared about and like someone is genuinely interested in you and not what you can provide for them. I guess this is what coaching is like for me. It is about creating such a safe and pure environment of non-judgment so that you and your partner begin to bond. It’s like getting to the pillow talk stage without having or thinking about sex.
On a personal note, one of my favourite moments on a first date was when a guy said to me- ‘Gill, I am not going to talk about me at all for the next hour, I just want to know all about you. You spend your entire life listening to others and helping them solve their problems and everything you do is about bringing people alive and connecting with them; well, I want to hear your story’. It was a favourite because I felt held and I knew what a challenge this would be. To be open, truthful, and bare all – observe my ego that loves to talk and create a certain impression. My heart and soul will only ever stand in their truth. And the inner child that sometimes needs to be reminded that everything happened for a reason, and to observe the story as I told it at that moment and how the feelings have changed since I used to tell it.
This is how we ascribe meaning and attachment to our stories. The next hour was uncomfortable. I talked about my story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I cried. I was vulnerable, I felt held and heard. I tried every trick in the book to get the subject off me as I have created such a great wall of holding space for others. So, for me, this highlights the 7th Love Language, being held, emotionally, energetically, and this often comes with being heard.
I believe the number one reason people feel upset and angry through frustration is because they are not feeling acknowledged. If their needs are not being heard, let alone met, they are not feeling heard. My advice is to listen 80% of the time, show empathy, ask questions, delve deeper and allow silences of thinking time and talk for 20% of the time or less is the ultimate gift you can give to someone and of course the gift someone can give straight back to you also.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
The Modern Day Alchemist.