Life, love, and nature are all about balance and maintaining equilibrium.
Light cannot exist without darkness. The definition of darkness itself is the absence of light… or love.
Most plants in nature cannot grow without a solid mix of both night and day, sun and rain. Unless they are my plants, where only the strong survive and it’s either feast or famine. #BadPlantMom
Balancing the masculine and feminine energy – yin and yang.
We cannot have a hero without a villain or vice versa. If there are no villains, our heroes are just good people. If there are no heroes, the villains are just assholes.
The point I am trying to make here is that we can’t have one without the other. Without balance there is chaos.
In a relationship, balance is crucial! One-sided relationships aren’t healthy and will inevitably lead to animosity, jealousy, and anger… and fighting. Lots and lots of fighting.
There needs to be an equal amount of giving and taking between each party, otherwise, things become unbalanced and someone is going to get bitter. Think about it. I’m sure you’ve been in a relationship where you’ve felt like you’ve literally given everything you have to offer and the other person just simply continues to take it without offering anything in return as if it’s nothing. Entitled much?! (Side note and a book recommendation, check out the children’s book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. This is a beautiful book that outlines the damage that can come from a one-sided relationship. It’s one of mine and my kids fave books and makes me cry every single time, even after 15 years of reading it consistently)
If you end up giving more than you’re receiving, you’ll eventually wear yourself out. You’ll wear yourself out and you’ll start harbouring a level of animosity and rage that’s really only possible when you’ve been taken advantage of by someone whom you thought respected you.
Hint. It doesn’t end well.
Balance comes in many forms and looks different in every relationship. People also “give” or provide differently, so this is a good topic of conversation for you and your partner.
A topic that I think gets overlooked and/or avoided in most relationships.
Actually, come to think of it… there are many very important conversations that should be had in the early stages of relationships that likely get pushed aside because:
- you don’t want to have it
- it’s not a priority at the time
- It’s uncomfortable or awkward
- You don’t know how to properly communicate
- You’re afraid of conflict / or losing someone over differing wants/needs
- you’re too busy having all the sex and talking isn’t a priority 😉
But let’s be real… if you’re looking for a life partner, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’re on the same page about major things before making an actual commitment to them for life? It’s true that some people change over time, but are you willing to base years of your life on probability or actual facts?
Kids for example. Not everyone wants them. Not everyone can have them. Have this conversation early so you’re not 10 years in and realizing you both want different things. Not that the 10 years would have been wasted, but if you come to the realization later rather than sooner… chances are someone’s gonna be pissed! Staying in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want kids hoping that one day they will change their mind, is a really bad idea.
Sexual expectations – another great topic for discussion. In the beginning stages of your relationship, you’re likely going at it like bunnies. I hope so anyway, but can you maintain that forever? Some people can, but some people can’t. If you’re the type that has a super high sex drive and wants sex daily, but your partner is a once a week/couple times a month, I can bet big bucks that someone is going to feel like they’re needs aren’t being met. What happens when someone’s needs aren’t being met? They’ll be miserable and/or they will find somewhere else to satisfy those needs. I said what I said. It’s a sad reality, many people stray and cheat because their needs aren’t being met at home and they’re too afraid (aka chicken shit) to have a conversation about it!
Don’t be that person. Have the conversation, Don’t be a cheating douche canoe.
But I digress…
There are many ways to implement and incorporate balance in your relationship. I’ll outline a few that I feel are important, but your list may look entirely different. The important thing here is to make sure you are communicating with your lover so that you are on the same page and know what to expect from one another.
Which leads me to my first point…
This requires that both parties are actively speaking AND listening. An unbalanced conversation looks a lot like nagging to the person on the receiving end. Proper communication involves both parties actively participating and engaging, both contributing to the conversation. If you’re not good at expressing your feelings verbally, let your partner know that. Maybe write a letter or something, or expressive dance? Get the message out and do so in a way that makes it easily understandable by both sides.
As humans, we tend to get comfortable, complacent, and lazy. Once we get comfortable, we start allowing things to slide and can become, well, kinda boring. They say the secret to maintaining a strong healthy relationship is to continue dating your partner, even after you’ve locked them down.
When you are in a relationship, it’s easy to let the fun and adventure fall wayside to resting and binge-watching Netflix. Adulting is hard and chronic fatigue is real. I get it. Keep things exciting by finding that BALANCE of chill and adventure. Adventure doesn’t have to be huge and extravagant each time, but could be a hike or even a sexy, candle-lit bubble bath together… if you have one of those big tubs though, otherwise it’s just uncomfortable. Planning fun things to do outside of the house together is imperative to keeping the spark alive.
it’s ok to disagree on things. You are two unique individuals in a mutual partnership, so this is bound to happen. The key to disagreeing effectively is to not attack the other person and maintain respect on both sides. Agree to disagree is absolutely acceptable in a lot of cases. Have an open mind and don’t be a judgy prick. People are entitled to have their own ideas and opinions, not everyone is going to line up with yours. Accept that and move on. If you are unable to accept that your partner has differing views than you and you refuse to agree to disagree, you are most certainly part of the problem and most definitely an asshole.
Authenticity for the win.
If you are uncomfortable being your true authentic self around your partner, that’s likely a sign that you’re not comfortable in your relationship, or with who you are as a person. In this case, you should really look into seeking some guidance on how to love yourself properly. Both you and your partner should feel fully supported to be yourself. Authenticity will build trust and a solid foundation in your relationship. Think about it… if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not, do you think you’re doing yourself or your partner any favours? Plus, it’s so much easier to maintain if you’re just YOU all the time, no?
It’s not always all about balance in your relationship but also the balance between your relationship and the rest of your life. We talked about this on the radio show that I co-host, NTLoveline (crnc.ca to listen live on Sundays at 9p EST**). Neil referred to this as “married single” but he said it often gets taken advantage of when it becomes one-sided – meaning someone takes advantage of the boundaries, so don’t let that happen. Baaaaalance, yo!! Be you, but respect the fact that you are also in a relationship. So respect your independence, but also respect the fact that your partner likely wants to see you sometimes too.
It’s important to engage in activities outside of your relationship independently. This ensures that each person is able to maintain a solid sense of self. Personally, I’m independent to a fault. I need my time and space on my own or I start to get twitchy. Once I get twitchy, things get cut and if I’m in a relationship with someone… It’s usually them. Like cut from my life, not physically cut, but hey if you’re smothering me then I’m not responsible for what happens when my survival instincts kick in, mmk?
Feeding off the previous point, but at a slightly different angle. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to be glued at the hip 24/7. Take some fucking space for crying out loud. I love you buddy, but I also like missing you so like, go away. Maintaining space is a great way to build love and trust in the relationship and maintain independence. It also ensures you don’t get sick of seeing each other’s faces. Once that starts happening, everything they do gets annoying. For example, breathing. Have you ever listened to someone’s breath and it annoyed you so much you pictured their death? That’s what happens when you spend too much time with someone. I’m pretty sure this is why a lot of married couples I know dislike each other so much. It’s avoidable. Stay single. JOKING! But set healthy boundaries and ensure your partner respects them enough to give you the space you need to be YOU.
I once had a partner that fake-encouraged me to go do my thing (which was yoga), yet I’d go to a class and be inundated with phone calls and messages about when I was going to be home. Keep in mind that he was well aware that classes were an hour long. Seriously bro, get a life. If this is YOU or reminds you of someone… This is a MASSIVE red flag. Don’t do it – seek therapeutic help for your control issues and insecurities. If your partner is doing this to you. Run. I can’t stress this enough. You are absolutely 100% entitled to live your own life outside of your relationship, I mean within reason – providing you’re not out there sleeping with random people behind your partner’s back. Being in a relationship should NOT mean that you have to give up your life, independence, and doing the things that you love – ALONE. Doing things with your partner can be fun and exciting, but make sure you have that BALANCE between independent activities that you love doing and shared activities with your paramour. You will thank me later.
Don’t let ANYONE try to control your life. I say this with enough experience behind me to prove that control issues are a real deal and they can be VERY scary, and can sometimes lead to bigger more traumatic issues. Recognize the signs early and make moves to get out or get help as best and as quickly as you can.
So, in closing, I’d like to ask YOU. What are some key ways to maintain balance in YOUR relationship? Send me a private message (I will always respect your privacy and keep you anonymous (as well as ask your permission) if I use your story). CONTACT ME.
Or, you can follow the Facebook feed on what other people are saying on my page Facebook.com/ModernDating101
That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. I could write a few more pages, but in respecting your attention span, I will keep it relatively short & sweet <3
** NTLoveline – Can’t make the live show Sunday nights at 9p? Don’t worry, it’s hard for me to stay up late enough to record it let alone wait around to listen at home lol #ThisIs30Something.
Catch up on previously recorded episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/neil-tilk