Tuesday 23 Sep 2014
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gina hardy

If you are in a relationship, are you in love or are you with someone who is safe because you can’t bear the thought of being hurt again?

Have you ever had one of those partnerships that bounces your heart about like a beach ball? One that takes you high up on a thrill ride, then plummets you low down, turns your guts inside out and your general well being, hay wire? You feel hooked no matter what you try to do to self rescue. During the bad patches you are all over the place, constantly dragging yourself in and out of la la land. You can’t concentrate and everyone thinks you are losing the plot? Yeah you know the ones I mean..c’mon we’ve all been there. But suffering is growth apparently and we love a dose of suffering eh!

When asked “are you in love?” you say “OMG yes!” But as the months and years go by, the roller coaster wears your nerve endings and sanity thin. Eventually, like a war torn boxer, you are dumped on the floor to pick up the fragile pieces only to slink away to lick your wounds. Getting the familiar picture?

Now an experience like this, depending on the length of willingness to partake of such internal battles, can and does have you saying over a pint or glass of wine with your mates “that won’t ever happen again! I will never trust anyone like that..men/women are bas*ards/biatches!”…blah.

But you do move on at some point, gingerly putting your self-worth back intact. Some of us will get our hair cut, join a gym or go and get an electric beach tan. Anything to feel better, right! I have done it several times. Comical when you look at it because in a way we are prepping our “shop front” for another bash at love at some point. People stop and say “don’t you look well.” Hysterical!

Internally, however, it can be a different scene. Walls can start to build, often unconsciously. Before you know it, you have an invisible sticker on your forehead that says “Don’t come near or I’ll shoot!”

Singledom is great for a while because we often say “phew” thank god for that…but the day WILL come when a need for sex (gentlemen you have needs, I get that!) or connection will drive you out of dinner’s for one. It’s our Divine calling to create intimacy…get over it!

At a point that is divinely planned, the next Mr or Mrs Will You Help Me Heal And Grow”, rocks up. Your radar however has said “no more hell please”. So you find yourself dating Mr/Mrs Safe-Bet. (Don’t you love double barrelled?!)

You met them at a dinner party, or friends have fixed you up with “a great friend who we just can’t understand why they are single” and off you go.

They appear great at first. All the great things that make a lovely take home to mum/dad partner. So what’s the problem I hear you say? Job done!

Well, it is job done IF your heart is in it. But if it isn’t, things can get tricky as time flows by.

 How to recognise a “safe only” relationship

Let’s look at some of the character traits. If you identify with any of these it may be time to connect with the inner truth that’s trying to happen and save yourself and your partner from future delusion.

1)    You may start to kid yourself that this is what you have been looking for when really you chose safe because opening yourself in such a deep and excavating way, “just ain’t gonna happen again!” Love without safety is agony for sure. Been there and got a wardrobe of T-shirts!

2)    You have picked someone whom everyone else thinks would make good marriage or long termer material, so you went with it. Others know what’s best for you ..right ?!

3)    Your romantic / honeymoon stage is a tad mediocre. Your fire is not lit, but you keep trying to light it!

4)    This person, no matter how great they are, just doesn’t rock your world on a deep level.

5)    You don’t feel triggered by anything they say and do because deep inside you don’t really care that much. Sounds cruel to say and often it’s not conscious, but you don’t feel inspired or driven to act otherwise.

6)    You feel apathetic around your partner and don’t feel drawn to helping them through their crumple zones and bad patches, although they may well be in need of your support.

7)    They become needy around you, because they sense you are not into them. Driven by their lack of safety they try to find your love by seeking constant attention and approval from you.

8)    You like what they do for you in terms of providing all the material comforts, like houses, cars and gifts and their lifestyle might impress you into thinking “yeah I’ve made it!” but eventually this wears thin. Donald Trump I am sure, for example, plays the father figure and is totally loaded, but I doubt if any of his embryonic bunny girls, have been genuinely in love with him!

9)    They love you more than life itself. You feel so loved, worshipped and adored but just can’t return the feelings. This is tough because I have seen friends over the months and years trying to return that which just isn’t divinely meant, because they know they would devastate their honey if the truth were spoken. Often to confirm those in this kind of relationship is the mantra “well compared with others we have got so much.” Can’t argue with that really!

10) You have children and you are staying together for their sake, to create safety and nurturing and the roof over their head. This is a really tough one. I can totally get why people do this and not having children, I can’t comment from experience. But a question I would have is…what example of love do you set to your wee ones when they see mum and dad existing for their sake but never see any real love going between their key role models? You know, the hugs, kisses, PDAs (public displays of affection) etc.

11)  And lastly…you just know – intuition is your guiding force so listen!

Now there are caveats to every trait above, but if you or your partner are suffering from “in safe” then something will fire the knowing that may well feel very uncomfortable.

Safety IS a critical factor in a conscious relationship, without a doubt. In order to reveal each other’s growth edge and associated crumple zones, you need to create a safe relational space to help the other reveal and heal from the past. Love without safety is angst ridden and highly destructive on every level eventually.

I woke up to my lack of safety 3 years ago and had a huge AHA! moment. I became aware for probably the first time in my life, that all my actions with previous boyfriends were born out of a desperate need to feel safe. I hadn’t felt safe with Dad or any man in an intimate relationship. I often swore I was in love, but had zero safety. A painful ride for anyone and not advised long term.

So ok love without safety is full of pitfalls but can you be in love and feel safe? Of course and good for you if you have both!

But what I am singling out here are those relationships where one or both people are “in safe” only.

What can you do ?

Well, as with everything in life, it’s a choice. You can stay with a nagging doubt or communicate how you feel. Discussing how you feel will either conclude the relationship to allow both of you to find a new way with someone else which is way more true for each of you or opening the way to allow true feelings can be a catalyst to realising that love is absolutely there, but perhaps not how you assumed it would be within your preconceived mental template.

To demonstrate the latter, a girlfriend I used to work with had a boyfriend at the time, now her husband, who she dated for what seemed like ever. He clearly worshipped her, but it made her very complacent and selfish in many ways. She said jump and he would always try to jump higher than she expected. She was a classic “in safe” victim. She had a deep sense of lack of care because she could do what she liked but her passion flame for him failed to ignite and so she found herself eyeing up other nubile young men thinking the answer lay there.

Her previous relationship portfolio consisted of one very brutal and violent man, who she would have literally died for. And she nearly did, when he hospitalised her finally after a row about the choosing new curtains. Eventually she extracted her heart from psycho man before it was damaged irretrievably only to jump straight into, her now, husbands arms.

She was never safe. She grew up without parents, only caretakers. When Martyn (name changed for obvious reasons) pitched up, he was safety personified.

Cutting a long story short, after heaps of safe years, my friend felt compelled to tell safe man how she felt instead of taking the guy at the gym up on his ever increasing sexual advances.

Martyn was so mature, understanding and loving. She spent the whole night revealing all her deepest darkest secrets and fears to him. The next day at work, a new woman walked in to the office who was radiant and a flush with joy. I thought she had copped off with gym boy but no, Martyn was da man! She had opened a door to him the previous night and realised that love didn’t fit the template she had created. Real love was so much more. They married two months later.

So my dear conscious relationship flag wavers, I guess what I am trying to say is, if you find yourself “in safe” you should really, at some point, address your truth. Conscious relationships are at the very least, deeply truthful.

I help people who come to me with the “in safe” dilemma. I guide them into clarity and enable decisive action. They either both wake up to it fully and take the opportunity to part wholesomely and consciously, enabling a move onto their true hearts desires. Or, the act of bringing it out into the open ignites a spark that begins a whole new chapter in the very same relationship. This time, out of safe only mode into an evolving, intimacy enhancing, “in love” relationship.

There are many reasons why we stay in relationships. “Do what feels right” is always going to be my mantra to you. When something feels off, you know it. Be guided by your divine puppeteer, it always knows where you need to be and when.

Gina Hardy

The purpose of my blog on love and relationships? … Well, my life as a spectator is constantly throwing me a vast array of love topics which propel me, often with great speed to my laptop. I love to write, offering up my perspective in a “me, you” discussion and then I like to offer advice as an “experiencer” first, then an educator, on what maybe happening. It’s then up to you and your innate wisdom to take from it what feels right.

 

Would you do anything for love? And when you find love with another is it enough to have a long lasting and happy relationship?

 

I have experienced many people over the years, myself included, sniffing over another box of man sized tissues while whining “but I love him or her” when a relationship is clearly not going well. The pain in the body and soul is excruciating and yet we chain ourselves to love like Emily Pankhurst. Seems bizarre on some levels but we all do it.

 

Lately, the mantra “love is not enough” keeps playing in my mind and rolling off my tongue to those who want to catch it. I see people in relationships where what they truly want, need or desire is not being wholesomely fulfilled, but they feel this indefinable thing called “love” and it keeps them staying where they are and putting up with less than ok.

 

Katie Hendricks, a renowned relationship expert, said on a recent podcast, we need to know what our 3 “must haves” and 3 “absolute no-no’s” in order to have the relationship that feels good. That was an eye opener for me because I can think of many past relationships where several no-no’s were present and yet I was convinced that loving the person was enough and that love would win over all in the end. Doh!

 

A “must have” for you could be someone who is into spiritual and self development and although I interject here, saying that I don’t necessarily think relationships work when two people are “tooled” up, having someone who has common interests and hobbies may make the relationship easier and better. That’s really it isn’t it. When love is tough more than it’s good, we must look at the elements of why.

 

I know for me the above “must have” is present in my relationship and this common ground we share, deepens our love. A wonderful thing and because my beloved has worked on himself extensively our relationship is all the easier because of it. ( I have too by the way…lol!).

 

Having different backgrounds and upbringings can irk at a relationship as well. My ex-husband and I had completely different upbringings. He grew up with 3 brothers and a mum who had a string of different men and husbands and Neil never felt that love was safe and long lasting. I loved him so very deeply but the differences tore us apart in the end. I believe that you get married for life, but he had experienced several marriages during his parenting and so felt that it was ok to jump in and out of marriages willy nilly.

 

A “must have” for you might be someone without children. If you are childless and you meet someone with children then the dynamics are completely different. They will have daddy and mummy time and you will have to fit in, like it or lump it. If you are not up to it then don’t go and fall in love with someone who has kids, simples! I don’t mean to sound hard but a girlfriend I know has a relationship with a man who is the sole caretaker for his son. She has 2 grown up sons who are not at home and she wants her man and lots of time with him to explore the world and life. A natural desire I feel. It has caused great angst in the past because maybe it is a no no for her deep down and yet it is so not easy because she will have to be a mum to her man’s son in many ways.

 

Distance between you if you live in different parts of the country or the world, will cause angst at some point. Love falters unless you are in the same room for good periods of time because connection is largely based on physical closeness. I once had a boyfriend who lived only 2 hours away but the distance did cause friction. We used to ag over who would go to who’s at the weekend etc. Eventually comes the decision, who is going to move to who? A move is a big decision and the depth and quality of your love comes under the spotlight. Is love really enough when you could be way away from friends, family, work/business and your whole life?

 

People break up over distance problems, the “wrong time in life to meet”, large age gaps,  different upbringings, different cultural backgrounds, different religious/spiritual standings and other things, all the time.

 

How many times have you been in the pub or sat with a group of mates where the hot topic is of a relationship break and they list all the reasons why it didn’t work which often have nothing to do with love? So love wasn’t enough then?! Yes some people will say “we fell out of love” and I really hear that and that’s a subject for another article but generally life consists of many elements that all need to come together nicely for love to feel like it has got fertile ground to flower.

 

So what can you do? Well it’s all about risk mitigation if you are cautious type. I used to oscillate regularly from the cautious type to throwing all caution to the wind. So ouch!

 

Let’s look at this inflated example to get the thought juices flowing. If you meet a man/woman in a bar who is totally gorgeous but they have 4 ex marriages, a string of kids, they live in Timbuktu and regularly sacrifice lambs on an alter and expect you to be circumcised before you have sex, then I guarantee that no matter how hot they are, love won’t be enough in the end. Get my point? But we often choose not to hear the important stuff up front because the lust goggles cloud your vision.

 

To singletons I always say, I know many times you just can’t help who you are attracted to, but throw in a huge dollop of discernment where you can. What I mean by that is stand back and spectate on a prospective mate and see if who they are and what they are about is likely to make love easy or not! It will save you time and heartache. It is a choice.

 

When people start dating the key stuff is usually known up front over a bottle of wine or two. Where they live, have they been married, have they got kids. During the honeymoon stage all this seems irrelevant because you just “wanna to be togever”. But as the chemicals of war kick in the next phase, fondly knows as the friction zone, these things are up for discussion and often argued over.

 

To marrieds and long term daters I would ask…now you know this person you co-habit with, is love enough? Many may say will say yes every time but I am talking to those who may say “errrr no actually.” If you are with someone and life is difficult with your partner/spouse but you “love ‘em” ask yourself if you want to spend your life like this or do you want it easier? Assuming you say yes to that, get talking to your partner, always from a place of “I feel” or “what I really need to feel happy is..” Try not to tell them what wrong with what they are doing. Defence lines build that way. If this is where you are at but feel at a loss to know how to go about communicating your concerns then give me a call.

 

I am always here to offer support and advice and to set the way for a new perhaps renewed path to love or to find a way to say goodbye nicely because love is not enough. I offer a number of ways to help from phone to Skype to 1:1 in person sessions.

 

No-one said you had to put up with and adapt yourself and even prostitute you heart, for love. You can choose more difficult mates by not seeing or not wanting to see what are really absolute no-no’s for you. Making love easy is a choice. What’s it going to be for you?

 

‘Til next time my little love students

 

by Gina Hardy