“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: If there is any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Jung
When I think about romance, I think of two kinds of relationships. The opposite attracts and kindred spirit relationships. The former is the classic and the one we are taught to aspire to as kids. This couple is made up of two opposites, centered around the passion and attraction that causes mystery. We are curious and drawn to other beings because of their dissimilarities to ourselves. It makes sense to be fascinated by our counterparts, and we can learn a lot by hanging out with our polar opposite. Not to mention the biological sense behind falling in love with someone physically different from us to have happy, healthy, genetically mixed babies with if this is your thing. No, there won’t be a second baby for me.
My romance of choice is the latter, though. For the last couple of months, I have been in love with my kindred spirit. I am sure this type of relationship has been around for as long as the opposite attracts version, but it seems to be going through a renaissance. In a society where feminism is becoming mainstream, and where equality is slowly starting to be valued over tradition, a new type of relationship goal is natural.
For those of us who care very little about tradition and gender, and a lot more about self-realization and freedom of societal demands, a romance is less about who opens the door for whom and who picks up the check on a date. Instead, it is more about being heard and seen and encouraged and wanted. In all departments. For who you are. Not for the typical properties of your gender. To be honest, I never want to be treated as The Woman of the relationship. I want to be treated as Daniela – an equal. And when I look at my partner, I don’t see The Man. I see my soulmate. I see a person I am passionately in love with. I couldn’t care less about his masculinity. After years and years of dating and being in relationships and marriages, I wonder what that could possibly have to do with anything at all.
When I look at my partner, I instead see my teammate and my coach. My manager and best friend, my personal trainer, and my inspiration. I see someone who got my back and makes me feel courageous. I see a capable, beautiful, fascinating human being whom I cannot get enough of, but sometimes get fed up with, too.
This type of relationship might not be for everyone, but it works for us. We might be two people, but we share our life. We get on each other’s nerves, argue, and make up together. And I think this is why I am passionately in love with him. Because of what we have already done together, and the potential of what we will do together in the future.
What works for us:
- We ask questions: all of them, even the tough ones. And then we listen attentively.
- Dress up for each other. Go out on dates.
- We go for long walks, reconnect, look at things together. Sometimes that is all it takes.
- We surprise each other. Physical things such as flowers, little gifts, or spontaneous trips.
- We support each other’s evolvement, even if it is sometimes scary.
- We laugh at each other’s jokes. Even the lame ones. I am a pretty funny Piefke.
- We start projects together.
- We read books together. Read to each other. Talk about what we read.
- We respect the classics: honesty, loyalty, trust, and adoration.
- We have a kitchen-session. We have a glass of wine and talk. And cook. And eat.
- We are generous. With time, with money, with matters of the heart.
- We want to conquer the world together.
- We don’t fear change.
- We have the same rhythm.
Life is too short for toxic relationships. It is time to leave when you exhaust yourself to no avail. Or even worse, when the person who claims to love you treats you with outright unkindness and disrespect. It is NOT normal to feel drained, sad, angry, hopeless, or live in fear when being in a relationship. We are also taught to never give up on love, but what about when love gives up on us or if it never was love, to begin with? I want to focus on things that give me energy instead of drain it, things that give me happiness instead of worry, things that give my everyday life beauty and meaning instead of tension and anxiety.
I am by no means a relationship “expert” and I am walking on thin ice here. But I could assure you that I am not suggesting something as drastic as breaking up or letting a toxic relationship fade out if your partner does not meet at least some of the points listed above. But then again, maybe I am. Actually, yes I am.