Jordan Gray could have never predicted how much his journey in entrepreneurship would benefit his love life.
I’ve been a self-employed relationship coach for the better part of my working life.
While building my business, researching, writing, and working with a variety of clients over the years, I became highly aware of many things that filtered through into my awareness of intimate relationships.
Here are the five biggest things I’ve learned about long-term love.
1. Take Time For Yourself
There were days that I wanted to get up for work but had no fuel left in my proverbial gas tank. The quality of my work suffered because I had neglected my own self-care.
Similarly, there are days that you might want to be patient, loving, or encouraging of your partner in your intimate relationship, but you neglected to fill your own tank first.
Your relationship to your partner always starts with your relationship to yourself. If you have been neglecting your own self-care then it will be very difficult to extend loving compassion to your partner.
So take some down time. Take a long bath, watch a movie, get a massage, or do anything else to make your heart feel more full. You and your relationship will benefit from it.
2. Your Love For Your Partner/Business Will Fluctuate
There were days that I nearly sprinted out of bed to get to work because I was so excited… and there were days where I looked at my computer with bitter resentment that it beckoned me to get work done. I fell in and out of love with my business depending on my mood, the day, or what was going on in my daily life. And a similar thing happens within a committed intimacy.
I’ve interviewed dozens of successfully married couples that have been married anywhere from 10-50+ years and they all agreed… you will fall in and out of love with your partner in certain moments/days/phases.
Whether it’s the fact that the kind of love is shifting (for example, an adoring love to a passionate love) or you perceive it as rising and falling in overall levels, your feelings about your business/relationship will fluctuate.
Just because it feels like you love them less one day doesn’t take anything away from the peak levels of love that you have from them. This is the ebb and flow of life. Everything is constantly in motion. Nothing is static.
I’ve had countless clients come to me with concerns of “I feel like I don’t love my wife this week as much… does that make me a bad person? It doesn’t feel like the same level of intensity right now…”
Having a love that fluctuates doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you a person. It happens to everyone on some level. No love has ever been a perfect straight line of love growth. And to expect such a thing is to set yourself up for eventual disappointment.
3. It Will Make You Grow
Building a business from the ground up was one of the most challenging and rewarding things that I have ever done. I laughed, I felt giddy, I cried a lot, and I frequently felt like I was on a roller coaster. It confronted my emotional demons, it challenged my beliefs, and it scared me a lot.
As it is with intimate relationships.
Love is one of the greatest mirrors that you could ever look into (if you have the courage to do so).
It can be anxiety-producing to really let your guard down and have someone see you for who you are.
But the emotional growth that you will experience as a result of committing to something will always be worth it.
You will learn, you will grow, and you will feel thousands of emotions.
4. If You Are Truly Committed To Putting Energy Into It, It Will Have No Choice But To Grow
If you are engaging in a relationship/business that is aligned who you are as a person, and you are truly committed to putting real effort and energy into it, it will have no choice but to grow.
When I first started my business I was simultaneously excited and terrified. Excited that I would finally be going after something that I knew was deeply aligned with my core values, but also terrified that the world would walk by uninterested without so much as a casual glance.
I have learned through the past few years that if you do something from a place of love, and you put forth a real effort to add value to the lives of your customers/life of your soul-mate, then the business/relationship will have no choice but to grow into something amazing.
Not only was the business growth inevitable, but there were temptations to jump ship along the way (just as there are outside of our love relationships).
Through the growth of my business there were many ‘shiny new object’ opportunities that were presented to me. People offered to scale up my business for a quick payday at the expense of my personal integrity. Just like a 23 year old cutie can try to tempt you away from your relationship at a social function, the opportunity might be tempting to a very shallow and base level of your being (sex for relationships, money for business) but it is absolutely never worth it.
Choose the long-term growth to build something truly valuable for your soul, and for the world.
5. It Will End Up Looking Different Than You Expected It To
Whether a new business venture or a new intimate relationship, it’s difficult to not have some level of expectations for the things that we are committing to.
And inevitably, the outcome will be different than what you expected.
You might have always told yourself that you’d be married by 32 with two children, but reality might disagree with you. Maybe you find out that you and your partner don’t want children after all, or maybe you do want children and you end up having triplets during your first pregnancy.
We can set overarching intentions with our relationship (i.e. “I want a healthy, loving relationship”) but how it comes to fruition in reality will often be different than what we anticipated.
You don’t have to micromanage every detail in any of your life (business, love, or otherwise). Surrender to the results that you get and welcome it all with open, loving arms.
While entrepreneurship and intimate relationships might not seem to have a ton of overlap at first glance, the aforementioned five points were my favourites from a list of over twenty that I originally brainstormed.
There are lessons in life wherever we’re willing to look for them.
I wish you the best of luck in your love life. I hope that you find whatever deeply blissful relationship serves you the most, and that you have the courage and determination to keep it thriving.
Photo courtesy of DepositPhotos.com