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Qualities of a Conscious Relationship

By Shelly Bullard on Tuesday October 4th, 2016

Potent Secrets for a More Aware Partnership

Love, ultimately, is a practice. A practice of acceptance, being present, forgiveness, and stretching your heart into vulnerable territories.

We are approaching a period of time when relationships are ready to go through a major redesign. The current paradigm isn’t working. People are unsatisfied in love; people don’t know how to make relationships work.

And, believe it or not, this isn’t a bad thing. Because when systems break-down, that’s when they change. I believe that’s what’s happening in the area of intimate partnership. The break-down is forcing us to move towards conscious love.

Preparing ourselves for a conscious relationshipPreparing ourselves for a conscious relationship

So What Exactly is a Conscious Relationship?

It’s a romantic relationship in which both partners feel committed to a sense of purpose, and that purpose is growth. Individual growth. Collective growth as a couple. Growth that makes the world a better place.

As of now, most people get into relationships to satisfy their own personal needs. This might work for a few years but eventually, the relationship fails us, and we end up unsatisfied as a result.

But when two people come together with the intention of growth, the relationship strives towards something much greater than gratification. The partnership becomes a journey of evolution, and the two individuals have an opportunity to expand more than they could alone. Deep satisfaction and long-term fulfillment arise as a result.

Shared purposeThe importance of having a shared purpose.

So if you’re someone who feels called to take your experience of romantic love to the next level, below are four qualities that characterize what being a conscious couple is all about. Welcome to the path of the conscious relationship. This is next-level love…

1. The Conscious Couple is not Attached to the Outcome of the Relationship – Growth Comes First

Not being attached to the outcome of the relationship does not mean you don’t care what happens! It also doesn’t mean that you don’t have fantasies about how the relationship will turn out.

What it means is: you’re more committed to the experience of growth than you are to making the relationship ‘work.’

Committed to growth over outcomeCommitment to growth over outcome.

The reality is, we’re here to grow. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When growth stops, we automatically feel like something’s gone wrong. Because it has. Without growth, we aren’t fulfilling our soul’s purpose.

Unfortunately, relationships today tend to stifle growth more than enhance it. This is one of the main reasons we’re failing at romantic love.

We want our partners to act in a certain way, we repress ourselves to please to others, and soon enough, we feel small, oppressed and puzzled about who we’ve become. This, inevitably, makes the relationship feel like a cage that we want to break out of. But the unfortunate truth is: we’ve caged ourselves.

Don't lose yourself in the relationshipDon’t lose yourself in the relationship.

The conscious couple values growth more than anything else because they know this is the secret to keeping the relationship alive. Even though growth is scary (because it takes us into the unknown), the couple is willing to strive towards expansion, even at the risk of out-growing the relationship. Because of this, the relationship maintains a natural feeling of aliveness, and love between the couple does, too.

2. Each Person in the Relationship is Committed to Owning their S#*t

Conscious couples know that we all have wounds from the past, and they understand that these wounds will inevitably be triggered, especially in a relationship. In other words, they expect to feel abandoned, trapped, rejected, overlooked and any other shitty feeling that arises when we bond closely with another person.

The importance of owning your own stuffThe importance of owning your own s#*t!

Most of us still believe that relationships should only feel good, and when bad feelings surface, something has gone terribly wrong. What we fail to see in this situation is that these shitty feelings stem from our own faulty patterning! These issues are not caused by our partners; they’re caused by our beliefs.

The conscious couple is willing to look at their past and current issues in relationships because they know that by facing these beliefs systems, they can evolve into a new relationship-reality. Dysfunctional patterns will dissolve, but only when we take responsibility for them first.

3. All Feelings are Welcome and No Internal Process is Condemned

In a conscious relationship, there’s room to feel anything. Not only that, there’s room to express those feelings and fantasies to your partner. This is edgy territory… it’s not easy to do. But it’s also one of the most healing things we can experience in a partnership

All feelings welcomeAll feelings are welcome.

It’s rare to be completely honest about who you are, and to stretch yourself to let your partner do the same. You may not like what you hear; in fact, it may trigger the hell out of you. But you’re willing to be triggered if it means your partner can be authentic.

Like I already said, we’re used to molding and changing ourselves to please people we love because we don’t want them to stop loving us! This stifles the love out of our connections.

The only option is radical honesty: revealing parts of ourselves that are hard to share and letting our partners do the same. This leads to feeling known, seen and truly understood — a combination that will automatically enhance your love.

Radical honestyRadical honesty.

4. A Relationship is a Place to Practice Love

Love, ultimately, is a practice. A practice of acceptance, being present, forgiveness, and stretching your heart into vulnerable territories.

Sometimes we treat love like it’s a destination. We want that peak feeling all the time, and when it’s not there, we’re not satisfied with what the relationship has become. In my mind, this is missing the whole point of love.

Love is a journey and an exploration. It’s showing up for all varied nuances of your relationship and asking yourself, “What would love do?” The answer will be different every time, and because of this, you’ll get to grow in ways you never have before!

Practicing lovePracticing love, over and over.

The conscious couple is fiercely committed to being the embodiment of love. And through their devotion and practice, love shows up in their lives and relationship in ways they would’ve never imagined before.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Shelly Bullard

Originally posted on Mind Body Green

 

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20 Responses to Qualities of a Conscious Relationship

  1. I agree. Every day we learn and discover new things about our partners and all couples should understand and accept them so that you will both grow in the relationship. Honesty is very important in a relationship. You must be open with your thought and feelings so you can easily understand one another.

  2. This may sound outdated and uncool, but it’s my truth. My husband and I have been happily, VERY HAPPILY, married for 13 years. We have 3 kids- 2 young adult daughters from my first marriage (abusive, miserable marriage) and we also have a 12 year old son from this marriage. Is it a conscious marriage? Not from what I gleaned from your article. In fact, I sometimes feel married to a caveman! And he is not always overjoyed to be with me, either! But it sure is a COMMITTED marriage! And all 5 of us are damn sure committed to the outcome so we press on! We have the hard discussions! We have a lot of sex (your article never mentions this) and that certainly works for bonding. By the way,our unspoken sex rules that work for us: it is ok to have quickies,oral sex or other fun stuff is always available and can work in a pinch, it is ok if both partners dont orgasm in the same session, it is understood that when time and desire permits that we can have all we want so we dont sress about it. A spoken rule: no infidelity absolutely under any circumstances!!! How do we continue to find the will, determination and the support to FIGHT FOR and WORK FOR our marriage? We go to church together weekly, are engaged in our churches (we attend a Methodist church and a non-denominational church), support each other spiritually, and all 3 kids have been raised to appreciate spirit and know they are children of God/Creater/Universe. Those are the main ways/reasons our little family is successful. What makes it easy (95% of the time) is my hubby and I have different activities that gives us time apart, we have shared hobbies that give us time together, and we both get regular exercise so our head is in a good place keeping our happy chemicals flowing and relieving daily stress. By the way, the goal of this writing is to be sincerely helpful, this truly works for us. We are not always farting out rainbows of happiness,and all 5 us get counseling as the need arises. This life is not always easy, but it is hardly ever miserable. Our older 2 kids have greatly benefited from finally getting to be part of a healthy nuclear family (after living through a 10 year bad marriage + 10 more years of single parenting and questionable boyfriends of mom). Our 12 year old son obviously benefits from our family structure and has known nothing else. All 5 of us are thriving, even though the topic of growth is not a goal and we are often too tired to keep our eyes open , let alone be CONSCIOUS and aware of much! Our marriage advice:
    Committ to the committment! Ask for spiritual guidance! Be generous in bed without keeping score! Be faithful!

    • Hello I’m going through a breakdown in my marriage…you seem so sensible and what you have written has given me hope. Is there any way to get in touch with you? I need someone to talk to and someone who has made things work… it’s my second marriage and I want to have babies soon in a healthy home. I’m 32.

  3. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I
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  6. His article is beautifully and well written, it helped me to understand what i want in a relationship. Thank you soo much

  7. Well, this morning I got a lobotomy and have been dosed with maximum allowable amounts of Thorazine and ketamine…..and my opinion of this article has changed. I now feel it to be the new gospel of our age… oozing (yes, oozing!) with otherworldly insight, sensitivity, and ….and….oh, crap!…. my meds are wearing off….brb….”Nurse, please page Dr. Feelgood. My brain is starting to work again. Quick, Nurse, medicate me before I start to make any sense at all.”

  8. This reminded me of a pseudo-intellectual conversation among 15 year-olds hanging out in a 7-11 parking lot on a Saturday night. Wisdom gleaned from angst riddenTV shows like Dawson’s Creek,. Nearly meaningless generalities that are too insipid to disagree with, yet provide nothing of value.

  9. The draw that seems to take place between Avoidant vs Anxious personality types for those of us who experienced attachment issues seems to summarize my own life experience with romances. Its like being drawn to the flame that injured me in the first place, over and over. In the end, I have found that none of those pairings have worked out, and in several cases neither I nor the old partner ever got married. Prefering to spend more time alone, then in the anguish of relationships that only seem to bring more heartache or aggravation than they are worth. We the wounded, who find other ways to contribute still have an important role to play in our culture. But too many seem to damn the warning signs and pursue marriage and child rearing only to end up on the rocks, with children and all forced to fend for them selves as they marriage goes down. I see this is an ethical matter. Not everyone is well suited to raising and properly providing a healthy environment for children to be raised in. But I still hope one day to find a conscious partner for a conscious relationship and make it work. But, will I be attracted to them?? Based on past my personal history and experiences, I have some doubts.

  10. This whole article is new wave selfish gibberish. If you’re committed to your spouse then they have no incentive to improve? Apparently, only fear of losing one’s partner can motivate someone. God only knows how single people can exist without such fear.

  11. I love the idea of this. I’m a little terrified to live it. Still I think it’s worth it for the growth. The older I get the more I want this … this kind of deep, messy, challenging intimacy with less running and more truth and commitment.

  12. The way of the future, where we don’t need to make more babies but we urgently need to raise our own vibration. The quickest way to do that is in a committed spiritual partnership. Relationships are not for fun only, but for learning.

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