Many women struggle with either finding the right relationship or keeping the one they have on good terms. And it’s not uncommon for women to try and fix the situation at home with slow progress and a lot of frustration.
Why is love so hard?
Love is hard because it requires one very important action from BOTH partners. Without this contribution from both individuals, relationships and love become unfulfilling.
What is this requirement? It’s vulnerability. Vulnerability means the willingness to put your protective shield down, be fully open, and be fully present every day in your relationship.
The word “vulnerability,” however, generally has a negative meaning... and for the most part it’s synonymous with weakness. Why? Because through vulnerability you reveal your most inner self and raise the chance you’ll be misunderstood, judged, and rejected by your partner. And this would hurt!
In relationships, however, vulnerability is the only thing that will allow you to be authentic and keep your love strong as you share with each other what you hide from other people.
Typically, both partners wear a shield to hide sensitive details and emotions from each other and it’s the very reason love becomes hard – because both partners try to make a relationship work while putting on a façade.
When your partner wears a shield it looks like this:
1. Limited communication about meaningful things
2. Criticizing and judging your small mistakes (and never knowing what to expect from him next)
3. Accusing you of things you haven’t done
4. Having expectations of who you need to be and how you need to act
5. Jealousy and suspicion
6. Pushing you away with hurtful words or actions
7. Expecting YOU to make HIM feel happy, appreciated, validated
Any of the things listed above will leave you feeling uncared for, underappreciated, and misunderstood. And so your relationship becomes about raising your own shield, making sure you’re not used, hurt, and abandoned.
This is when love starts to be hard.
How to Find and Keep Perfect Love
Perfect love isn’t about finding the ideal man where you agree on everything and you never fight. Perfect love is where you can have your differences, and be able to solve them in a way both parties feel free to express their concerns and both feel fully respected and accepted while they compromise.
Here are 2 steps to help you find and keep this type of love:
1. Find it: If you’re ready to lower your shield, find a partner who’s also looking for the same thing... who’s ready to live vulnerably. Some men are just not interested in lowering their guard. It isn’t for you to change them or to be their saviour by showing them a “better way.” Instead, find someone who is ready for this step. If you’re currently in a relationship with someone and are interested in preserving the connection, be prepared to accept him as is. Any pushing and shoving from you will only lead to a raised shield. Instead, lead by example, lower your shield first, and he may just follow.
2. Keep it: Living vulnerably is tricky business. And it doesn’t start with your partner! It requires a lot of compassion for yourself once you take a look at your “weakest points” that make you feel insignificant and not good enough. Mastering self-compassion will help you to feel compassionate toward your partner allowing him to drop his own shield. It’s the only way you’ll be living authentically. And you can’t offer something to your partner if you don’t have it to begin with.
Empowerment Coach, Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA, (www.lifecoachintoronto.com) provides training and support to kind-hearted and genuine women who struggle with their self-esteem, feel stuck and trapped, or are emotionally exhausted. Her educational programs, products, as well as in-person and online coaching and mentoring are geared toward helping her clients Reach Their Full Potential.
Specifically Ivana helps women:
1. Understand and overcome self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that keep them from making significant progress (Empower Your Potential)
2. Leverage their innate strengths and abilities to Reach Their Full Potential (Achieve Your Potential)
3. Use their Potential to live a full, well-rounded life and make a lasting difference in the world (Evolve Your Potential)
Ultimately, Ivana helps women create meaningful experiences by connecting the person they were born to be to their purpose in life. Because a meaningful life is about living with fun, happiness, and passion while making a difference in the world!