Reality Marriage

Love is an important factor when deciding on a partner but, honestly, it does not conquer all. If that were true the statistics wouldn’t look so grim. According to the American Psychological Association, over half of first-time marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce. This bears the question: What’s going wrong here? It has been polled that the top reasons for these failures are 1. Getting in for the wrong reasons, 2. Lack of individual identity, and 3. Becoming lost in roles. However, we’ve known this for a while which bears the next questions: why do we keep getting married? And when we do, how do we keep screwing it up? My theory is that people are actually marrying an idea, not a person.

Over a month ago, I married the man I consider my best friend – corny, I know – but it has not always been easy. In fact, most days are not but every hardship is totally worth the growth that occurs afterwards. The thing about our relationship is that it was like so many that fail, entered into with a crap-ton of baggage and riddled with terrible communication. We cohabited for 4 years before we decided to get engaged and an additional year before we actually got hitched. Today, I never want to know a life without my husband but things weren’t always so smooth. We’ve done many things that nearly screwed our chances into a statistical demise yet somehow we not only survived but are thriving together. This may sound rather presumptuous given the odds against us. After all, couples who co-habitate before marriage are over 30% more likely to face divorce, my marriage is still pretty fresh, and we’re under 30. What makes me certain was not always so but eventually came to be. What is it you ask? The answer is complex yet simple: Realism.

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It is common that realism is regarded as synonymous with pessimism but I couldn’t disagree more. Realism is about likelihoods which has varying degrees dictated by  certain factors and what is realistic for one may not be so for another. Is it really possible to have a problem-free marriage over decades and remain in love? Perhaps but not likely. Can you really make a relationship work for the long haul under unfortunate circumstances? Absolutely! It’s quite obvious what the differences are when listening to the stories of more seasoned married couples. The successful ones are almost always rooted in realistic values and there are steps a couple must take to achieve this; a big one being the ability to move forward anew.

Realistically, no relationship has a future when stifled by the past. This means digging deep to ask and answer hard questions about our identity for ourselves and each other. We must learn to forgive offenders and let go of preconceived expectations of what the relationship is supposed to be. These perceptions are usually formulated by our need to control things as we wish to avoid pain we’ve experienced before or to live up to some false narrative. Although we may learn to draw healthy boundaries when we are honest about who we are what we want, we cannot expect anyone to fill out voids. We can only do that for ourselves. Otherwise, we will only notice their shortcomings and remain incomplete regardless of our relationships status. We must come to grips with our weaknesses and strive for improvement – notice I did not say perfection.

Truth is, life is messy, love is messy and problems are inevitable at one point or another. However, we greatly improve our chances when we know ourselves well enough to make choices in our truth. This allows us to enter into partnerships well-informed so that when hardships do occur, we realize them as opportunities for growth instead of resorting to shame, blame, and self-pity. And to be true with yourself and the ones you love, what’s more real than that?

Loving an Awkward Aries

Aries are known for being selective in partnership and when we love we go hard. This is both beneficial and problematic. On one hand, we dedicate ourselves to our chosen ones and put in great work towards success. On the other hand, we have a tendency to go overboard and become quite jealous. Being awkward only complicates this further.

I recall quite a few cases growing up in which I dedicated much energy and focus on a particular person my heart became set on even though my love was unrequited. Deep within myself, I knew I could be the perfect romantic partner to whoever would choose me and I was not always smooth about getting that point across. Aries are also very bold and upfront and on good days that meant no shame about my unusual nature. Indeed, I made plenty of friends who were drawn to my quirkiness and devotion but committed romance was a little harder to come by.

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Aries can also be known for appearing very selfish. I actually resent this stereotype mostly because I do not believe my demand for excellence is a negative, especially when I demand it from myself. It can be quite frustrating being in love or even friends with someone who will not meet you half way, especially since we are also notorious for getting turned off pretty quickly. I certainly consider myself a giver in most circumstances but it can only be one-sided before we start moving on to the next (or just back to ourselves).

If you love an Aries, please understand that our alone time is necessary for our well-being and not always has to do with how we feel about who we are with. Being heard and understood is important to us and if we feel that is lacking we are quick to become hermits or total assholes. There were times I didn’t think my fiance and I would make it for as much as we’d fall out about this but our growth took effort on both ends. I had to ease up on my love for being secluded and he had to listen more. Don’t feel bad if you and your Aries are still working this out, this work is never done (lol).

Lastly, any lover of a mature Aries – yes, even an awkward one – will need thick skin. We require a great deal of patience from our lovers. Although often not our intention, we may say things that can hurt feelings when we’re only acting out of honesty. I cannot count how many times my mouth has gotten me into trouble when I was only speaking my mind (we really don’t mean any harm). Just remember our actions are as loud as our words and whatever our intentions are, a mature Aries will not leave you guessing.

If you find a good one, I promise no one will love and challenge you more.

Lost In Translation, Found in Acceptance

My fiancé and I  speak different languages. Yes, we are both American-born and speak proper English (sometimes) but we do not always understand each other. For one, there that whole “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” thing. Also, it doesn’t help that he’s a Leo and I’m an Aries (I’m sure my fellow astrologers understand). This drove me up the [bleepin’] wall, especially at the beginning of our relationship. In fact, communication was so much of an issue that we faced parting ways several times because we felt like the other person just didn’t get it.

Thankfully, our relationship survived and it is better than it has ever been. Don’t get me wrong, we still disagree. Even now, we often debate on how to go about things and on important topics like whether or not Voldemort is no more a villain than Dumbledore is (crucial, right?). However, we have found happiness in our disagreements.

Much of our earlier frustrations stemmed from the need to control. Like many couples, we entered our relationship with baggage and was looking for the other person to fill in the gaps. This didn’t leave a lot of room for us to be ourselves with one another. I was always correcting him and he was always scoffing at me. We ended up spending too much time and energy trying to convince.

A turning point happened for us at our rock bottom when we actually learned something from being fed up with each other. It was exactly what we should have been doing in the first damn place: let the other person be. I finally got to a point where I don’t get angry every time he says something illogical. Instead of arguing, I nonchalantly tell him “You know that makes no sense, right?” and he usually replies with “Yea, I know, I just wanted to say something crazy” and we both giggle it off. I choose to see the humor in his nonsense. I’m mean what else can you do when you love a Leo man? (lol)

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He, on the other hand, started to take me more seriously. I was all for jokes but my Love has an annoying habit of ruining serious moments with inappropriate insertions of humor because they make him uncomfortable. He also loves to take the reins of leadership which is great if I’m not already in the midst of leading. In time, he learned how to let me run things my in my own fashion and how to let serious moments be just that.

In short, he started to listen more and I lightened up. Essentially, we are the same couple and we still speak different languages on most days but our acceptance of one another allows us to find common ground and understanding. Now, there is no one else I’d rather talk to.

No Greater

I never have too much to say until I reach you.

You allow my out-pour without demand or condition.

You soak in my past lives and my present. You are my gift.

You hear me with your soul, not your earthly perceptions.

My soul reached out and you embraced it without question.

You fueled me, you calmed me. You put me first.

You gave me a chance to be selfish without judgement.

I cringe at the memories in which I forgot you but you forgave me and let me find myself.

You forgave me and let me fly.

I’ve never known a greater love.

If You Can’t Love Yo’ Self …

Once upon a time, I was a victim of the sad and lonely. I didn’t have a line of prospective baes lined around the block for me and Valentine’s Day bummed me out big time. Even the romantic semi-relationships I had between grade school and college were no cause for envy. Somehow, V-Day does not hold the same power over me that it once did. How’d that happen?

One could argue that it’s because I’m currently happily engaged. However, the truth is that it has nothing to do with it. My guy does not go all out for Valentine’s Day and I’ve heard many a story of couples breaking up over a lack “WOW” put into its preparation. Of course, he and I are all for celebrating our love. We just don’t need a designated day to do it. We make our feelings known to each other daily – the good and the bad.

So where was the transition for me?

It came when I decided to love myself unconditionally. Sounds corny right? Well, in the words of Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder, “Doesn’t make it not true.” I’ve learned not to allow my relationship status to dictate my happiness. I enjoy my alone time and appreciate my personal space. I also appreciate those who enhance my space by adding light and love to it. That is the type of love I care most about.

The love that matters to me is not commercialized or on sale. It does not come at its best one day a year. It’s around me constantly because I bring it to me from within.

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I will not lie and say that if my guy left me tomorrow I would not be sad. Surely, I’d miss him quite a bit. However, my desire for companionship would no longer wane my feelings about myself. I would simply chuck it up to him having given me all he could. In fact, I give him credit for helping me discover this intense love for myself.

Believe it or not, everyone around you encourages you to love yourself be it in the best or worst of ways. Maybe a foul attitude reminds you of what it means to be patient with yourself and others. Maybe a random act of kindness inspires you to get out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is, pay attention to the signs!

When I developed a higher level of loving-kindness for my Self, I started caring less about superficial expressions. I realized my lonely days were teaching me to be content with being alone which, in turn, taught me how to be better in the company of others. Joys in life became less about the effort someone put into making a holiday special or, in this case, even romantic partnership. It’s more about the love I receive from friends and family. When they fall short, it’s about the love I can keep showing my Self.

Namaste.

 

 

Three Ways Your Online Presence Indicates You’re Not Ready for a Relationship

If you spend a good amount of time on social media you will more than likely come across a significant number of posts romantic in nature. Maybe some of your online friends are yearning for relationships or expressing their feelings about a bitter break-up or negative thoughts about the opposite sex (or whoever they’re in to). Often these people will go into great detail about their romantic status or current opinions about love be it good or bad. They may even attack a dating pool they find at fault for why relationships fail. In truth, I’ve always found these posts cringe-worthy and not just because of the intimate oversharing. The unconscious subtext of these posts tend to tell a great deal about the maturity level of the author which appears unsuitable for the committed relationship they so desperately seem to desire. Here’s why:

1. Lack of discretion.

No relationship is perfect under the best circumstances. When private matters are publicised there is an added stress factor that many relationships do not survive, as we’ve seen time again with celebrities. While we all are free to choose how to manage our lives in any aspect, whenever we present divisive details to outsiders, we open the door for interjection and interference. These outside opinions influence us and may even trigger thoughts and feelings that don’t allow us to properly heal and forgive the mistakes of our lovers or even ourselves. These types of posts may also be misrepresenting us to potential partners. You may be shooting yourself in the foot by revealing so much before someone really gets to know you. These outbursts can be a turn-off or a set up for the exact opposite of what you want.

2. Lack of mindfulness.

The Law of Attraction tells us that if we do not make room for what we want it is less likely to come to us. The same goes for romance. Although no two relationships are the same, all romantic partnerships require a certain level of discipline to function well. If your online presence is primarily composed of your weekly club hopping ventures and drug money stash, you may not attract that wholesome partner seeking loyalty and companionship. On the flip side, if you’re the type to emphasize your loneliness, you will likely attract someone who will prey on victim behavior and take advantage of you.

3. Not taking accountability.

The most common posts I run into are often the type that points fingers. Whenever we experience more than one disappointment of a similar sort, we tend to want to blame those who disappointed us and not ourselves. Indeed, others may have some responsibility in whatever may have gone wrong; however, it is wise to take responsibility for the parts we play in the experience of others and our own. We must keep in mind that we chose our lovers, we chose what we put up with and how long we put up with it. From this, we can grow and bring what we’ve learned to our next relationships.

In a nutshell, whatever messages you are putting out into the Universe, you are receiving a response for it. The same rules apply for the internet and romantic attractions. If it seems you’re not attracting what you claim to desire, chances are it’s time for some introspection and a revamping of how you present yourself. You might be surprised at how much of your happenstances are a reflection of you. Namaste!