It can be enough to understand that what draws us to others, and what draws others to us, includes characteristics that are important to our inner development and our healing into wholeness.
When we more fully appreciate this aspect of our relationship, it becomes easier (but not necessarily easy) to trust the process enough to become less reactive to the upsets that arise when the heat of infatuation inevitably cools, whether after a week or several years.
Accepting the inevitability of these feelings, without mistaking them for indicators that we are just not meant to be, enables us to maintain a healthy relationship and resist the temptation to jump to conclusions or make impulsive judgments and decisions based on insufficient information.
Not all relationships are meant to be, and some should be ended when it becomes evident that there’s a mismatch. Yet many potentially successful relationships are ended before they are given an adequate chance. It may be that it’s only after sharing ordeals and spending time together—time that includes doing the work of learning to appreciate rather than condemn our differences—that we recognize the hidden gifts our partner brings to us, which may have initially shown up as problems to be eliminated.
By all means, hold on to your list, but don’t forget that your heart has another list that may not be quite as apparent to you.
To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
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Written by Linda and Charlie Bloom Originally appeared in Psychology Today