The quality and strength of our relationships can be measured like anything else.
If you’re aiming for longevity and deep understanding of yourself and your partner, you should put yourself out there with them to see what your relationship is really made of. Will you pass the test of time?
But first, a little disclaimer. This made me and my partner argue, offend, and criticise each other. If these types of behaviour don’t fit in your preferred relationship dynamic, then this is not for you. If you can handle and dance with the fire, then you probably experienced some strength and progress in your relationship.
To paraphrase Mantak Chia, after the burning comes to ashes it becomes a solid metal.
Here’s our little collection of tests to challenge you and see where you are!
1. Work together
My partner and I worked together on many different occasions. We made music videos and short movies, ran retail stores and most recently, we worked together in a tavern! Just to name a few.
She’s very precise and disciplined while working and I’m more improvisational and people-oriented. As far as our egos are concerned, this is a typical clash of the titans. She’s a woman and I’m a man. That’s enough of a difference by itself. She’s The Boss and I’m The Dude. And there are people around us. Our coworkers and customers. This can put us in a very vulnerable place. It can lead to intense pain if someone stands on another one’s wound.
But there’s a lesson to be learned or it will be repeated every time you clash. When we argued after working from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. together, I learned that it’s better to just let it go sometimes. To accept the differences. To stop with desperate rationalising and appreciate her unique perception.
At the end of the day, I place more value on the legacy of our relationship than on my own ego. Try this one and see where it hurts. It’s an ultimate way to get to know your shadows and train for the full acceptance of your lover.
2. Travel together
Travels can be long and boring. But travels bring discoveries. For example, my partner and I share a fear of flying.
You know the feeling when you’re in a small, cheap plane while the wind tosses you around like a feather? It’s a moment when images of death can instantly pop up in our minds.
So here’s my thought of comfort for this particular moment. If you can say to yourself: I would rather die here with my girl in a fucking plane crash than alone on some filthy street getting hit by a car or a lightning strike—that’s a sign of a real connection. At least I’m with her.
Or you can try something less extravagant if you enjoy flying. If you’re bored after two hours of travel with your lover, that’s a sign you probably don’t know them. Ask them to reveal the most hidden secret they never told you about. This talk could become a goldmine for your relationship. What I like to practice in this example is not to give a meaning to my lover’s secret, but just try to feel her perspective on experiencing it.
3. Live together
This is an obvious one. Dating and seeing each other occasionally can last but living with each other makes you or breaks you. There’s no place for pretending and bullshitting when you share your living space. Only if you’re gonna live like two couch potatoes who do not speak to each other and don’t practice orgasmic sex.
Anita and I moved in together right away after we started dating. This made us more aware of our flaws and insecurities from the early start. We couldn’t hide anything from each other after one year of living together. The more our old masks fell off, the more joy, warmth, empathy, amazing sex, and consciousness appeared in our lives.
And let me confess here. I snore like the most gigantic, hungry pig you can imagine. She tolerates this unbearable noise. If she loves you like she loves me after snoring in her ear, you’ve got yourself a real deal.
Testing and challenging my relationship from time to time keeps it fresh, live, and grounded.
There is no fullness of love without stretching and experiencing pain from your past traumas. Who’s the better person to be by your side than your loved one? If he or she cannot except you in your fullness, it’s time to move on.
Oh, did I mention our living together made me find a sleep position where I don’t snore?
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Got Writer’s Block?
We are a participatory media company. Join us.
Participate with the rest of the world, with the things your write and the things you say, and help co-create the world you want to live in.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.