“In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. If the opposite is true, it is not true love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love
It’s no secret that romantic relationships are complicated. So many of us strive for perfect relationships based on unrealistic standards, or love out of familiar family patterns. We may find ourselves feeling stuck in our relationships – mindlessly living day by day in unhappiness or feeling trapped by our partner’s expectations. With so much relationship advice floating around, how do we find the right tools to cultivate true love in our own lives?
When clients seek me out for relationship guidance, I explain attachment versus detachment. In unhealthy relationships, partners are attached to each other. Partners may be unclear as to what keeps them connected, and might be fearful, jealous, or afraid of being alone. Symptoms might include constant bickering, insecurity, or jealously. Partners may attempt to regulate each other, or project issues onto their partner. Codependency may be the foundation of the relationship.