I just came across this quote by Alain de Botton

Tendencies you complain of in your partner (he’s too weak, she’s too strict, he’s too cold), you have in yourself: own before dumping.

grin686l

It got me thinking. And thoughts similar to these have always made me wonder if there’s literal truth in it.

So what does that mean? Is it to be taken literally?

I don’t think it’s even logically possible to arrive at that conclusion. Because to take it literally would mean that if one’s partner is physically abusive, then even the person themselves are abusive. Or if one is a compulsive cheater, then even the partner is a cheater. But these conclusions do not make any sense. Is an angry person’s partner also angry? Is a cold person’s love-interest cold too? So then all people who are more similar to each other than different from each other, would face more relationship troubles. Because by this logic, only a non-affectionate person would complain about a non-affectionate partner, only a disrespectful, abusive, judgmental person would complain about a disrespectful, abusive, judgmental partner. But truth is that we see far too many examples of couples being radically different from each other and yet facing very grave relationship problems.

I am a big fan and believer of the Law of Attraction and it says

That which is like unto itself, is drawn.

And the answer lies here. What one focuses on with thought and emotion, manifests. Simple.

There’s someone I know whose relationships have been quite tumultuous to say the least. And all of their relationships ultimately broke because they got cheated on. It was like a pattern. They were wonderful in the beginning and then they all headed the same way. What went wrong? Well, I’d think that when we begin to expect certain outcomes from our relationships, whether because of our insecurities or very strong past experiences, we focus on these outcomes(which haven’t yet manifest) by dwelling on the past and allowing all these overwhelming feelings to well up and then similar situations start lining up again and again. Also as far as complaints about our partner go, they are our complaints to our own self. For example, I had a partner who would call me ugly. Really. Not even masking it. The word was UGLY. I laugh over it now. But at that time it felt terrible. In retrospect I feel that I didn’t believe I was good-looking to start with and I kind of attracted that behaviour from them. I am in no way justifying what they did! But I am specially mentioning this because, after this relationship ended(I ended it), I joined a gym, got in shape, felt genuinely good about myself, got around to being an awesome musician etc. And then the next partner I dated was wonderful! They made me feel like the sexiest thing on two legs. I felt sexy, confident, like I could take on an entire room. It’s not like I turned into a swan overnight! I changed how I felt about myself and therefore I saw that change in my partner as well. In fact my partner thought that I looked hot even with a toothbrush dangling from the corner of my mouth!

This sort of explanation makes the most sense to me. I can say this much with guarantee that if your better-half(or worse-half) treats you less than right, it’s perhaps because you’re not expecting to be treated just right as well. So, yeah that’s kind of your work to do; to work on your self-worth, self-love, decide what you want from life, decide that you deserve it. That’s the work.

Advertisements