What Your Dissatisfying Relationships Are Telling You

Shelly Bullard is one of my favorite writers at MindBodyGreen. Today she has an article written directly at me [as if she was reading my email!] that I want to share with you:

Are you seeking a relationship that will make you feel complete?

Have you been searching for love but all of your experiences seem to fall short?

Do you get excited, thinking you found “the one,” only to feel dissatisfied again shortly after the high wears off?

If so, you are reading the right article.

This is a very common experience. It’s easy to feel jaded about love if you’ve had enough experiences that haven’t turned out the way you want.

Luckily, there is a reason this keeps happening. Believe it or not, you are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The relationship you are really looking for is one with YOURSELF.

I know, you may not believe me at first. You may think that you already have the best possible relationship you can have with yourself.

However if you are constantly up against feelings such as “something is missing,” or “this isn’t good enough,” or “I’m not satisfied,” then it’s a good indication that it’s time to really start tending to the most important relationship in your life–the one you have with you.

When we don’t feel satisfied within, we project the feelings of inadequacy onto our partners and other aspects of our life. The real truth is, if it feels like something is missing in your life, then it’s probably you (thank you Robert Holden for this life-changing lesson).

Here is what is going on in this oh-so common pattern: When you seek completion (meaning you are looking to feel good about yourself–to feel at peace, in love, and whole) outside of yourself, it implies that you feel incomplete to begin with.

Unfortunately this feeling of incompletion (that lives in you) is going to follow you into whatever situation you make your way into.

Sure, when you fall in love you are going to get a glimpse of completion and love that is so divine.

But, if what drove you into the relationship in the first place was to overcome a sense of feeling incomplete, you will find that soon enough you will begin to feel incomplete within the relationship, too.

Other people don’t complete us. Only You complete You.

I know many of us have heard this before and that, in theory, we believe that it is true. But the trouble is we don’t do anything about this truth!

We keep repeating the same pattern over and over again–looking for love, for completion, for a sense of inner peace by acquiring things (especially people) outside of us.

Unfortunately nothing on the outside can ultimately change the way you feel on the inside.

This isn’t to say that relationships don’t serve a purpose. This is not true. They serve the ultimate purpose–for us to feel love.

But there are very different qualities in the type of love you feel if you are trying to complete yourself with someone else versus the type of love you feel when you are showing up to join, share, and co-create with another.

In the first relationship, you are going to feel preoccupied with everything that is missing–with all that you are not getting from the other person.

In the second, you are going to feel much more freedom to just relax and freely give your love away.

You can feel deeply satisfied in relationships with other people. In fact, you are supposed to. But (and this is a big BUT) YOU have to get right with YOU first.

I came across this quote the other day by Suzanne Falter-Barnes, and she sums it up perfectly. Here is what she said:

“There is no relationship pure enough, pristine enough, sublime enough, romantic enough, beautiful enough, fulfilling enough, spiritually attuned enough to overcome the despair you will feel when you are not connected to who you are–when you are not connected to your own heart and soul.”

For your life to feel full, YOU must feel full. For your relationships to feel satisfying, YOU must feel satisfied. Soul, depth, heart, and love all come from within. And when you tap into these parts of yourself, you start to feel them all around you.

When you feel disconnected from you, you feel disconnected from everyone around you too. This is just how it works.

So what can you do? Stop looking for the answer outside of yourself–it’s not there.

You can’t control other people. You can’t expect someone to behave in a way that feels good to you all the time. You can’t get another person’s attention 100% of the time. You can’t get a stream of pure positive love from another person all the time. You can’t.

But, you can give yourself these things. You can connect into your own heart. You can live out your desires. You can be true to who you really are, and feel fullness from within. You can live your life with depth, purpose, meaning and soul. All these things you can do. And you must, if you really want to live a life filled with joy and love.

You are who you are looking for. It’s You. Just you.

If your life doesn’t feel satisfying enough–if your relationships are falling short–stop looking for the answer on the outside and go within.

Connect into yourself. Find yourself. Be true to yourself. And when you do, you will find that the love you have been looking for has been with you all along, and that it’s here to stay.” What Your Dissatisfying Relationships Are Telling You.

Over 30 years ago, Dr. Charles Alcorn summed it upfor me like this: Don’t look without for that which you should find within”. I heard the wisdom of his words but but was unable to implement it; only now am I entering into a fulfilling relationship with my Self through Celebrate Recovery and the help of my sponsors and accountability partners. It’s not easy but it is simple and it makes all the difference in the world…

11 thoughts on “What Your Dissatisfying Relationships Are Telling You

    1. I wish I could say it’s mine, but all I did was find and share it. It may be one of the best things I’ve read this year, but I’m prone to hyperbole…


  1. I knew this yet I didn’t know this.;) I love the Suzanne Falter-Barnes quote. I will include this piece via Todd Lohenry in my blog post Go Lightly Even If You Feel Deeply. Well written and perfect timing for me. Thank you.


      1. Oooh I love that too! Thank you for sharing. It feels so selfish to say you put loving yourself first but I know the truth is you can’t truly love another without feeling complete in your own soul. You have to be able to give love and we can’t do that if we are short on love for ourselves.


      2. Agreed. Even the Christian Bible says ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself’. It follows that you won’t be able to love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself, right?


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