Bayard & Holmes
~ Piper Bayard
Everyone is a head case. The only question is whether they are a head case you can live with. ~ Mom
In the first article, First Be Happy Alone, we looked at why the first step to being happy with someone else is learning to be happy alone. A full cup attracts a full cup. If you’re happy alone, then it’s time to open yourself to the world of opportunities.
Opening yourself means you have to get rid of pre-conceived notions. The fact is that you might not know what you need. Trust that God, Life, the Universe, your Higher Power, or simply your Inner Good Sense does know. In other words, don’t stay trapped in a box of what you think you want. Open yourself to what you need.
Relationships are journeys of discovery. They are not enactments of pre-conceived fantasies.
Forget thinking that you must have crazy hot chemistry the moment your eyes meet. Crazy hot chemistry – the kind that makes you want to jump a stranger right there in the produce section of the grocery store – is exciting and makes us feel alive and tingly, but it’s still CRAZY. The fact is that our hottest attractions occur when our own crazy meets a compatible crazy. Crazy sucks onto crazy like a fanatic sucks onto dogma. Crazy is not a basis to build a life together.
Crazy is attracted to crazy in the hope that if you can fix each other’s crazy, it will somehow fix your own. In reality, though, the only thing crazy can build together is more crazy. This results in one of two inevitabilities. You spend your lives in an increasingly miserable death spiral, OR, one of you gets better, and the bond is broken. The classic example is the alcoholic and the co-dependent. They either die inch by inch together in alternating ecstasy and misery without ever building a stable life, or one of the two gets better, and the relationship falls apart.
Crazy love sparks the firestorm that burns down our world.
Lasting love is the hearth fire that warms us for a lifetime.
Bonds of love are bonds of solace and refuge that are built over time. They nurture each partner while nurturing the relationship. And don’t worry. This does not preclude hot sex. The difference is that the hot sex is real and solid, and you’re in the room with your mate and not lost in your head with someone you don’t even really know outside of crazy. It’s an exchange of nurturing love rather than an expression of needs that the relationship cannot fill.
Signs You’re Bonded in Crazy
This is not a comprehensive list, but it hits some major points.
- You understand each other’s pain before the dessert course.
Bonds of pain are at the foundation of crazy love, and they can be a force of nature. Finding someone with matching scars is like reaching an island in an endless stormy ocean, and it is one hot, steamy island. But unless there is a great deal more to the relationship, you either indulge each other’s pain for the duration, or, the moment one of you starts to heal, the bond is broken.
- You fall into bed and ask questions later.
- You have the same strengths and the same weaknesses.
- You overlook Red Flags* and plow forward without resolution.
- You make excuses for the other person’s words and behavior.
- You keep the relationship compartmentalized from your family and friends.
- When you are together with family or friends, you act differently than you would if the other wasn’t there.
- You treat the other like a fixer-upper, focusing on who the other can be rather than who the other is right now, today.
Signs You’re Bonded in Love
- You learn each other’s life stories over time.
- You become friends who genuinely enjoy each other’s company before you become lovers.
As we discussed in the last article, sex is easy. Love takes time and commitment. The vast majority of relationships that begin in the bedroom never make it to the altar, much less through a lifetime. Think of controlling yourselves as a way of respecting the sacred relationship you want to share. It also builds trust in that you show each other that you aren’t slaves to lust – something anyone married over a decade can tell you will be a potential danger to the relationship at some point. Establish that you are up to the challenges to come.
- You have different strengths and weaknesses, preferably complimentary ones that will help you draw strength from each other.
- There are no unmitigated Red Flags.*
- You are comfortable with the other’s words and behavior.
- You socialize easily with each other’s friends.
- You are drawn to who the other is today, not who the other might be tomorrow.
At the heart, lifelong relationships are about time and boundaries. A dear friend once explained it to me like this . . .
You are in the center of multiple circles of fence. Not walls. Fence. When you meet someone, go to the outer circle, and stand behind your fence. Chat over the fence for a bit. If you’re comfortable with them, open the gate and let them in to where you were standing while you go behind the next fence. Wash, rinse, repeat. THE CHOICE TO OPEN A GATE IS COMPLETELY YOURS. You don’t owe an open gate to anyone. Not anyone. Most people will remain in those outer circles as acquaintances. Some will come in several layers and be good friends. And, in time, one will make it in far enough to be your mate for life, and a mate for life is worth the investment of a little time.
Now give yourself a hug and be good to yourself today.
*Red Flags are signs that you’re barking up the wrong skivvies. We’ll talk about those next time.
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When it comes to dating, Piper Bayard did it wrong, and then she did it right. She’s now been happily married for over two decades and is passing on the tips that helped her find a solid partner in building a life and a family.
Piper Bayard, is also an author and a recovering attorney. Her writing partner, Jay Holmes, is an anonymous senior member of the intelligence community and a field veteran from the Cold War through the current Global War on Terror. Together, they are the bestselling authors of the international spy thriller, THE SPY BRIDE, coming soon!
Keep in touch through updates at Bayard & Holmes Covert Briefing.