An advice article on Dullness of Relationships
It’s not easy to accept that safety is the killer of the passion in a relationship and harder to accept that to have an actual relationship you have to diminish the illusionary safety we are trained and hardwired to find, create and maintain. But, if you were to do this, what would it look like?
The first mind set to change that will have a constructive impact on your relationship is to realize that your relationship isn’t guaranteed. Your monogamous relationship is inherently risky. You depend on them, just them, unlike those who are with many people, there is great emotional risk there. If they decide to mess you up, you’re doomed to it. This is a big motivation on why we work so hard to keep the relationship falsely “safe.”
The second step is find out what parts of your security in the relationship are constructive to the both of you and which are illusionary and destructive for there is the chance that some of that safety and dull knowingness is co-created to defend against desire and lust. To make believe the relationship is completely safe as to avoid passion and life.
The third step is to find out how the destructive illusionary safety is functioning in your relationship. Is it there to keep you from opening up to your partner out of fear you will be too much as it was with Mary? Be curious about yourself and discover what that fake safety is holding back.
The fourth step is to bring your understanding and explorations together into action. Mary opened up to her husband and let him know just enough about why she acted in certain ways and it opened them up to be themselves and bring the passion and risk back into their relationship, but this time with the tools to make sure they would not fall back into the dulling of each other.
The fifth step is to practice all four steps. Each step is enormously difficult to do. How can we even find out what parts of our relationships are illusionary safe when most of this is unconscious and out of our conscious control? Self analysis can bring you but so far. Even Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, saw this limitation as he tried this his whole life. It isn’t fruitless, but can make an exploration take too long. If there is a struggle with these steps, find someone who can help you with them. A trusted friend or family member, a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst. Someone who will be curious with you and walk with you in this.
Long term, monogamous relationships aren’t the only types of relationships out there. But, it has to be admitted that the risk of that type of relationship, if the romance, desire, love, passion and lust are allowed to continue over time, is what makes them so fascinating. A one on one relationship where you and the other person keep desire and lust continuous, understanding that the other is unknown and everything isn’t safe, turning your backs on the dullness of a co-created illusionary safety, is difficult to keep continuously. But, it is the emotionally riskiest relationship you could ever have and those feelings that come with that risk. Fear, excitement, uncertainty, feeling destabilized in the ever-shifting romantic love, create that satisfaction and makes it worthwhile and life giving whilst keeping a constructive safety in place when needed which is in the service of that passion, not there to kill it.