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Why a Relationship Will Not Complete You

why-a-relationship-will-not-complete-youthe-phoenix-rising-collective

“The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.” -Neale Donald Walsh

If you are into romantic movies like me,  I know you’ve seen the movie Jerry Maguire. Do you remember when Tom Cruise said:  “You Complete Me”?  You either teared up a little bit or touched your heart and said “How sweet.”  It was definitely a sentimental moment for me, too.

That line became one of the most unforgettable, romantic lines a guy could say to a woman. I do believe it was written with the best intention, but in reality it was taken literally for some, and it became another misguided mindset women embraced when pursuing relationships.

“When you feel whole, things come to enhance your wholeness. When you feel broken, things come to enhance your brokenness. That’s why you cannot fill a void. That’s why the premise from which you attract your relationship is so important.” -Abraham/Esther Hicks

I wanted to shed light on this belief, that we need another to make us feel complete, because as women we are already conditioned from cultural and societal messaging that says:

  • We need a man to validate us.

  • To seek male approval because it implies we are worth something.

  • That life doesn’t really begin until you meet that special man who will sweep you off your feet.

  • If you are single something is wrong with you.

  • Life is incomplete without a significant other, etc.

We are so in love with “love” that it’s easy to buy into fantasies and notions that a significant other should complete us. When we believe in something, those thoughts influence how we feel and act; therefore, when we seek to be in a relationship to feel complete, it comes from an emotional space of trying to fill a void.

Here’s my question: If you believe that someone completes you, then what happens when the relationship doesn’t last?

Relationships are not guaranteed to provide security, validation and a sense of feeling complete. However, I do know that being in a relationship can be a satisfying experience. There’s companionship, intimacy, happiness, healing, growth, trust, support, freedom to be you, creating a family, navigating life together and so much more.

Unfortunately, when seeking a relationship to fill a void, this approach sets the stage for developing an unhealthy and codependent relationship. What this means is you become dependent on your partner to make you feel whole and to fulfill needs that are lacking. Your partner will probably fulfill those needs for you but it’s temporary. No one person should be or can be fully responsible for making you feel whole because when your partner is unable to do so, that impacts your state of happiness and the control you have over how you feel.

How do you know if you’re seeking a relationship from a space of emptiness?

  • Your thoughts, emotions, and actions will all come from a place of neediness (which puts you in a position to choose the wrong partner).

  • You have unrealistic expectations that your partner is supposed to keep you in a constant state of happiness.

  • You believe you’re not good enough and seek validation from a man.

  • You believe your partner should fulfill the needs that the “other half” is responsible for.

  • You feel insecure and become consumed with being in a relationship.

  • You believe a man is a missing piece to making your life feel complete.

  • You can’t spend time alone and struggle with loneliness.

  • You’re more in love with the idea of being a couple than the actual experience of being in a relationship.

Here’s another question for you:  When you seek out to be in a relationship are you operating from a space of feeling whole or incomplete and trying to fill a void?

If you are operating from the belief that your partner completes you, it implies that you feel like you are not enough by yourself, something is lacking and you can only become whole in a relationship.

This mindset gives you false hope, and I know this from experience. I realized having that belief was one of the major reasons I attracted the wrong guys over and over. It took about five serious heartbreaks for me to truly take a step back, examine the unsuccessful experiences I kept having and what wasn’t working for me.

What does it mean to be/feel whole?

Before I respond let me state this, when I use the term “whole person” I’m not saying you have to be perfect. Instead, I’m referring to having a full and meaningful life while uncoupled and when you are in a relationship your partner will be adding to your satisfied life.

There’s’ no one-size-fits-all to be a whole person but there are things you can do to work towards creating that foundation. Here are a few ways to explore.

When you are a whole person:

  • You’re capable of making yourself happy/creating your own happy moments.

  • You don’t rely on others to tell you what to do because you are surer of yourself. (I think it’s fine to get advice for important decisions but the final decision has to come from you)

  • You trust your ability to choose what is right for you.

  • You genuinely accept and love who you are, yet you’re still open to being loved by others.

  • You’re secure in knowing that if you were to be alone because of a breakup, you’d be capable of picking up the pieces and moving forward.

  • You have your own interests.

  • You maintain a strong sense of individuality.

  • You’re in a space of wanting a man, not needing one.

  • You take full responsibility for being satisfied in life.

  • You know how to practice self-compassion.

  • You know the difference between creating a connection versus an unhealthy dependency.

  • You’re capable of relying on your own resources to fulfill various needs.

This is what I want for you, to have a healthy, fulfilling, long-term relationship where you feel whole, independent and secure.

Working on being a whole person whether you’re in a relationship or not is a great example of practicing self-love in action. Therefore I want to ask you to take some time to explore your feelings around being whole as it pertains to your intimate relationship.  We have to be more consciously responsible and intentional with the energetic space we’re working from when looking to be in a relationship.

Here’s a new perspective on this notion that another person completes you:

You are a complete and whole person without a relationship. It takes two fairly whole people (because no one is ever all the way together) to make one happy, healthy and whole relationship.

I want to leave you with a poem from Rupi Kaur’s poetry book, Milk and Honey that radiates the confidence of a whole person:

“i do not want to have you

to fill the empty parts of me

i want to be full on my own

i want to be so complete

i could light a whole city

and then

i want to have you

cause the two of us combined

could set it on fire”

Explore the questions I presented and let me know your thoughts.

Here’s to your wholeness.


About the Contributor

MoniqueHalleyContributor[thephoenixrisingcollective]1Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.

Read more of Monique’s articles at The Phoenix Rising Collective.

Join the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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How To Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Relationship[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

When in relationships a lot of us have fallen into that trap of self-sacrifice to the point of losing ourselves in our partner’s needs, desires and expectations. Truth be told, we are not always asked or coerced into giving up our individuality; we just behave according to what we believe we should do to make a relationship work.

I’m not blind to the fact that our lives will merge when we are in relationships. But what’s also true is when you get involved with someone, you are two individuals who are choosing to be together. And as a couple, you both should always have space and the right to maintain your individuality/independence.

When you’re single, it’s pretty easy to do what you want whenever you want. There’s no one to answer to or even consider. However, when you get into a relationship you get consumed with your partner’s way of life, especially in the attraction and infatuation phase. I get it because I did the same thing. You want to do everything together and go everywhere together, and you become absorbed by the relationship.

The crazy thing is, your individuality is probably what attracted him to you in the first place, yet you eventually lose that thing.

Do you believe it’s possible to maintain a strong commitment to balancing love for yourself while simultaneously being committed to your partner?

A simple tell-tale that you are losing or have lost yourself in your relationship is this:

  • You find yourself pulling away from friends.

  • You stop making use of your free time.

  • You’re not engaging in your usual activities anymore.

  • You’re neglecting your needs.

  • You are withdrawing from your world outside of your new partner.

  • And life becomes more about the relationship and less about you.

If this resonates with you, it’s time to take a moment to re-evaluate and ask yourself if this is what you really want when experiencing your relationship.

As a couple, you should have common interests and activities that you do together but it is equally healthy to have time apart to pursue friendships, work relationships, and personal interests.

So, what’s the solution? Having a strong sense of self (S.S.O.S), which is one of the primary components of having a healthy relationship.

When you don’t have a S.S.O.S it’s easier to get lost in your relationship and the result can lead to this:

  • You can become resentful of your partner for having his own life.

  • It gets boring because there’s nothing new happening since your lives are so merged together.

  • You are at risk of becoming co-dependent on your partner to make you happy.

Sometimes that merge of identity is forced onto couples, especially in the celebrity world. Think about the celebrity couples’ nicknames. For example, “Kimye” for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Brangelina for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. This is a new one for me “Billary” for Bill and Hillary Clinton. It may seem like all fun and games but I bet the blending of names trickles into the relationship and creates issues for some. We’ve heard of those couples who are referred to as such-and-such’s wife/husband and no longer referred to by their own names. It can be challenging for the relationship to withstand that shift in dynamic and it doesn’t last.

What I know for sure is this. It is absolutely possible to have a balance between having a strong commitment and love for yourself and simultaneously be as committed to your partner.

There are three married women that demonstrate this relationship dynamic I’m speaking of. Two of them are famous couples and the other I know personally. These ladies have a strong sense of self and boldly maintain their individuality yet they are still very committed to their marriage, love their husbands deeply and are very supportive of them as well.

Jada Pinkett-Smith, Michelle Obama and my friend Akilah Richards. I know you are familiar with the first two women. Take a minute and think about how they show up. Do you think they have a S.S.O.S?

I have a disclaimer. Having a strong sense of self does not make you exempt from experiences of emotional pain. But a person with a strong sense of self is better equipped to participate in a healthy relationship because they know how to respond and not react to challenges in their relationship.

Here are a few characteristics of people that demonstrate a S.S.O.S:

  • They take full responsibility for themselves by knowing how to manage their emotions. When they are experiencing discomfort they know specific things they can do that will help restore them to their natural balance. They don’t blame others; instead, they take personal responsibility.

  • They follow through on the commitment they make to themselves.

  • They feel okay with saying no because they’ve created boundaries for their personal safety and they uphold them without wavering. They value their time and energy. When someone requests their time they objectively look at the requests, make their own decisions, and set boundaries.

  • They believe in and practice self-preservation by sustaining personal interests, even if their partner or close friends are not a part of it. They don’t depend on another person’s involvement in order to engage in something that may interest them. They place equal importance on exploring themselves.

  • They make their own decisions about their life. They are open to receiving support, information, and advice, but they do not depend on reassurance and approval from others. They take full responsibility for their decisions.

  • They are authentic, and being “real” is very important to them. They are not afraid to go against the “norms” that society has created.

  • They embrace personal leadership. They don’t get caught up in the hype of trends to the point of losing themselves. They only indulge if it makes sense to them.

  • They don’t depend on other people’s words to define who you are.

Losing yourself usually happens over time as you surrender your own desires and needs for the sake of the relationship. The longer this goes on the greater the imbalance and the more difficult it is to fix. You cannot expect the other person to be aware that you are losing yourself; therefore, it’s up to you to catch yourself.

Here are some suggestions on how to maintain a strong sense of self while in a relationship or even before you enter one:

  • Make time for self. Have a schedule and stick to it. Save your personal time for after you’ve handled your business. Take care of yourself first. If your partner respects you, he will be supportive of you handling your business.

  • Keep your routine – Although your routine will have to change in some ways to welcome the person into your life, make sure that you aren’t ditching the important things.  If you don’t have one, develop one.

  • Stick with your personal activities. If your partner enjoys them bring him along, if they don’t then continue to engage in them and encourage him to engage in his own interests. Maintaining independence is important for both parties involved.

  • Maintain your personal relationships: Take some time to schedule in a catch-up with your friends and family.

  • Have a strong understanding of who you are and what you stand for before you set out to be in a relationship and even while you’re involved in one.

Knowing and being who you are is part of your personal power, don’t give that power to someone else. It’s all about finding a balance between time together and time apart, which is very possible.

Here’s a new perspective to take on this subject: You want your partner to be with you for who you truly are as an individual as much as for who you are as a couple. So, don’t disappear as an individual. Still be you!


About the Contributor:

MoniqueHalleyContributor[thephoenixrisingcollective]1Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.

 

Check out more of her Phoenix blog posts.  And, join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


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2 Ways to Gain Clarity in Your Relationships

Gaining Clarity in Your Relationships[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

“Some form of fear and confusion holds us back from making the decision to leave our unhappy relationship. We second-guess ourselves or we hold on to the thread of hope that things will change. And eventually, we settle, and we accept acquiescence as our only reasonable option.”  -Monique Allison [From ebook: Releasing That Relationship: Gaining Clarity from The Heartbreak of a Breakup or Divorce that Nearly Broke Your Spirit]

 A simple definition of “Confusion”: the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something. In other words – a state of not knowing.

Picture this: I just asked my boyfriend to move into my house with me; shortly after, I got pregnant. Half way into my pregnancy I found out that another young lady was pregnant with his baby, too. She was due 6 months before me. Hold on. I’m not done. Also, while pregnant, after he came back from visiting his country, I found pictures of him with a woman wearing his shirt in a hotel room. Then he had to take a trip to New York. I was terrified that he would behave inappropriately again. He expressed how sorry he was and made gestures to reassure me that he wanted to be together despite his actions. While he was in New York, a good friend of his stopped by the house on his behalf to convince me to work things out. That was out of the ordinary for him (to have someone speak for him) so in my naive and confused mind I thought that meant something good, not that I was being manipulated. Nevertheless, it was even harder to make a clear-cut decision to leave him.

If you are saying to yourself, “Why didn’t she leave him? How could she stay after all of that?” I totally understand. That’s the thing; when you are deep in it (in love, blinded by love, a fool in love, etc) you have blind spots. You’re so emotionally caught up, you don’t know how to balance logic with your emotions, so it’s just easier to stay and adapt while you mask the confusion.

Even the most level-headed person goes through this. She knows how to make decisions pretty easily; however, when it comes to matters of the heart she’s not able to think with her usual level of clarity, especially when she’s uncertain about where her relationship is headed. This is when it’s really easy to fall into a state of confusion. Overcoming that confusion is an important part of knowing which next step to take.

We’ll explore a simple process that will create space for your own sense of clarity to emerge. This is a guide for doing the process on your own. In two simple steps you can shift from a state of confusion to mental clarity.

There’s no doubt that all relationships go through stages and changes. At some point, you get to a crossroad and a decision has to be made about moving forward or ending things. There’s also staying together out of obligation and not because you sincerely want to be there; you feel like you should stay because of all that you’ve invested in each other (time, kids, house, merged finances, etc). Then there’s the state of a relationship where things are toxic and unfulfilling yet it’s still not an easy decision to leave.

This process that I’m offering is not an attempt to push you towards making a decision right now. Instead it is a tap on the shoulder to steer you towards exploring your uncertainty without judgment and to gain a sense of clarity.
During my entire pregnancy I dealt with disrespectful behavior over and over. There were many opportunities where I knew I had to make a decision whether I should try to work it out or leave. Needless to say, I was very confused. I was pregnant and didn’t want to be that chick without her man. I asked him to give up his loft, so making him move out wouldn’t be fair to him (my thought process at the time), and when he proposed to me two years after our son was born, I was all in. In hindsight, I realized I just didn’t know how to look out for my well-being at the time.

We ended up getting married when our son was three years old. However, a year later I left the marriage for more than one reason but it took seven years for me to break my unhealthy relationship patterns.

I was in a state of confusion on so many levels but I eventually figured out how to make healthier choices. I got really clear about what wasn’t working, why it wasn’t, what I wanted to experience instead, and what choices I needed to make to create a better experience. Fear did play a big role in being confused. I kept thinking I didn’t want my son to miss out on having a two-parent household – even though our relationship wasn’t the healthiest.  I didn’t want to take that opportunity away from him, so I fought much harder to stay.

There were three fear-based thoughts that added to my uncertainty but eventually I gained a clearer perspective.

Thought: This relationship really broke me down, I feel so defeated.

Reframe: I made choices that didn’t work out as I hoped. Now I see that what was important to me years ago is not the same, so I have another chance to redefine my choices. I may feel defeated, but I’m not dead! Today I get to rediscover what I really want in life and set values-based goals around those things I want.

Thought: I’m breaking up a family!

Reframe: I’m creating space for a healthier me and that will benefit my family in the long run. When I’m in a better space emotionally and mentally, I can be present and happy with my family.

Thought: My child won’t have his father.

Reframe: We won’t be under the same roof and adjustments with visitation will have to be made. They will still have access to each other. His father is still fully responsible for maintaining his relationship with his child, and I can help facilitate and support that process.

When you are in your head about your relationship drama, it makes it even harder to make sense of what to do. That’s why you have to apply a different approach. Get your thoughts onto paper; it’s part of the clarity process.

“Oftentimes, just contemplating the end of a relationship feels unbearable. It’s not easy because it stretches you beyond your comfort zone. That stretching brings about confusion and fear during a time where you feel forced to explore different options you didn’t even want to consider. However, in that same space, there’s room for personal growth. Stretching ourselves can lead to powerful reminders that there was a “me” before there was a “we.”  Exploring that space of confusion helped me to eventually realize that a lot of what was happening wasn’t about my partner anymore. Instead, it was about me, and what I was going to do to make my bad situation better. -Monique Allison

If you are having a similar internal conflict you’re probably not sure what to do next.

Start here. Assume a different perspective around the word confusion. Allow it to be the catalyst for gaining clarity about how you truly want to experience your relationship outside of the consistent negativity and uncertainty.

Two Simple Questions Will Help You Gain Clarity

Now, grab a journal, a composition book or a single sheet of paper and complete this exercise. It all starts with exploring how your relationship makes you FEEL.

Question #1: What doesn’t “feel” good about my relationship experiences? (Examine what’s not working. You can describe an entire scenario or just one-word feeling).

Write a list of those experiences. (Do this without self-judgment or blame.) When you only rely on holding your thoughts to memory, experiences can run together and seem blurred. Writing things down will stimulate the clarity process.

Question #2: What would you like to experience instead?

Write down a revised version of those experiences or feelings you listed in response to question #1. Put a positive spin on it reflecting on what you want to experience. (You can describe an entire scenario or just one-word feeling.)

Bonus Step: I want to encourage you to go a little further. Brainstorm and write a list of all the options and resources available that will get you closer to what you want.

Now, you have a clear description of what you desire to experience in contrast to what you are actually experiencing. It’s up to you to dig deeper and determine the barrier(s) keeping you stuck in an unsatisfying relationship and remove them.

Clarity Tip: Take steps to close the gap between what you don’t want to experience and what you hope for instead.

Whether it’s being honest with yourself, having a difficult conversation about what you’ve discovered, or creating an exit strategy to release the relationship always remember that you have options.

Take some time to sit with how you’re feeling. You don’t have to figure out all the answers right now; however, the more you slow down and pay attention to how you’re feeling the more authentic your life and your relationships will become.

Always know what you want and need from your relationships and ask yourself are you getting it.

 

Have additional questions about the clarity process?  Don’t hesitate to contact Monique at simplyblisslife@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

 


About the Contributor

MoniqueHalleyContributor[thephoenixrisingcollective]1Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.

 

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


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The Phoenix Book of the Week: Releasing That Relationship: Gaining Clarity from the Heartbreak of a Breakup or Divorce That Nearly Broke Your Spirit

Releasing That Relationship [the phoenix rising collective]

Our Phoenix Book of the Week is Monique Allison’s new book:

Releasing That Relationship: Gaining Clarity from the Heartbreak of a Breakup or Divorce That Nearly Broke Your Spirit

Releasing That Relationship [monique allison]If your relationship has already ended, or you’re in a space of readiness to end it, this book was written for you. My intentions are to help you get rid of your barriers to getting clarity around what you need and how your relationship doesn’t fulfill those needs. Once you’re clear about what you need to feel loved and secure in your relationship, you can decide what to release in order to make room for the love you want to experience.

This book is a collection of everything I’ve experienced and learned about getting past barriers of letting go of an unhealthy relationship of seven years.

I also share practical steps on what I did to get through mental & emotional blocks in order to be more decisive in the state of confusion.  I know a lot of women will benefit from my personal experience because it allowed me to create a healthier space needed to reclaim a strong sense of self, which in turn prepared me for a healthier and happy relationship.

A SPECIAL OFFER of Releasing That Relationship is available now through October 4th, so take advantage of this while you can! Click HERE for details.

Monique is also a contributing writer for The Phoenix Rising Collective; check out her latest article: Reconnecting with Yourself: 3 Powerful Ways to Start

 

Interested in sharing a book with us? Please click here to send your request for more details on submitting a book entry.


More about the Author:

Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.