How to have an Authentic Romantic Relationship

As I begin to explore the concept of eventually having an authentic romantic relationship, I am really uncovering where the bulk of the work within romance lies for myself personally and I assume others as well.
Formally, I had constructed this concept of what I needed to be in a relationship based on what hadn’t worked previously in relationships. This construct of who I should be was not only incredibly anxiety-inducing to attempt, it was impossible to achieve.  I was attempting to build a new relationship on the fears of what caused previous attempts at maintaining a romantic connection to fail.  What I suggest myself and others with similar experiences do is build on what works for us personally.

I have heard people say you have to love yourself and be ok being alone before you can have a healthy relationship adnauseum.  While I could appreciate the concept, I admittedly lacked formal understanding of the deeper reasons as to how these were beneficial in actually having a healthy authentic romantic relationship.  What I have gleaned from my own personal experiences are as follows.


How loving yourself helps you attract an Authentic Romantic Relationship

It’s a safe bet to say many people don’t like themselves, let alone love themselves.  What passes for the love of self in this day and age is often varying shades of egomania, narcissism and buying into the illusion of perfection.  In my personal experience, the love of self isn’t found solely in focusing on our strengths or our appearing perfect as this can be incredibly destabilizing when someone shines the illuminating light of reality onto the fact that we have weaknesses and are not perfect.  In my opinion and experience, true love of self is established by recognizing our weaknesses, honestly, acknowledging our mistakes without judgement, accepting our strengths humbly and desiring to exceed our current self-imposed limitations. This ability to look at yourself in totality, strengths, weaknesses, flaws and all is the foundation of authenticity.  If I can’t be real with myself, how can I expect to be real with someone else?

True love of self is expansive and allows new things to take root. This is attractive because we ourselves contain what many people seek in the realm of relationships.  We are emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically self-supporting the majority of the time which invites a significant other to exist independently.  It also allows the energy many couples may spend on constantly circumventing negative situations to explore healthy ways of building an authentic romantic relationship.

How being ok being alone helps you attract an Authentic Romantic Relationship

Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people?  I know I have at times in my life.  Usually, the solution was to take a hostage, not in a literal way of course but in a figurative sense.  If I am perpetually lonely and I find comfort in your presence, guess what, I will want to be with you always.  Which on the surface sounds incredibly endearing to some, I know it did to me at times as well.  The issue with this is, I can’t have an I and you cant have a you, if we never have any life outside of we.  Authentic Romantic Relationships, as I understand them, are about two individuals remaining independent but choosing to spend time with each other.  Many modern relationships are built on the foundation of obligation and worst yet, fear of fallout for independence.  This sense of obligation is the romance killer, the madness maker and the start of a downward spiral.

Authentic romantic relationships are built on the foundation of the previously mentioned true love of self.  If I love me, my life is usually full, I rarely have a dull moment and I actually have to pencil you in because I want to see you.  If we have firmly established plans and you cancel occasionally guess what, it’s cool, my life moves ever forward and I have no end to things I accomplish, even if what I wish to accomplish is nothing but rest and relaxation.  Being ok being alone allows both you and the other person to continue that self-love, regardless if the other person is there or not.  If the relationship doesn’t work ok, you are ok with that as that person is not your lifeline from loneliness and because you already love yourself you can chalk it up as a learning experience without destroying yourself or the other person in the process.

Shedding baggage from past relationships

After you have learned to love yourself, and are now ok with being alone you are ready to face the final thing we need to work on in my opinion and experience, shedding baggage from past relationships.  I find this to be the biggest killer of authentic romantic relationships because of how well hidden and constricting that baggage can be.  In my personal experience, the laundry lists of things I shouldn’t do eventually became close to almost everything.  In order to be in a relationship, I thought I had to be RomeoBot 5000, which led me to run romance optimization sequences in every instance, the issue is from collecting data from every romantic encounter I had ever participated in, I eventually froze with fear due to conflicts to every rule I had established.

The reality is while I may gain some insight into things that didn’t work in previous relationships, I can’t take every comment a past lover said out of anger as a blanket rule for every other person I date.  Maybe this is just me who has done this but I truly doubt I am alone on this one.  If one woman I dated said I talk too much and another not enough, how I do adequately gauge what the proper amount of communication should be on any given day?  The reality is I can’t, every individual is different, this is where I have to learn to shed all the old rules and just chat as much as I feel ok with, it will work for someone.  While relationships are about compromise, It doesn’t mean reconstruct my entire existence to fit into someone else’s concept of who I should be.

Take away from all of this

If I want an authentic romantic relationship, I have to have unconditional acceptance of myself also known as self-love.  I need to be able to have a happy life without someone in it, also known as being ok being alone.  I need to have gotten over all of those hangups from all the previous relationships I have been through or have shed the baggage of my past. If I want to have an authentic romantic relationship I must know myself, accept myself, work on myself and continue to work on myself.

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