Something Beautiful Part 2 – My Unfolding and Learning to Be All of Me in a Relationship with a Man

by Johanna Smith, Perth WA

It just so happens that since initially writing Blog Part 1… a man came into my life. We initially enjoyed a short but fairly committed and serious relationship.

We came from different backgrounds  so at times there was a language and cultural barrier. Also, how we had been raised since childhood, and all the ideals and beliefs we used to get us through life came between us at times. These would show themselves as ‘issues’ that we could both see as something to work through.

I found this man to be open to the way I treat myself and the way I have today chosen to live – with care, respect, tenderness and love for myself. I found him to be gentle with me, understanding, simple, caring, considerate and supportive – with the ability to sit and talk with me, and listen… but most of all I found him to have been willing. Willing to work on a relationship which was more honest and true (a true relationship) to that which he and I had experienced before in our independent pasts. And we both had to work out what that was along the way for us. For me, it had been (and still today is) ‘me being all of me in a relationship’ – (something which continues to unfold in discovering how that actually looks and feels on a practical level, with all the daily activities such as work, chores, kids etc.).

While he was with me, he was there, without any part of him wanting to give up on the potential of a loving (and true) relationship. He allowed space for ‘us time’ in our relationship, whilst at the same time was mindful of the space and time I had needed to have for myself, and also with just my daughter. He knew how important each was.

After being in this relationship for a little while I started to notice and feel more of the dynamics of how I had chosen to be in all past relationships: I saw the patterns, ideals, beliefs that we as partners use to stop us from being our true selves –  which ultimately stops us from being love with each other (until we had at that time addressed them). I was also able to see and reflect on: just how much I actually had chosen to ignore, numb and disregard myself during past relationships (I could see where I had accepted things or behaviours as being OK, knowing deep down they were not. And where I had become complacent as a partner, allowing such things to slide unexpressed, and sometimes unnoticed).

Reflecting on these issues and patterns (in regards to my recent relationship), they seemed like a much milder version of what I had experienced in the past, but they were, nonetheless, still quite big when I allowed myself to feel the issue as a whole – and its root (sometimes my original hurt went as far back as a very little girl). However, I can see today how I have been repeating those patterns over and over again…

So now speaking from my part – knowing that these issues have been present throughout all of my relationships, I have and am being given an opportunity today to really look and deal with them honestly.

At times this can feel a little overwhelming, and I catch myself for instance, over-eating (to numb what I am really feeling), or perhaps eating something I know that does not agree (i.e. bloats me or reacts) with my body. But now I have the awareness to stop and ask myself, “why?”, or “what am I doing?” and, “what choices will I make next?”.

To me it is actually really sad just how much unresolved issues can play out between two people – interfering with them being love with themselves and also being love with each other…

So, towards the end of this recent relationship I could feel an ‘uneasiness’ in me. And after a while, I realised that it was because I still had a few things to deal with myself: I had been holding onto an agenda or ideal picture (the exact same as I’ve done in the past) as to what a, and therefore our, ‘relationship of truth’ should look like and be. And I could see (then) how this projection of an ‘ideal’ was only colouring or tainting my commitment to him as a potential partner: tainting our connection and thus our relationship.

So, with this honesty I felt the true and loving thing to do was to focus on our relationship being friendship for the time being. And the beautiful thing is I could feel his understanding in this, and his genuine love for me.

So very recently my friend (i.e. my former and ex-partner) and I spent some time together with no pressure, being honest about how we felt and what was happening and had happened between us. We enjoyed our time together – walking, eating, laughing and chatting in a very playful and childlike way. It felt amazing! And I could feel that the previous hidden agenda I was running before was no longer there: that present was just a ‘pure love’ between us. I then said to myself – “this is what Love is!” and “Johanna! if this is what love is, then why can’t you have this in a relationship all of the time with a man – this man?!”.

I sat with my questions for a couple of days and then asked my friend (!) if he would like to re-commence our relationship as partners!

So at the moment… I can say that I am working on honesty and Love being a focus in all of my relationships (including with my now partner), and taking responsibility for how I express myself both in words and in actions.

I am forever learning…

Part 1: Something Beautiful Part 1 – My Unfolding and Being All of Me with a Man

132 thoughts on “Something Beautiful Part 2 – My Unfolding and Learning to Be All of Me in a Relationship with a Man

  1. Building a relationship of love with yourself is the foundation of loving relationships with others.

  2. I always love reading your blogs, Johanna. They feel very real, accessible and inspiring for me. I can see myself in your own experience and learn from it. I realise now how important it is to share those experiences with each other as they help us to grow and confirm what we all know and feel that works or not in a relationship. We can learn from others about their process, difficulties, keys, … and this is very enriching

  3. It is so revealing that the expectations of what a relationship should look like created a heaviness that was not there when you choose to meet as friends allowing you to reconnect to the opportunity of having a true relationship without a hidden agenda.

  4. I have made honesty my norm in my relationship with my husband in that when I sense something that doesn’t feel right I express it. There is not one ounce of holding back, hiding or withdrawing. I can talk about and ask questions about anything as I feel very open and transparent. It is a relationship that I can sense I am deepening through the commitment to myself.

  5. One of the many reasons to let go of our ideals and beliefs, ‘how we had been raised since childhood, and all the ideals and beliefs we used to get us through life came between us at times. These would show themselves as ‘issues’ that we could both see as something to work through.’

  6. Any expectations or pictures of how the relationship should be or what I or the other should do creates a lot of tension between us. Unresolved issues also taint the relationship. I am learning that a true relationship requires a commitment to not have these between us. When they aren’t they relationships can be really awesome.

  7. I find the pictures I have had of how a relationship should be stiffles the connection I have with another, it places an expectation that even if un said is felt. It is not surprising that in this expectation many men will react and run!

  8. I like your point about how if you have an issue that surfaces with one person it’s actually in all our relationships, I think sometimes we like to place the blame on a particular relationship rather than looking at our part and not seeing it as a problem but as something that needs focus and to be worked on.

  9. I’m recently realising the complications that I’ve created in the past by resisting love and wanting to control the result of my relationships. Now I realise that I don’t have to do anything in particular, but surrender in the truth that I feel within me, taking care of the love within me for it to be the reflection that will come in every step I take.
    When I embrace love into my life, then it expands in everything and everyone I relate with.

  10. Love is there all the time. It’s us who allow it to be expressed or who interfere with our ideals and pictures.

  11. It is amazing how we get in our own way of having truly loving relationships and what is so inspiring about your blogs is your openness to seeing how your pictures of what a relationship should be have tainted your past relationships and your absolute commitment to exploring how this can be re-imprinted. Would love to have an update about how this has unfolded since.

  12. Johanna, this is such a beautiful read. The pictures we have of what a true relationship is and what intimacy is are quite insidious and noticeable when you stop look and consider the ways we are with ourselves and others in our relationship. I’m noticing just now that I had an ideal about where I thought a relationship would go and was disappointed when it was different, but now I’m finding that it’s not about what I think but about accepting what is there, addressing my own pictures and allowing myself to be open no matter what, a big learning right now.

  13. When relationships are built on honesty and love, there is a foundation that then keeps on growing as the relationship evolves, and there are no pictures or expectations when we take one day at a time.

  14. Letting go of our ideals and pictures of how we think things ‘should’ be is an important step in building our relationships. ‘And I could see (then) how this projection of an ‘ideal’ was only colouring or tainting my commitment to him as a potential partner: tainting our connection and thus our relationship.’

    1. They either fail which can be self fulling if we expect it to fail. It can never come at all, waiting for someone to change their behaviour for example. Or it can be everything we ever dreamed but it’ll feel empty and unfulfilling. Basically having pictures always have terrible endings.

  15. So very true for how can there be true love at night if there is no true love in the day! We cannot separate the two for when we make love in the day and I don’t mean physically but how we are with one another in our every movement, we make love at night.

  16. Where there’s a willingness from both parties to work on a relationship then anything’s possible. I have come to realise that if my husband had not been willing and continues to do so to look at our relationship to bring a deepening of our love for each other I would not have continued with the relationship and this had to come with a livingness and not from knowledge.

  17. In a relationship especially under a commitment to love honesty and openly allowing what is there to unfold and be all that love is will form a beautiful flowering 🌺 of what and how that love will manifest. It is probably one of the most joyous acts to commit to – love in fullness of activity as you know it to be.

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