the antithesis of intimacy
Recently I got to catch a way that I was being a bit controlling in my relationship…to the detriment of the very thing I was actually trying to create.
A while back, I had suggested to Philip that we book out an evening every week for ‘quality time’. We spend a lot of incidental time together, and my intention for this time was that we’d have some actual focused ‘quality time’, which is one of my love languages. Philip agreed to my suggestion, hearing my desire to have deep quality time on a regular basis.
In the coming weeks, we got to see that with changing social schedules, our individual commitments and running two businesses, we were finding the need to re-schedule or skip our quality time commitment quite often.
I started to feel frustrated and worried. I started to feel not prioritised, unwanted and like my needs weren’t important to my partner.
That’s when I caught it.
I had suggested a ‘structure’ – one night a week of quality time booked in advance – to PROTECT myself.
I deeply wanted to feel prioritised, valued and wanted by my partner. I thought that if we had an evening set aside every week, I’d get to feel those things. And, I’d begun to believe that because the STRUCTURE was being challenged, that therefore, the need I was trying to have met through the structure wasn’t important.
Further to that, I wasn’t trusting my partner. I wasn’t really believing that he genuinely prioritises, values and wants me. My fear said: “If we can’t maintain a commitment to a night together every week, what hope have I got of getting my desire for quality time met if we DON’T have a committed time!?”
This created a sense of disappointment in me every time we needed to reschedule, and my partner felt like he was letting me down.
The interesting thing is that on the surface, my upset might look quite reasonable.
Yet, I could feel that something was out. My pain and past were having me believe a story about my partner – AND MY OWN VALUE – that simply isn’t true, and I was trying to control the situation by clinging to the idea that the way to get my desires met was with this specific rule/commitment.
The more I tried to hold onto our agreement, the more contracted I became, the LESS I felt valued, prioritised and wanted, the more I believed an untrue story about my partner’s love for me and my place in his world.
Fark. What a spiral!
One I’m VERY glad I caught.
I spoke to Philip, shared what I’d realised was happening, and promptly deleted all ‘quality time’ commitments from our shared calendar.
I did the work to meet my own fear around surrendering control, and showed up for shifting paradigms to be in a more creative state where I was relating with my circumstances (and my partner and relationship) from inside the belief system “I’m loved, valued and prioritised.”
And guess what happened?
I was no longer tracking whether we were showing up for a specific locked in commitment, there was nothing for my mind to get attached to. I got more creative and forthcoming with suggestions about things I’d love to experience. My partner no longer felt like he was letting me down, and I was no longer believing an untrue story about him, so there was more love moving between us and more motivation from us both to create quality time together.
Since surrendering control and choosing to step into trusting my partner, I’ve experienced SIGNIFICANTLY more of the thing I was trying to get in the first place: quality time, and a feeling of being valued, prioritised and loved. 💕
An important thing to note, is that every relationship is different – for another couple, or even for us at a different time in our lives, the agreement of the same night each week locked in for quality time might work REALLY well. It didn’t for us at this time. What’s really key, is the ability to listen beneath the surface to what’s really going on, have great communication and get creative together about designing a relationship that genuinely works for you.
Can you see ways you’ve tried to protect yourself or get your needs met with patterns of control like this one?