Relationships Require Learning (and how Youtube helped me)
I have been learning a lot about myself lately. One of the things most important things I learned is that relationships require learning.
Many of us desire so much to be with a significant other, dreaming up the perfect partner or searching for "the one." In our modern world it is hard to imagine being in a relationship without the element of romance.
But I've learned love and romance is not enough.
After my last breakup, I went through the normal stages of breakup that eventually lead to healing (and in the end coming out a better me), but I was still left with questioning myself exactly why, just wtf why, I just couldn't get this relationship thing right.
I was tired of one failed relationship after another and decided that I could not repeat the same patterns or behaviors I had before in the past. I am still human; I crave companionship and affection. Sometimes in my loneliest hours, I cried anguished tears of frustration, wondering if I'd ever be able to find lasting partnership with another.
Yet today I am the happiest I've been in a very long time. As I healed I entered a period of contentment and peace, feeling quite alright with being by myself. I also realized I had a lot to learn about me, and I found that very exciting.
Then shortly afterwards this stage I met a very kind and inspiring man. A man who moved me out of my comfort zone of secure single-dom (because no relationship = no heartbreak). Someone who was emotionally and mentally strong, and who gently scaffolded me into accepting that I was cherished and appreciated for just being me.
He encouraged me that my quest for self-love was the best thing I ever did for myself and illuminated my small victories in his appreciation of me, of us. We talk about everything and anything very openly and communicate on better communicating with one another. We respect one another deeply. I found myself the beginnings of a mature relationship, and I am so excited to see it unfold.
But these things did not just come naturally to us. Both of us have had our share of past pain and heartbreak. However both of us used them as a vehicle towards a better future. We both put in our time in finding our happiness.
Good relationships take practice, skill and knowledge. We only know what we were taught in childhood by our own parents or past experiences, but these are not always reliable resources to learn about relationships.
I want you to know that if you are feeling disheartened about relationships, or perhaps if at this moment you may be feeling there is something wrong with you- don't. Relationships just take a little bit of learning.
So where did I get this education? Well, besides from the many sessions with my awesome therapist (who is part of this practice ) and the guidance from family and friends, Youtube... yes, YOUTUBE videos really provided me with a wealth of knowledge. :D
Here is a list of my favorites videos that taught me about better relationships:
1. For looking inwards, I sought the many beautiful guided meditations by Deepak Chopra. This one below is my favorite. It is so lovely, you're going to love the beautiful music with Deepak's gentle voice guiding you inwards. It helped me visualize the traits of a loving ideal partner.
2. For a realistic and philosophical perspective on love, this lecture by the pessimistically witty, yet lovable, philosopher Alain de Botton really helped me. It helped me to see my own lofty expectations of romantic or idealized love and how they can hurt your relationship. He has a way of guiding you into a way of viewing even the most mundane aspects of love as valuable and potential lessons in virtue. You should also check out the School of Life channel on youtube, Alain being one of its co-founders.
3. Heartbreak hinders healing and growth. Breakups are much like addiction withdrawal. This video helped me get over that sh*t.
4. One important lesson I've learned in love is that one cannot have a fulfilling relationship with another unless you yourself are a whole and happily independent person. This short interview with the beautiful Eartha Kitt inspired me to honor my authentic self and to attract someone who was drawn to just that.
5. The work of intelligent and beautiful Esther Perel helped relieve a lot of my relationship anxiety (although I still have it and am working on it). I am especially afraid that my relationships will inevitably come to an end, due to the fire going out into a hazy smoke. This video gave me great insight into keeping relationships healthy, long-lasting and intimate.
I hope this will aid you in a happier future, with someone sharing in that happier future with you.