When I work with my clients who say they want a relationship but don’t ever seem to be able to find one that works out, I often find that deep down it is because my client is afraid of losing their freedom.
What is freedom in a relationship? Is it doing what we want, when we want? Is doing what we want, when we want, what makes us happy?
One of the wisest things I have learned over the years is that the aim of a relationship is not to make us happy…or sad, it is to teach us how to love, because when we love we feel happy.
Striving to find happiness by getting our needs filled from the outside all the time does not work: have you ever tried to give everything to someone you loved trying to make them happy? Did it ever worked? Have you ever been able to find happiness by having someone giving you everything you wanted? I bet you not.
What makes us happy is to love: When we love we want the best for the person we are with while respecting our needs. And this is why it is called ‘the art of love’.
Love is not selfish, it is giving and caring. Most parents will tell you that the best thing they ever did was having their children. When you have kids you do not do what you want, when you want: you learn to adapt to someone else’s needs and through learning how to love you experience great joy.
When it comes to romantic relationships you are not expected to give up on your life, like when you are a parent to very young children, but if you want to experience true love, you will need to learn to find compromises that please both people: relationships cannot be one sided.
Here is my definition of freedom: it is the ability to listen to our heart (not our emotions) and to be able to take action on our heart’s desires. Since our heart wants us to love, true freedom in a relationship does not come with doing what we want when we want, but in doing what is necessary to be loving and loved.