The quote in the image above is from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.  When we enter into marriage or a long-term relationship, most of us intend to develop those deep roots that the author describes.  It is why this quote is often used in wedding ceremonies.

When the flame of passion begins to diminish, it is sometimes difficult to make the transition from romantic love to a deeper more lasting version of love.  One of the ways we sabotage our relationships is when we expect our partner to make us feel lovable.  When we do this, we are setting our relationship up to fail.  Our mate is not a mind reader, nor should he be.  We make up scenarios in our minds as to what our loved one would be doing if they truly loved us.  When our loved one fails to meet our expectations, we feel offended or unloved.  Because, we reason, if they loved us they would have done “A” instead of “B”.   We become hurt or angry.  Our reaction sparks resentment and defensiveness in our partner.  Communication breaks down and intimacy is pushed aside.

For love to flourish, we must give up on trying to control our partner.  We must also stop giving so much thought to what we think we are not getting.  Focus instead, on the ways our partner does show his or her love for us and consider ways we can be more loving toward our mate.  Too often, we forget that it is not the responsibility of other people to make us feel good.  Feeling good about ourselves, is our job.

If you want to improve your relationship with anyone, try concentrating on what you love about them and ignore what annoys you.  It helps to, become unattached to the outcome.  This does not mean you should not ask for what you want in your relationship.  We can and should ask, but when we are not attached to the outcome, we allow things to unfold in an authentic and uncontrived manner.  We don’t have to feel hurt when our loved one doesn’t do things our way.  Feeling hurt is a choice we make based on our thoughts and beliefs.

In my own personal relationships, romantic and otherwise, I have  been amazed at how being more loving and detached from outcome can transform a relationship.  Relationships that were strained and uncomfortable became relationships that are now peaceful and loving.  When we stop putting demands on others to behave a certain way, we create a space for love to grow.  The bonus is, when we do this, we get results far better than anything we could have orchestrated.

Love is not about romance or passion, it is what is left when those aspects of a relationship have played out.  Love is a connection between two people that is so deep, the thought of tearing it apart is unimaginable.

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