Love is easy, relationships are hard work. They take practice, communication, patience and commitment (to name just the very tip of the iceberg). I’ve found myself at the age where all of the sudden friends and siblings are getting married, having kids, buying houses (all beautiful things! Don’t get me wrong). Like anything else, through witnessing other peoples experiences, we start to question our own. As a young women with my partner for over 5 years we often feel societies expectations creeping in on us. Like we have something to prove to the world to assure people that we are committed, we are happy, we are in love. Little did I know how much of a gift this tension would prove to be for our growth. It’s forced us to have some really open and honest conversations about our future that may not have happened otherwise. Instead of being committed to fulfilling societies ideals, or committed to “monogamy” we want to be committed to each other and to our growth. There’s a big difference! So we’ve found ourselves asking our hearts, what does that mean? What does that look like for us? What do we yearn for when the fears of judgment are taken away?
The truth is that the way that humans relate in our current day and age is completely different than the way that we related only 50-80 years ago. Marriage used to be a economic institution, where people were a part of marriages (sometimes arranged) in order to gather assets. We wanted security, children, family, property and social respectability. It’s fairly new that we marry for love, we now actively choose our partners and we expect them to fulfill us in ALL ways. As Esther Perel says, “Contained within the small circle of the wedding band are vastly contradictory ideals. We want our chosen one to offer stability, safety, predictability, and dependability. And we want that very same person to supply awe, mystery, adventure, and risk. We expect comfort and edge, familiarity and novelty, continuity and surprise.” We now ask one person to fulfill us in a way that a whole community once contributed to. It seems that we are outgrowing the old institutions that determine how we relate with each other. This is made even clearer to me with the 50% divorce rate in the US, 65% in subsequent marriages. I find myself asking, is marriage necessary anymore? Is it causing people more harm than good?
Luckily, conscious love is on the up and up. It requires being awake and alive in our relationships. Being active in the decisions we are making, both alone and together as couples, instead of mindlessly going through the typical monogamy checklist. I’m not sure what the future holds for how we as humans relate (or rather the institutions we label them as) but I do know that instead of it frustrating me, it excites me. I think we are starting to wake up to the old ways that are no longer working for us and are instead tuning into our truths, expressing our desires, owning our shit. I hope you will join me as we commit ourselves to this ongoing practice of realizing and living out our TRUTHS as they are now and as they evolve in the future.
** If you are interested in the topic of conscious love, non-monogamy, desire and healthy, committed, new-age relationships I have excellent sources of knowledge and inspiration for you! Here are (just a few) of my suggestions:
Esther Perel – Rethinking Infidelity
Esther Perel – The Secret to Desire
The 4 Qualities Of A Conscious Relationship
Esther Perel – Successful Relationships
Amazon Books – More Than Two