Yoga: Going the distance in relationships; Mr Right or Mr Right Now?
Anyone who knows me well will know that I have had more than my fair share of relationships. At the ripe age of 34 heading into my 35th year, I have probably had almost as many relationships whether they be one night stands, 3 month or 4 year long affairs and I know that many reading this will already be raising their eyebrows in judgement. I mean, how can I possibly be happy without a ring on my finger and nippers running around my feet? Well I guess, if I’m truly honest, I would love to have someone to wake up to each morning and cuddle up with on a cold winter’s night but does that have to be the same person year in year out? Do we really need to put this enormous pressure on ourselves to find the perfect man who ticks every box in the relationship criteria and should therefore, be capable of going the distance all the way into old age or are we just setting ourselves up for a fall?
As much as I love the idea of having that, it would be easy to look negatively on all those relationships that didn’t work out. To push them into the background as failures. To devalue anything that doesn’t last longer than 6 months as society tells us we should. But at my age, to do so, would be to deny many years’ worth of learning as each relationship reflected me back to myself. It would mean forgetting about some of the most beautiful moments in my life in which love was shared, exchanged. Likewise, it would be just as easy to deny oneself future moments filled with such beauty because you have written someone off having decided that their shoes suggest in the long term, you’re not going to be the perfect match – maybe they’re going through a divorce or they’ve mentioned they have an obsession with a sport you cannot stand and even though you have an incredible rapport with them, you don’t want to risk getting involved in case you get hurt. But how can we ever predict such things and how can such things ever indicate the quality, depth and breadth of love when love knows no bounds?
There are millions of people out there right now, trawling the internet, scanning profiles in an attempt to ensnare the woman or man who most closely matches their ‘ideal’ yet the nature of life is such that in one moment, something arises and in the next, it passes away. We tie ourselves up in knots with weddings and declarations in an attempt to seal the permanency of something which by its very nature, cannot remain the same – neither our selves nor our relationships and these things make it ever more difficult when things don’t work out. I know that my friends worry about me every time I tell them that I’ve fallen in love with someone new because they also know, how many times I’ve had my heart broken in the past. The upside to that however, is that I have had countless hours enjoying the discovery of something or someone new. Each relationship has shown me something new about myself; helped me to grow and recognise what does and does not belong to me. I am able to move forward, retaining those memories of beauty and allowing the rest to fall away.
If we continually push people away because we convince ourselves they are not ‘relationship material’, or we might be able to find something or someone else who more closely matches our ‘ideal’ we could be denying ourselves those opportunities to love and grow with Mr Right Now in hopeless pursuit of Mr Right. So I guess what I’m trying to say is… worry less about what society expects and listen to your heart. At the end of the day, if you find yourself in a relationship that begins to stifle you and you feel you can’t truly be yourself or achieve what you want, you can always find a way out. And if it all goes tits up as you suspected it would right from that third date, go ahead and pat yourself on the back because in spite of everything, you gave it a shot. Be brave, live hard, love fiercely, take what you can from the now and learn from the past. Whatever happens, the now is all we’ve got so why not give it a shot? In the meantime, I have more than enough love from friends and family to sustain me and I feel quite frankly, lucky! At the end of the day, when we’re there on our death bed, the only thing we ever truly have left is our truth, the bit that lies behind the ‘self’. Learn to tap into that now with yoga and everything else seems pale.