Remember the Cinderella fairy tale? A poor girl with a big heart and even bigger dreams manifested the richest, most handsome, model-like and the kindest heart Prince Charming. The whole universe conspired for them to be together. The birds were chirping and the mice were rejoicing in a dance.
I watched this Disney cartoon when I was 5. And as much as I recall it was my first encounter with an idea of “Happily ever after” kind of relationship.
Later came in church teachings of the union until the end of time. With the help of all the songs on the radio, TV Shows and movies, I bought into thinking this is how love works. There is just one. The ONE to keep.
And so, most girls are dreaming about the day in a white dress, about the pumpkin turning to a shiny limo and all smiles and happiness with mister The One until the death tear them apart.
I was one of them. It used to be so hard to come into a partnership with a guy because I was a chronical overthinker, assessing a poor guy on a long list of criteria. “Stop looking for a husband in every guy you date, Austeja ” my friend once told me laughingly.
Like a Cinderella, unconsciously I did.
Yet, in recent years a big lesson came, which I will tell you in a moment.
Before that comes a warning. You may not like what I will say, and neither I am preaching that my idea is the right one. This is just a mental place where I am right now, which might change and evolve as so do I. Many religions teach a very different approach to what I’ll say and they are right as long as it serves you.
My realization was that I ain’t believe in Mr. The One. No more.
It does not mean that I lost faith in hopeless love. No. I just dis-attached from the idea that it must be one man who will serve all my needs.
Let’s look into some of the reasons why divorce happens:
#3 Feeling constrained.
#5 Expectations from each other.
#6 Your spouse doesn’t understand / fulfill your needs and desires.
This idea as Michael Bubble sings “Baby, you’re my everything” is still dear to my heart. However, I decided to stop placing a heavy weight of expectations on all my relationships and try hard to fit them into a box. Some things are not only black and white and not that easy to put on a specific shelf.
How did I arrive at this conclusion?
Over the years I started seeing a pattern. I realized that there are certain kind of guys in my life who have some unifying features among them: they appear in a swift moment and like guardian angels, elevate my vibrations to new heights. I melt and rise to cloud nine with them.
Suddenly on a simple walk home, with every step, I find myself breathing deeper and my chest expanding. A night drive home turns into a magical gift of presence. All is well and all is right.
Have you ever felt it?
Yet, no matter how high my heart gets tossed, this relationship does not develop into a sexual affair or a decent relationship as if someone would have built an invisible iron fence through which is hard to break.
They come as teachers or as lessons to learn. One makes me fall in love with the city I will one day live, another shows the beauty of the world through his eyes, third gives the new perspective on creativity. Yet, all of them carry a mirror reminding me how wide my smile can be, how light my heart is when spring has sprung inside. They make me feel so young, make me play, turn my walk into skipping and remind me that life is and will be great no matter what.
And as much as I would like anyone of them to be The One, I know they will keep on coming and going even if I am in a relationship.
You see, each of us have three elements of energy – feminine, masculine and child’s energy. So these type of guys I just described, connect to my child’s energy. And I fall for them so strong because I relate to this part of mine as the strongest part of my identity.
By connecting to this energy they elevate it higher. True life happens through me, not to me anymore. I would argue I reach some level of divinity. As the saying goes, children are closer to God.
Yet children love platonically. So that’s where it stays and other relationships emerge where I get to exercise my feminine power through sexuality and through the deep sense of caring and nurturing.
So my conclusion is that we, humans, are complex creations with so many needs. And to expext, someone to fulfill all of these is drive yourself to misery and sadness.
Instead, you can ask yourself:
What are the most important needs I would like my partner to fulfill?
What are my non-negotiable traits in a partner?
What is my language of love? How do I like to receive love – through thoughtful gifts, touch, words of affirmation, acts of service or by spending quality time with my beloved one?
How do I want to express my feelings to the special someone I am with?
How can I give more than I get?
I came a long way to this idea. It took dealing with some social norms, battling with self-judgment to embrace the idea that I am a different kind of modern Cinderella who values love but does not look for it in one form or person. Going through the questions above allowed me to be more conscious in my relationships and made me realize the importance of freedom of expression of love in multiple forms.
You don’t need to follow my lead or change your beliefs. Yet if you take one thing out of my story, is to look through your expectations as it might lead to the greater happiness than you could imagine. As the bright Stephen Hawkings once said “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”