Love Is Like Mining for Diamonds:
It Takes Work
by Paul Mauchline
We all know people
who have really unrealistic expectations of relationships. So many hopeless
romantics believe that love is the solution to life's problems. Many
people confuse lust with love, over and over again. There are people
who change lovers often, because they thrive on the excitement of the
initial stages of love. These are just some of the more exaggerated
examples that come to mind. Many of us have our own erroneous expectations
about love. These expectations can set us up for disappointment down
the road. What we believe about relationships affects our attitudes
toward our relationships. If our expectations are unrealistic, we will
inevitably be disappointed with our partners. Many people enter into
relationships with the expectation that, if they find the right person,
the relationship will take no work or effort. This is a totally unrealistic
expectation. LOVE TAKES A LOT OF WORK.
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In a new relationship,
you are meeting another person's persona: the person that they most
want you to see. As you get to know the person better, new layers of
each of you emerge for one another to see. As the level of trust in
the relationship grows, you both will expose deeper and deeper layers
to one another. The deepest layers of each of us formed at a very young
age, in response to childhood experiences. If your expectation is that
relationships do not take work, then you probably are in for a major
disappointment when the deeper parts of your partner's personality emerge.
Temptation may come to leave and find a new, "better" partner.
You will find, however,
that we are all the same: we all have deeper layers that hide under
our socially acceptable personas. If you are unwilling to explore the
deeper layers of your partner, or to reveal your own deeper layers,
your relationships will remain superficial and unfulfilling. You will
feel that something is missing
that your relationships are never
that your partners never understand you
cannot understand your partners. You will be wondering why love seems
to elude you. You will turn from person to person, looking for the "right"
person, but never find him or her. You will never discover the real
person that lies behind the mask of the persona in your current partner.
You will never create the loving relationship that you desire, unless
you are willing to put forth the effort to discover who your partner
actually is, and to reveal your true self to your partner.
Many people believe
that they understand the cliché, "love takes work." The question
is, do they truly understand the meaning of "love takes work"?
You will know that you are working at your relationship when you want
to run away in frustration, but you stay and talk with your partner
-- not just once, but repeatedly. Intimacy grows from the commitment
and work that you put into your relationship. Of course, this is not
to say that everyone is compatible with everyone else. However, once
you have found a partner who meets certain parameters and seems compatible,
the balance is 100% pure W-O-R-K.
A nice analogy for
this process is that of mining for diamonds. On the surface, you can
see certain signs that tell you that diamonds might be down there, somewhere
below the surface. You decide to dig, and you invest all your time into
digging. It is messy work. You feel like giving up, but all the signs
on the surface insure you that there will be diamonds down there, somewhere.
So you keep digging. Eventually, after a lot of time and a lot of effort,
you find rough gemstones deep below the ground. How amazing that such
beauty could be so far under the surface of the earth, under so much
dirt. You are very glad that you persevered, instead of giving up in
exactly like this. Put the work into a relationship with the right person,
and you will reap the love and intimacy benefits. When you have unrealistic
expectations, you give up very early on in the relationship, without
giving your partner or yourself a chance. You miss the opportunity to
find the diamonds within your partner and within yourself. You will
both feel cheated, and neither of you will really know why. Our expectations
influence us, often without our even realizing it. It is important to
recognize when your expectations are unrealistic and are interfering
with your ability to form loving, intimate relationships. Changing your
unrealistic expectations will seem foreign at first, because your beliefs
have taken many years to form. Only through vigilance, hard work, and
perseverance will you be able to change them, and to have more realistic
expectations about loving, intimate relationships.
When you are considering
whether someone is right or wrong for you, you must maintain your values,
goals and lifestyle choices without serious compromise. As I have said
before, communication is one of the most important components of a loving
relationship. It is what allows us to rise in mature love with one another.
Communication, the dialogue, the questions, and the answers: they all
are key components in your effort to discover if your new partner meets
your essential parameters for a long-term partner. Once you have determined
that you wish to pursue a relationship, communication also is a key
component in allowing the unlayering process to occur - as you unmask
and show your deeper layers to your partner, and as you witness your
partner while he or she unmasks and unlayers before you. Communication
is an essential part of the work of any relationship.
A relationship is
togetherness. You are one with your partner. As a couple, you have chosen
to spend your lives united. The two of you travel life's journey, through
its peaks and valleys, together -- so that you both might experience
a loving, committed relationship, the type that we all seek today. As
individuals, and as part of a couple, we all need to practice the art
of loving daily. At all times, the art of loving requires from us patience,
confidence, discipline, concentration, and faith. It is an attitude
that we should live and present to the world through our daily thoughts,
words, and actions. In a loving, committed relationship, you both must
have this attitude. When you are both practicing the art of loving together,
on a daily basis, this will allow you to experience a unique, fulfilling
relationship that will be strong and resilient enough to endure any
problems during your life's journey together. Finding the right person
for you is only the beginning of this process. Without putting in the
work, even the most perfectly matched couple's relationship eventually
will fade. Many of us learn this the hard way, regretting that we did
not work harder in a previous relationship while we still had the chance.
Some of us find ourselves in another relationship, missing our old partner
whom we know, in our heart, was the one for us.
Love is a two way
street. It takes WORK from two individuals who are planning on starting
a life together. It is a lifetime of work: so I caution you to recognize
this now, rather than later. Take the time to know that you are indeed
compatible with one another. Extinguish your fears. Have your priorities
in order. Love one another to the highest degree. Keep digging till
you find the diamonds within your partner, and your partner finds the
diamonds within you. Have fun with one another, and enjoy a journey
of passionate, committed, rising love together.
Copyright © 2000-2001. All rights reserved. Paul Mauchline