There was a song* that proposed just this, back when I was growing up, it was saying in essence, that sometimes, if we can’t be with the one we love, we should love the one we’re with. It might be the best advice ever. I think that at times, more people want to love the person in their imagination, than the one they’re with, and if you think about that, how does that work? We live in an age of nearly instant gratification with internet links just a click away, and with online dating, why, just look at all those people out there, who might just be able to make me happy. When in reality, we have the task in life, to make ourselves happy.
And the other thing is; that we only know so much about all those other people, and to be honest, they’re not really in your life, and trying to live in your head is not very comforting at all. So, how do you love the one you’re with? You might just start by learning to love yourself, by allowing yourself to explore who you are, and how you might make yourself happy, and then, you can allow this space, this freedom, created by being curious instead of judgmental, into the relationships you now have. If your lover isn’t meeting your needs, are you telling them what your needs are? We experience life only one moment at a time, and if you’re wishing for more love, fill your moments with love, one person at a time, start with you.
* Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
For nearly every person, one of our most early experiences is that of being known for our gender. At birth, we are declared either a girl or a boy, and this early identity usually stays with us for all of our lives. Our parents or caregivers, and our culture, from the very start, give us messages about what it means to live our lives as girls and boys, then, women and men. The messages continue throughout our lives, in our families, our friendships, through pop culture and the media. What happens then, in relationship? How do we live our personal identities and our relational identities conforming to gender expectations? Some people are able to more easily identify when gender socialization feels uncomfortable to them, and for others, this plays out unknowingly in their lives and relationships. The more we are able to understand gender socialization, and how this may or may not be affecting our lives, helps us to become aware of the messages that we are seeing around us, and allows us the choice to either affirm or deny their power in our lives.